Experienced criminal defense representation in Houston, Harris County & Texas
In today’s world, ordinary citizens often are confronted with dangerous and life-threatening situations. Self-defense is a legal defense to almost any assault charge, including aggravated assault and murder. The right to self-defense, including the right to threaten to use deadly force, is so fundamental that, at a trial, if there is any reasonable doubt as to whether self-defense applies, a jury would have to return a verdict of NOT GUILTY.
Self-defense applies when a person “reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect” himself or herself from another’s use or attempted use of unlawful force. Texas Penal Code § 9.31(a). A person is entitled to use deadly force in self-defense, if the requirements of the § 9.31(a) are met, and “when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary.” § 9.31(a)(2). Self-defense applies where the “defendant reasonably perceives that he is in danger, even though that perception may be incorrect.” Whether a person’s belief was reasonable must be viewed “from the accused standpoint” at the time and under the circumstances of the incident.
The law of self-defense also allows a person to display a weapon, such as a gun, when he or she is faced with an apparent danger of bodily injury. Also, self-defense does not require a person to retreat before threatening the use deadly force, so long as the person has the right to be present at the location and is not engaged in criminal activity.
Many experienced lawyers do not know that the State has the burden to proving that the defendant was not acting in self-defense. If there is any reasonable doubt as to whether the person was acting in self-defense, the law requires that that doubt be resolved in his favor.
Experienced criminal defense lawyer Jason Luong has used self-defense to successfully defend many people charged with even the most serious of assault charges, including the following: