Am I entitled to a self-defense plea?

Carroll Troberman, PLLC - self-defense plea?The self-defense plea has been abused historically as an attempt to get out of criminal charges, from assault to murder. However, not just anyone can claim a crime was committed in self-defense. There are certain qualifications to your story that a self defense plea needs to be a viable defense for your case. A good criminal defense attorney will help you to use the best plea angle for your case, but here are some basic characteristics a self-defense plea generally requires.

Immediate or Imminent Threat

If you assault someone, you may be entitled to a self-defense plea if an “immediate threat of death or grave bodily injury” posed by another person led you to assault him/her. In order for a self-defense plea to apply, the injured person must have been a serious threat to your safety–to the point you thought you could have lost your life. Even if the person has threatened to kill you, you are not legally able to use lethal force in self defense unless the person’s actions are a threat to your life in that exact moment. If you assault before your attacker charges at you or once they start running away, your actions may not be considered self defense.

Apparent Danger

In Texas, however, the principle of apparent danger can be applied to self-defense pleas. This principle means that because you saw the likelihood of danger posed by another person, it may not matter if the other person attacked first. It also means that even if the danger was not an actual threat, but you believed your life to be in imminent peril, then you assaulted in self-defense.

Experienced Criminal Attorney

The outcome of your case using a self-defense plea also depends on your attorney. Are they experienced in criminal defense, specifically assault charges? An experienced attorney is aware of the ins and outs of the grey area existing in self-defense pleas and will know if your case applies.

If you or someone you love is facing criminal charges and believes a self-defense plea is relevant, a criminal lawyer could really help to build a solid defense for your case. The attorneys at Carroll Troberman, PLLC are extremely experienced in assault charge defense–both simple assault and aggravated assault. Contact us today for a free consultation. We can help you to determine if a self-defense plea applies to your case.

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