Texas Mutual Combat Defense

The Texas mutual combat defense is a legal defense that can be used in cases involving physical altercations between two or more individuals. It essentially states that if all parties involved in a fight willingly and knowingly participated in the altercation, they cannot be held criminally liable for any injuries or damages that occurred during the fight.  Consent of all the parties involved in the fight is an essential element to the defense.

For example, if two men get in a heated argument over whether the Cowboys or the Eagles are the best team in the NFC and one says, “You want to take this outside? ” Then other man says, ” Let’s go” and they go outside and start fist fight and the guy who likes the Cowboys decks the Eagles fan. Police see the fight, break it up, and arrest the Cowboy fan. The police always arrest the winner of the fight.

At a trial the criminal lawyer for the defendant can assert the Texas mutual combat defense. The trial judge would give an instruction to the jury that if they believed both parties consented to mutual combat then they should find the defendant Not Guilty. The Texas mutual combat defense doesn’t require both parties to verbally consent. If the defendant had a “reasonable belief” the other person consented, then a jury can find him not guilty. A person can consent by his actions. The jury makes the determination based on the evidence from the trial. If a person is looking for trouble and loses, the law and juries usually don’t have much sympathy for them.

The Texas mutual combat defense law does have its limitations. If the defendant threatened serious bodily injury or inflicted serious bodily injury the jury is instructed, they should not find the victim consented to the mutual combat. For example, if the Dallas Cowboy fan knocked the Eagles fan down and then started kicking him in the head after he couldn’t defend himself and caused serious injuries the Cowboy fan would likely be found guilty. You’re not supposed to kick a man when he’s down.

If the fight is part of an initiation for membership in a criminal street gang the mutual combat defense isn’t allowed. The legislature did not want criminal street gangs to benefit from this defense. Texas and Washington are the only two states that have the mutual combat law.


Collin County Assault Defense

If you are arrested in Collin County for Assault it is important to begin preparing your defense right away. Collin County law enforcement agencies are very aggressive and almost always arrest a person when an assault charge is being investigated. A conviction for assault carries serious consequences that can affect a person for the rest of their life.

Assault charges can involve bar fights, road rage, neighbors, or domestic violence. A defendant is allowed to use physical force to defend themselves or third parties. The key to self defense is building a case to show the actions of the defendant were reasonable and immediately necessary. An experienced criminal lawyer will begin to build this defense by interviewing witnesses, gathering all relevant social media post, and videos. An investigation into the victims past history of any violence is also very useful.

In some cases identity may be an issue. A defendant should never talk to the police without first consulting a criminal lawyer. Police detectives often use the suspect interview just to prove the defendant is the person who was involved in the altercation. The goal of law enforcement is to enhance their case when they interview the suspect. Except in rare circumstances the police are not conducting and objective interview with a defendant. A criminal attorney can advise a defendant when and if they should interview with the police.

Assault charges are serious but they often have good defenses when the facts are analyzed. In some cases criminal attorneys can use the facts they develop to reach conditional dismissal agreements with the District Attorney’s Office. The best thing a defendant can do to prepare for a Collin County assault charge is to meet with an experienced criminal attorney as soon as possible.

How to Prepare a Self Defense Case for a Murder or Assault Charge

When a criminal lawyer is going to present a self defense case in a murder or assault case preparation is essential to a successful defense. That preparation should begin as soon as the criminal attorney is hired. One of the most important parts of preparation is finding out everything you about the victim.

Carefully check for all criminal records on the victim. Once you find these subpoena all police report you find. Any crime of violence you find can be gold but even criminal reports on other types of crimes committed by the defendant can lead to valuable evidence for the defense.

Once you have the police records have an investigator locate all witnesses who can give you information regarding victims’ propensity for violence. You will need these witnesses for trial, and they may lead you to more witnesses.

Find out where the victim went to school and subpoena all discipline and counseling records from the school. This can lead to more witnesses and acts of violence by the victim you can put before a jury.

Review all social media associated with the victim. You will often find damning post, photos and videos that can help prove the victim is a violent person.

Why is this type of information essential to a successful self-defense case in a criminal trial? Texas law allows the defense to present some of this information in a self-defense case. How much comes in and exactly what the witnesses will be allowed to testify to depends on the facts of each case.

Texas Self Defense Laws Will Be The Key To The Defense In The Austin Protester Shooting

The Texas Self Defense laws will be the key to the defense in the recent controversial shooting of Austin protester Garrett Foster by Daniel Perry. The Texas Self Defense laws give criminal attorneys the ability to mount a strong defense in murder and aggravated assault cases under the right circumstances.

On July 25, 2020 Garrett Foster was participating in a BLM protest in downtown Austin. The defendant, Daniel Perry. was working a part time job as an Uber driver and had just dropped off a client and turn on to Congress avenue into the protesters and came to a sudden stop. The protesters surrounded his car and began to beat on the hood. Garrett Foster approached the drivers door armed with an assault rifle and demanded the driver roll down his window. A few seconds later Daniel Perry fired his handgun at Foster and struck him several times. Foster died of his wounds after being taken to the hospital.

How does the Texas Self Defense laws apply to this case? One important fact to determine is why Perry was driving a car toward the protesters. Under Texas Self Defense law a person can not instigate the incident and then claim self defense. In other words you can’t set up self defense by starting the fight. Perry’s lawyers claim they can prove Perry was working as an Uber driver and have records that prove that fact. It will be essential to Perry’s defense that his lawyers can prove he wasn’t trying to provoke a confrontation with the protesters.

According to Texas Self Defense Law the fact finder in the case must review the facts that led up to the shooting from the defendant’s perspective. The ultimate question that a jury or grand jury will answer is “Would a reasonable person in the defendants position belief deadly force was immediately necessary to protect ones life?” This is a decisions that is made in a split second and every fact that led up to the defendant’s decision to pull the trigger is important.

In this case the victim, Garrett Foster, had an assault rifle in his possession. Perry’s attorneys contend that Foster was raising the rifle at Perry which caused him to believe he was about to be killed. Video recordings from various cell phones show parts of what occurred. Numerous witnesses have been interviewed and some verify that Foster had the gun pointed towards Perry. Other witnesses have told police it was Perry’s actions that were threatening and Foster wasn’t pointing his gun towards Perry.

How these witnesses and video evidence are presented will be very important to Perry’s defense. This is a politically charged case and many of the witnesses were friends with Foster. The defense will have to investigate the witnesses background to determine if they have motive to slant their story against the defendant.

Under Texas Self Defense law the defendant’s background can be a vital part of the defense case. Will the fact finder view him as a reasonable person? Was he trained in firearms? Has he had any prior incidents of violence? Does he have a reputation for being a peaceful and law abiding citizen? These are all questions that have to be answered for a successful defense.

In this case Perry is an active duty sergeant with the army. He has served in Afghanistan and is trained in the use of firearms. That kind of background can be used to show Perry is a credible person who is trained to use firearms and has been in dangerous situations before. There are also news reports that Perry was arrested for domestic violence when he was 18 and that could play a factor but the fact that Perry served in the military after the arrest indicates that prior case may not hurt his defense.

This investigation will probably take months before it goes to a Travis county grand jury. It will be interesting to see what facts come to light and how the defense can use these facts in their case.

Can I Use Self Defense to Protect My Property

The issue of using self defense comes up in assault, aggravated assault, and murder cases quite often. Texas, along with all other states, recognizes that a person can use self defense under the right circumstances. People also often ask, “ Can I use self defense to protect my property?” The answer is yes if the facts show self defense was reasonable under the circumstances.

Texas has a very liberal self defense law. The law gives a person strong presumptions if they are defending themselves from an unlawful attack, if they are in their home, vehicle or business. The Texas self defense laws also give Texans strong self defense rights when protecting their property. There are a few basic requirements that need to be met when a person uses force to protect property which are found in sections 9.41, 9.42, and 9.43 of the Texas Penal Code.

The first requirement is that the the person using force must have a lawful possession of the property and that they have a reasonable belief that force immediately necessary to stop a person from entering their land or taking their property. The law also allows a person to chase down a person and use force to get their property back if they have a reasonable belief force is immediately necessary to recover the property. The person using force must also have a reasonable belief that the person who took their property had no legal right to the property.

A person can even use deadly force to defend property if he has a reasonable belief deadly force is immediately necessary to prevent a person from committing arson, burglary, aggravated robbery, theft during night time, or criminal mischief at night time. The law also allows a person to use deadly force if to stop a person from fleeing with their property if they have a reasonable belief the property can not be protected or recovered any other way and any force less than deadly force would expose the owner to substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

So the answer to the question, Can I use self defense to protect my property is yes if your actions are viewed as reasonable. This is a strong self defense law but that doesn’t mean the police won’t charge you with a criminal offense. Especially if a life is taken. If the police don’t make an arrest right away they may send the case to a grand jury as a referral. It is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible so that the facts can be developed to defend you against a criminal charge.

Brass Knuckles Legal In Texas

As of September 1, 2019 the possession of brass knuckles will be legal in Texas. Under current law the possession of brass knuckles in class A misdemeanor punishable up to one year in jail and a fine up to $4,000. The law was changed in regards to knuckles because under the legal definition popular keychains carried by young women for self defense purposes were considered knuckles. The legislature viewed knuckles as primarily a defensive tool and reasoned that it should not be illegal to posses that type of tool.

Knuckles by their design can inflict serious damage to a person. If an individual uses brass knuckles in an assault and the facts show they weren’t using the brass knuckles to defend themselves then they may face serious criminal charges. Brass knuckles are still considered a deadly weapon because of the design and ability to cause lots of physical damage. The use of brass knuckles in an assault could cause law enforcement to charge an individual with Aggravated Assault.

If you find yourself charged with the Aggravated Assault contact a criminal defense attorney who has experience defending assault cases. Always consult with a criminal lawyer before ever speaking with the police. There are legal defenses to Aggravated Assault charges and a criminal lawyer can use those effectively if the facts can be developed and presented at a grand jury hearing or trial.

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