Assault charges can feel overwhelming and confusing. The actions usually arise in the heat of the moment, often involving alcohol and adrenaline. But, it is possible to overcome assault charges, especially if you were acting to protect yourself or someone else.
Acting in self-defense is the most common way to beat assault charges in Texas. Under Texas law, a person isn’t guilty of assault when he or she acted in self-protection that was reasonable at the time.
To prove to the court that you were acting in self-defense, you must show several things:
- There was a threat of harm
- You had a real fear of harm
- You did not harm or provoke anyone before the threat occurred
- There was no chance of avoiding the situation
To use self-defense as your defense, your lawyer must also show the court that the amount of force used was “reasonable.” That means that you used the minimum amount of force necessary to fend off the attack—not more.
Protecting another person or property is also a defense to assault charges in Texas. Just like the court understands why you would resort to violence to protect yourself, the court allows a defense for protecting someone you care about.
Further, Texas’s Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law says that a person may use “reasonable force” when protecting their home or vehicle. The law gives you the right to stand your ground against a home invader instead of having to retreat.
In certain situations, consent can also be used as a defense to assault charges. This is especially true in sexual assault cases where the court tries to discern he-said, she-said situations. The alleged victim may have consented or appeared to consent to the encounter, only to decide later that it was actually an assault.
Assault charges can also be dropped if the prosecutor does not have enough evidence to pursue them. That’s one of the reasons that it’s important to hire a lawyer as quickly as possible, even before charges are formally filed.
Your attorney can start advocating for you from day one. By acting early, they may even be able to get charges dropped or help the prosecutor see why charges should never be filed at all.
If you have been accused of assault, call 817-678-6771 or send us a message for a confidential consultation with the Fort Worth lawyers at Lee and Wood, LP. It’s important to get legal help as soon as possible after an arrest so that your attorneys can take immediate action to protect your rights, reputation and freedom.