You’re not a violent person and you have never initiated a fight. However, you now find yourself in the position of facing criminal charges for violence.
You were attacked and used force to defend yourself. Is this lawful in Texas?
Was the force necessary?
You are entitled to use force to defend yourself if you reasonably believed that it was necessary. For instance, maybe someone was trying to punch or kick you, and you believed that the only way to get them off was to push them or strike back.
Was the force proportionate?
The amount of force used must be proportionate under the circumstances. For instance, the scenario described above would most likely be considered proportionate force. However, if you were to use a gun or other weapon in the same scenario, it would be disproportionate, meaning that you could face criminal charges.
Can you defend your home?
Texas follows something called the Castle Doctrine. This means that you can lawfully protect your home if you reasonably believed that someone was breaking and entering. Again, the amount of force used must be proportionate. The castle doctrine also extends to your vehicle and workplace.
Can you defend someone else?
If any of the above applies to another person, then you are entitled to place yourselves in their shoes and defend them. However, you must reasonably believe that this was necessary to protect their safety.
Self-defense strongly relies upon what you reasonably believed was necessary at the time. To present your case properly, it’s vital to have legal guidance behind you.