Texas is well-known for its self-defense laws, which imbue citizens with the right to protect themselves from unlawful force enacted by another. These laws provide you the ability to defend yourself at your home, in your vehicle, and in other situations.
According to Texas Penal Code 9.31, there are some situations where self-defense is not considered justified. The following are a few of these instances, and responding with deadly force in these situations could land you in legal trouble.
You are considered to have provoked the action
If there are claims that you initiated the altercation, such as by threatening the other party, self-defense protections might not apply. This is true even if the other party responded with excessive violence during the altercation.
You were only verbally provoked
Verbal provocation that exists on its own and is not accompanied by aggressive, threatening action is not a sufficient defense for self-defense. Verbal provocation must be accompanied by actions to make a case.
You resisted arrest by a police officer
Resisting lawful arrest does not fall into the category of self-defense, unless the officer uses excessive force during the arrest. In this case, you are permitted to defend yourself, provided you believe your actions are needed to protect yourself against the excessive force being used against you.
You are carrying a prohibited weapon
Prohibited weapons include machine guns, explosives, or a short-barreled rifle. Regardless of the legitimacy of the threat facing you, using a prohibited weapon is not lawful and is likely to incur charges and convictions against you.
Knowing when self-defense can and cannot be used is crucial to ensuring your rights remain respected in the event you or your family are threatened. If you are charged with a gun crime and believe you acted in accordance with the law, an attorney must review your case.