Texas is one of a number of states that enforces a stand your ground law. This law essentially allows someone to defend themselves if they feel their life is in danger.
However, there is a very fine line on what constitutes self-defense and what is unnecessary force. If you face charges of using unnecessary force, it’s imperative you speak with a skilled Waco criminal defense attorney.
An experienced attorney can help protect your rights and minimize subsequent legal consequences.
Stand Your Ground Law can be used as a defense in firearms crimes.
So what Is Stand Your Ground Law in Texas?
Stand Your Ground Law
Also referred to as the castle doctrine, the Texas Penal Code, Chapter 9, addresses the stand your ground law.
Subchapter C includes provisions for “protection of persons,” which is the stand your ground law. Subchapter D is the statutes on “protection of property,” which is known as the castle doctrine law. The term castle doctrine comes from the saying that a person’s home is their castle. You may also hear stand your ground laws referred to as “no duty to retreat” or “line in the sand” laws.
Standard self-defense laws essentially say you have a right to protect yourself.
You don’t need to stand there and let someone attack you. As stated above, this doesn’t mean you have the right to use excessive force. For example, if someone attempts to punch you, you can defend yourself with equal force, but you can’t necessarily engage with a weapon.
Now, where stand your ground laws can become less clear is what happens when the person’s fists could be deemed a deadly weapon. What about something that appears dangerous at the time but isn’t — like a toy gun that appears real. In the heat of the moment, someone might feel threatened and therefore react accordingly.
When Stand Your Ground Law Applies
The Texas law states that you have no duty to retreat when there is a reasonable belief you are in danger and it extends to your home, vehicle, or job. You can justify the use of deadly force if you believe it was absolutely necessary to prevent a violent crime like sexual assault, kidnapping, murder, or robbery.
Defending Self Defense
If a person uses excessive or deadly force when their life was not really in danger, it can be difficult to defend their actions. To raise the defense, you will have to prove that you did not provoke the person who attacked you and that you were not breaking any laws at the time the incident occurred.
Retaining a Texas Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with using excessive or deadly force and you genuinely believe you were defending yourself with the necessary force required to ward off an attack, it’s important to speak to a knowledgeable Texas criminal defense attorney
The team at Simer & Tetens has experience in criminal law matters, including stand your ground laws.
Please contact our office to schedule a consultation today.