Can Self-Defense Be A Viable Defense To A Domestic Violence Charge?
The fact that you were defending yourself may ultimately be sufficient for the prosecutors to make the decision to dismiss the case but not always. This may be a question that they want to leave up to the judge or the jury to decide. Under the Texas Penal Code Section 9.31, a person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree that the person reasonably believes that the force is immediately necessary to protect the person from another person’s use or attempted use of unlawful force. What that means is that the other person who you used the force against didn’t even necessarily have to use force against you, they might have attempted to use force against you and you may be justified. One of the key issues in self-defense is the actor’s reasonable belief.
A defendant’s reasonable belief that self-defense was necessary is a subjective area where if you believe that the force that you used to defend yourself or defend your property was reasonable then you may be legally justified and therefore exempt from criminal charges. This may ultimately be a fact question that the jury has to decide and whether or not they determine that your belief was reasonable and if the level of force that you used was to the degree that was immediately necessary. This is a question that we argue in many domestic violence cases. A lot of police officers in the general public may hold the position that it’s never okay for a man to hit a woman, it’s never okay for somebody to lay hands on somebody else in their household, but the truth is, under Texas law, you can defend yourself against a stranger just as well as you can defend yourself against your spouse or girlfriend, your wife or loved one, your child or your parent.
The law gives you the right to defend yourself and just because the police have a policy that they must arrest somebody whenever they are called out to a domestic violence situation, does not mean that the person who is arrested is guilty and is not afforded the defense of self-defense, the defense of others, or the defense of property. You can legally defend yourself under the laws of the state of Texas.
For more information on Self-Defense In a Domestic Violence Case, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (512) 601-0009 today.
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