The Best Defenses for an Assault Case in Texas

According to a 2021 report by Statista, Texas witnessed the most assaults in America, with assault cases totaling over 400,000.

Assault cases are also serious offenses, especially those associated with injury. The consequences, if found guilty, can be severe, depending on the nature of the offense and your prior criminal record. This is why you should have the best Texas assault lawyers on your case.

When you use Texas and assault lawyers in the same sentence, you cannot ignore Fulgham Hampton Criminal Defense Attorneys. With over 70 years of experience, the legal experts at Fulgham Hampton Criminal Defense Attorneys have handled 300+ jury trials and have an exceptional track record of case dismissals and not-guilty verdicts.

The best attorney will employ various defense strategies to help improve the outcome of your case. The attorney acts in your best interest to influence the court’s decision in your favor.

In this post, we will discuss some of the common defenses used in assault cases in Texas.

Validity of Defenses in Assault Cases

Defense strategies are essential tools to help protect the rights and interests of defendants. They may not necessarily excuse the crime, depending on the circumstances or facts associated with the case. They can be employed to reduce the extent of the penalty.

Nevertheless, the validity of your chosen defense strategy often depends on several factors. The defendant is required to prove that:

  • No other options or reasonable alternatives were available, considering the circumstances
  • They faced imminent danger, finding themselves in a situation where their life or the lives of others were at immediate risk
  • Depending on the defense strategy, the action taken must be proportionate to the perceived threat
  • The defendant didn’t initiate the confrontation; rather, they found themselves unexpectedly thrust into a volatile situation beyond their control

Common Defenses for Assault Cases

Self Defense

Self-defense is one of the most common strategies against assault cases in Texas. The Texas law provides individuals with the right to protect themselves or their properties when faced with danger.

In an assault case, self-defense justifies the defendant using force when faced with an imminent threat.

Defense of Others

Defense of others is when a defendant claims to have acted in defense of someone they believe was in danger or at risk of harm.

Texas law permits defending someone else when it’s necessary. This is a more complicated strategy than self-defense. It takes an experienced defense attorney to determine the applicability of this defense to a case.

Duress

Duress is a defense strategy used by defendants who claim to have acted out of fear for their safety.

Here, the defendant claims to have been coerced or threatened to engage in the misconduct. And refusal to engage in the misconduct will cause immediate harm to them or someone else they probably care about. A common scenario is an individual at gunpoint, forced to engage in criminal conduct.

Consent

Consent is one of the few defense strategies that is applied to assault cases. This strategy assumes that the alleged victim participated in or agreed to the crime.

It must be proven that the victim possessed the legal capacity to agree to the crime. This means they must be of legal age to provide consent and be in a sound mental state. This also means that they were not in any way coerced or manipulated.

The defendant must also be able to prove that the scope of consent was not exceeded.

Lack of Intent

This defense strategy argues that the defendant did not intend to commit the assault. The defendant can claim that the alleged crime was unintentional and accidental.

In some cases, the defendant can argue that they exercised caution and reasonable care during the act without knowing it would cause harm to others.

This strategy stands a high chance of success if the defendant does not have a history of violent behavior or animosity towards the victim.

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