Facing charges of a violent crime can be a frightening situation. It has the potential to change your life, and it is essential to defend yourself against these charges – just as you defended yourself in the incident in question.
You may wonder: if you acted to defend yourself, how can you move forward with a self-defense plea? You must meet the conditions to effectively prove self-defense.
The criteria for self-defense
There are specific requirements to prove an act was self-defense under Texas law. For example, at the time of the incident you:
- Were not committing a crime
- Did not provoke the other person
- Had reason to believe such force was necessary to counter the threat
These are not the only factors to consider in a self-defense case. However, they are some of the most critical aspects.
What about “stand-your-ground” rules?
In Texas, the “stand-your-ground” laws and “castle doctrine” may also come into play in a self-defense plea. Put simply, stand-your-ground rules allow you to take steps to defend yourself or your property against a threat.
However, proving you defended yourself under stand-your-ground laws and proving self-defense both require you to meet certain conditions. For instance, you should ask yourself:
- Were you reasonably protecting your home and property?
- Did you have a legitimate reason to protect yourself?
- Did you have a duty to retreat, or did you have a legal right to be present on the property?
If your answer is yes to the above questions, it is possible that you may be able to prove your actions were in self-defense under stand-your-ground laws. It is critical to note that pleading self-defense means you have the burden of proof. You must prove to the court that you met all of these conditions.
That is why it is critical to obtain experienced defense if you face criminal charges and learn more about how you can protect your rights.