Texas Self Defense Laws
Feeling safe is an important part of life, and this would include your ability to defend yourself when threatened. There are many variations of self-defense laws across the country. Some states impose a duty to retreat before using force while others remove this duty by enacting stand your ground laws. There are also certain states that limit the use of force to protect real property, like your home or place of business. While self-defense laws vary by state, generally the force used in self-defense must be proportionate to the harm that is reasonably feared.
Texas has multiple statutes addressing self-defense, including circumstances detailing when deadly force is justified. Texas also permits the use of force (deadly or not) to protect a third person under the same circumstances that he or she would protect himself as long as the intervention is believed to be immediately necessary to protect the third person.
Texas Self Defense Laws Overview
Below you will find key provisions of self-defense laws in Texas.
Texas Penal Code § 9.31: Self Defense
Texas Penal Code § 9.32: Deadly Force in Defense of Person
Texas Penal Code § 9.33: Defense of Third Person
|When the use of force is justified||
If the person who used force knew or had reason to believe that it was being used against one who was entering or attempting to enter his or her home, business or vehicle; removing or attempting to remove the person from his or her home, business or vehicle; OR committing or attempting to commit:
Note: Self-defense is not allowed if the person claiming the defense:
|When the use of force is not justified||
Duty to retreat?
|No. A person who has the right to be present at the location where the force is used is not required to retreat before using force (including deadly force) as long as the person did not provoke the person against whom the force is used nor is the person using force engaged in a criminal activity.|
Texas Penal Code § 9.34: Protection of Life or Health
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Texas Self Defense Laws: Related Resources
You can learn more about laws related to this topic by clicking the links below:
Get Legal Help with Your Self Defense Case in Texas
Violent crimes, including homicide, are usually charged as serious felonies; however, there are times where a person may have acted within his or her rights to self-defense. If you've killed or seriously injured a person who was a threat to you, it may be in your best interest to consult with a local criminal defense attorney in Texas.
Contact a qualified attorney.