Though you may have considered what you would do if someone broke into your home or followed you down a dark street, nothing can fully prepare you for what will happen should this actually occur. Unfortunately, in order to protect yourself, you may have to commit a crime. Luckily, this is often classified as self-defense and is often justifiable violence. If you’re facing charges for defending yourself when faced with danger, it’s vital to understand how Houston criminal defense attorneys can help you through this process.
What Is Self-Defense?
Self-defense is the act in which someone uses force against another party when they have reason to believe the other party has the intent to harm them. For example, if someone is holding you at gunpoint, it would be justified to hit them with an object to escape the harm they intend to inflict on you. Self-defense often means the person protecting themselves will commit assault or, in some instances, murder, to shield themselves from harm.
What Laws Can Protect Me?
There are a number of laws in Texas to help protect those facing threats of violence from another party. The most prevalent law in Texas is “stand your ground,” which allows those facing danger to use force without first attempting to retreat or evade the threat.
Texas also follows the “castle” doctrine, which allows homeowners to use potentially deadly force to protect themselves in their homes or on their property. For example, if someone breaks into your home in the middle of the night, you can use force to prevent a crime such as kidnapping, rape, murder, or robbery.
What Should I Do if I Have to Protect Myself?
If you’ve had to use force to protect yourself or others from the threat of violence from another party, it’s vital to contact an attorney as soon as possible. There are many elements that determine whether the violence to protect yourself was justifiable, which can complicate the matter further.
Despite seeming straightforward, there are factors that must be taken into consideration when self-defense is used. For example, whether or not there was reason to believe a threat existed, whether the level of force was necessary, whether or not the person had the right to be in the location, and who was the initial aggressor in the situation will all be factored into a decision.
Because there are so many considerations to be made, ensuring you have a competent defense team is vital to show that you were protecting your rights according to Texas law. At the Gonzalez Law Group, we understand that this is a situation not many want to be in. As such, we will do everything possible to show that you were within your legal bounds to protect yourself, your property, and your family. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team.