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What are the Rules on

Self-Defense in Texas?

Law Offices of Thomas R. Cox III June 22, 2022

Under Texas laws, individuals are allowed to protect themselves, their property, and others from potential harm or danger using the reasonable force necessary. However, there are specific state rules and statutes that address the use of force or deadly force in defense of self or property. An experienced Texas criminal defense attorney can help you understand the state's rules on self-defense and when you can use this as a legal defense.

The Law Offices of Thomas R. Cox III is committed to offering comprehensive legal guidance and vigorous representation to clients facing criminal charges for using force to act in self-defense. Attorney Tom Cox can investigate all of the surrounding facts of your case thoroughly and determine whether your actions were justifiable. The firm proudly serves clients across Dallas, Mesquite, Highland Park, Irving, Grand Prairie, and Dallas County, Texas.

What Is Self-Defense?

Self-defense is a legal defense used in many criminal accusations involving violent crimes. It involves the use of force, deadly force, or violence to protect yourself, another person, or your property, from possible harm or danger.

According to Texas self-defense law – Texas Penal Code 9.31 – "a person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree, the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the actor against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful force."

In Texas, self-defense may be used as a valid legal defense in different criminal cases, including, but not limited to:

  • Assault

  • Homicide

  • Manslaughter

  • Assault with a deadly weapon

  • Domestic violence

  • Battery

Depending on the surrounding circumstances of your unique situation, you may be eligible to use self-defense as a legal defense to fight your criminal allegations.

When Can It Be Used as a Legal Defense?

To successfully establish self-defense in a Texas criminal case, the defendant must prove the following:

  • The defendant reasonably believed that they or someone else was in imminent danger of harm or violence.

  • The defendant reasonably believed that a threat existed.

  • The defendant only used the reasonable force necessary.

  • The other party was the initial aggressor.

If you or someone you know has recently been arrested and charged for using force against someone else but only acted in self-defense, you must reach out to a knowledgeable Texas criminal defense attorney immediately. Your legal counsel can raise a claim that you only acted in self-defense and provide substantial facts and evidence to support the claim.

Duty to Retreat in Texas

When faced with possible danger or harm, it is human instinct to stand your ground, fight back, or retreat to safety. In the state of Texas, there is no duty to retreat. Rather, you can stand your ground, fight back, and defend or protect yourself against the attacker, depending on the situation.

Texas Stand Your Ground Law

Texas is a "stand your ground" state. According to state laws, you may stand your ground and use self-defense if:

  • You were in the place lawfully and needed to use force in self-defense.

  • You didn't provoke the assailant (victim)

  • You weren't involved in a crime at that moment.

A reliable attorney can review every aspect of your unique situation comprehensively and strive to establish that you only acted in self-defense.

Skilled Legal Representation

Texas laws allow you to use reasonable force necessary to protect yourself, your property, or others against a threat of violence. However, you may face criminal allegations for your otherwise unlawful or violent actions. Therefore, when facing criminal charges for acting in self-defense, retaining a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney is imperative to protect your legal rights and for detailed guidance.

Attorney Tom Cox has the diligence, resources, and expertise to defend and represent clients accused of using force against others. As your legal counsel, he can evaluate every aspect of your case and raise factual evidence to support your claim. Using his in-depth understanding of Texas laws addressing self-defense in criminal cases, Attorney Tom Cox can help you navigate the justice system.

Contact the Law Offices of Thomas R. Cox III today to schedule a simple case evaluation with a skilled criminal defense lawyer. Attorney Tom Cox has the dedicated legal counsel, advocacy, and comprehensive representation you need in your case. The firm proudly serves clients across Dallas, Mesquite, Highland Park, Irving, Grand Prairie, and Dallas County, Texas.