You have the right to defend yourself if you’re threatened with harm. There are many different versions of self-defense laws throughout the United States, some of which require you to retreat before using force, while others allow you to stand your ground and use whatever force necessary to protect yourself. There are other states in which the use of force is limited to specific situations.
In Texas, there are multiple laws that address issues of self-defense, including laws that indicate when the use of deadly force is justified. In Texas, one is also allowed to use force to protect a third party under the same circumstances you would use to protect yourself, so long as that forceful intervention is necessary to ensure the safety of that third party.
Here’s a quick overview of what you need to know about Texas’s self-defense laws, from a criminal attorney in Lubbock, TX.
Justifying the use of force
In the state of Texas, the use of force in defense of yourself is justified if you either knew or had reason to believe you were using that force against a person who was:
- Entering or trying to enter your home, business or vehicle
- Removing or attempting to remove you from your home, business or vehicle
- Committing or attempting to commit acts such as murder, robbery, sexual assault or aggravated kidnapping
Self-defense with the use of force is not justified, however, if:
- You provoked the person you were defending yourself against
- You were participating in a criminal activity other than a traffic violation
- You were using the force to respond to verbal provocation alone
- You were using force to resist an unlawful search or arrest by a police officer, unless the officer used force greater than what would be considered necessary before you begin resisting
- You consented to the force used by another person
- You were seeking an explanation or discussion with the other person while carrying a weapon
You are not required to attempt to retreat before you use force in Texas—it is a Stand Your Ground state. If you have the right to be present at the location where the force is used, you are not required to retreat before using an appropriate level of force (including deadly force) so long as that use of force is justified.
For more information about justifying the use of force as self-defense in the state of Texas, contact the Law Office of Rob Biggers to set up a consultation with an experienced criminal lawyer in Lubbock, TX. We look forward to discussing your case with you.
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