The Collin County Law Group
Examining Your Right to Defend Yourself
You might believe it to be easy to avoid violent confrontations with others in McKinney, and in most cases, your assumption may be right. Yet there are indeed moments where your safety (and/or that of your loved ones) might feel threatened. Some might try to tell you that the use of force (even if you believe it to be defensive) is never legally justified, while others might claim that you are well within your rights to defend yourself. Many have come to us here at The Collin County Law Group questioning which side is right.
Depending on the circumstances of your unique situation, they both may be. Per Section 9.31 of the Texas Penal Code, you are allowed to use force in response to the use of force (or the threat of it being used) against you if:
- You were not the aggressor in a confrontation
- You were otherwise engaged in criminal activity
- You knew (or had reason to believe) that the person against whom you acted intended to harm you or others
Regarding the third requirement, intent to harm is established if a person is forcefully and unlawfully trying to enter (or remove you from) your home, vehicle or place of business.
On the other hand, you are not allowed to respond forcefully if you provoked the force being used against you (or in response to a verbal provocation alone), or if you initially consented to the action. You also cannot respond with force to resist an arrest made by a peace officer (even if you believe the arrest to be unwarranted).
You can learn more about defending yourself (both from unlawful action and criminal accusations) by continuing to explore our site.