Murder charges can threaten every aspect of your life, including your reputation and your freedom. That’s why you need to build the strongest criminal defense possible. We find that in many of these cases, there’s a story that vastly differs from the one portrayed by the media and the prosecution. In many instances someone’s death results from an altercation turned physical, and the deadly force that was utilized was justified. If you’re in that situation, though, the onus is on you to raise self-defense as an affirmative defense.
Texas’s self-defense law
Under Texas law, the use of deadly force is justified in some circumstances. To successfully argue self-defense, you first need to establish that you had a reasonable belief that the deadly force that you used was immediately necessary. Then you’ll have to show that the use of force was immediately necessary to protect yourself from the now deceased individual’s unlawful use of deadly for or to protect against the imminent commission of one of a number of crimes, including kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, and robbery.
Texas recognizes what is known as the castle doctrine, which means that there’s a presumption that your belief that immediate deadly force was necessary is reasonable if the now deceased individual broke into your home, vehicle, or business. In other words, you have no duty to retreat in these circumstances. In order to invoke that presumption, though, you cannot have provoked the altercation in question, and you could not have been committing a crime at the time.
Have the law on your side
This is just a quick look at the self-defense law in Texas and is not meant to be a thorough analysis of the statute. If you think that a self-defense argument by be your best bet, though, then you might want to speak to a criminal defense attorney about your murder charges. He or she can help advise you of the law and how it applies to your case, and he or she can help you develop the strong legal strategy that you need to maximize your chances of achieving the best result possible under the circumstances.