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How viable is a self-defense claim against assault charges?

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2022 | Criminal Defense

An aggravated assault is a serious offense with dire consequences. In Texas, you could be looking at a second or first-degree felony, depending on the circumstances of your charges. A conviction could see you spend at least two years in jail, with a maximum sentence of twenty years.

When defending yourself, you could claim that your actions were only intended for self-preservation. However, in some instances, such a claim may be dismissed, leaving you at the mercy of the justice system. Here is what you need to know.

When self-defense may apply

For your self-defense claim to hold, the other party should have provoked you and not the other way round. However, there are certain exceptions. For example, you may claim self-defense if you were the initial aggressor, but the other party responded excessively. Your claim could also stand if they followed you after you withdrew from the attack, but they continued attacking you.

Secondly, you must have been acting in the face of imminent danger. It means that the risk to your safety was obvious and immediate, and a reasonable person would have acted similarly.

If your actions came after the threat or danger had passed, it is considered a retaliatory attack. Importantly, the amount of force used should have been equal to the threat you were facing at the time.

What are your other options?

If you think that self-defense will not work for your case, you may need to explore other options. Remember, the burden of proof is on the prosecution.

It is possible to defend against your charges successfully and ensure that your case concludes favorably with a well-planned defense strategy.