Self Defense

Self Defense

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b), a person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the actor against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful force. The actor’s belief that the force was immediately necessary, as described by this subsection, is presumed to be reasonable if the actor:

(1) knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the force was used:

  • unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the actor’s occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment;
  • unlawfully and with force removed, or was attempting to remove unlawfully and with force, the actor from the actor’s habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment; or
  • was committing or attempting to commit aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery;

(2) Did not provoke the person against whom the force was used; and

(3) Was not otherwise engaged in criminal activity other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic at the time the force was used.

  • The use of force against another is not justified:
  • In response to verbal provocation alone;

DEADLY FORCE IN DEFENSE OF PERSON

A person is justified in using deadly force against another:

  • If the actor would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.31; and
  • When and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:
    • To protect the actor against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful deadly force or
    • To prevent the other’s imminent commission of aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery.
  • The actor’s belief under subsection (a)(2) that the deadly force was immediately necessary as described by that subdivision is presumed to be reasonable if the actor:
    • knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the deadly force was used:

(A) Unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully and w i with force, the actor’s occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment;

(B) Unlawfully and with force removed, or was attempting to remove unlawfully and with force, the actor from

the actor’s habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment; or

(C) was committing or attempting to commit an offense described by subsection (a)(2)(8);

(2) Did not provoke the person against whom the force was used; and

(3) Was not otherwise engaged in criminal activity other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic at the time the force was used.

(c) A person who has a right to be present at the location where the deadly force is used, who has not provoked the person against whom the deadly force is used and who is not engaged in criminal activity at the time the deadly force is used, it is not required to retreat before using deadly force, as described in this section.

(d) For purposes of subsection (a)(2), in determining whether an actor described by subsection (c) reasonably believed that the use of deadly force was necessary, a finder of fact may not consider whether the actor failed to retreat.

DEFENSE OF A THIRD PERSON.

A person is justified in using force or deadly force against another to protect a third person if:

(1) under the circumstances as the actor reasonably believes them to be, the actor would be justified under Section 9.31

or 9.32 in using force or deadly force to protect himself against the unlawful force or unlawful deadly force he reasonably believes to be threatening the third person he seeks to protect; and

(2) the actor reasonably believes that his intervention is immediately necessary to protect the third person.

PROTECTION OF LIFE OR HEALTH

(a) A person is justified in using force, but not deadly force, against another when and to the degree he reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to prevent the other from committing suicide or inflicting serious bodily injury to himself.

(b) A person is justified in using both force and deadly force against another when and to the degree he reasonably believes the force or deadly force is immediately necessary to preserve the other’s life in an emergency.

PROTECTION OF ONES OWN PROPERTY

(a) A person in lawful possession of or tangible, movable property is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to prevent or terminate the other’s trespass on the land or unlawful interference with the property.

(b) A person unlawfully dispossessed of land or tangible, movable property by another is justified in using force against

the other when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to reenter the land or recover the property if the actor uses the force immediately or in fresh pursuit after the dispossession and:

(1) the actor reasonably believes the other had no claim of right when he dispossessed the actor or

(2) the other accomplished the dispossession by using force, threat, or fraud against the actor.

DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY

A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property:

( 1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41; and

(2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:

(A) to prevent the other’s imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime, or

(B) to prevent the other from fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property and (3) he reasonably believes that:

(A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means or

(B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

PROTECTION OF THIRD PERSON’S PROPERTY

A person is justified in using force or deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property of a third person if, under the circumstances, as he reasonably believes them to be, the actor would be justified under Section 9.41 or 9.42 in using force or deadly force to protect his land or property and:

(1) the actor reasonably believes the unlawful interference constitutes attempted or consummated theft of or criminal mischief to the tangible, movable property or

(2) the actor reasonably believes that:

(A) the third person has requested protection of the land or property;

(B) he has a legal duty to protect the third person’s land or property or

(C) the third person whose land or property he uses force or deadly force to protect is the actor’s spouse, parent or child resides with the actor or is under the actor’s care.

USE OF DEVICE TO PROTECT PROPERTY

The justification afforded by Sections 9.41 and 9.43 applies to the use of a device to protect land or tangible, movable property if:

(1) the device is not designed to cause, or known by the actor to create a substantial risk of causing, death or serious bodily injury; and

(2) use of the device is reasonable under all the circumstances as the actor reasonably believes them to be when he installs the device.

FORCE USED FOR ARREST AND SEARCH

(a) A peace officer, or a person acting in a peace officer’s presence and at his direction, is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to make or assist in making an arrest or search, or to prevent or assist in preventing escape after arrest, if:

(1) the actor reasonably believes the arrest or search is lawful or, if the arrest or search is made under a warrant, he reasonably believes the warrant is valid; and 

(2) before using force, the actor manifests his purpose to arrest or search and identifies himself as a peace officer or as one acting at a peace officer’s direction unless he reasonably believes his purpose and identity are already known by or cannot reasonably be made known to the person to be arrested.

(b) A person other than a peace officer (or one acting at his direction) is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to make or assist in making a lawful arrest or to prevent or assist in avoiding escape after lawful arrest if, before using force, the actor manifests his purpose to and the reason for the arrest or reasonably believes his purpose and the reason are already known by or cannot reasonably be made known to the person to be arrested.

(c) A peace officer is justified in using deadly force against another when and to the degree the peace officer reasonably believes that deadly force is immediately necessary to make an arrest or to prevent escape after arrest if the use of force would have been justified under subsection (a) and:

(1) the actor reasonably believes the conduct for which arrest is authorized included the use or attempted use of deadly force; or

(2) the actor reasonably believes there is a substantial risk that the person to be arrested will cause death or serious bodily injury to the actor or another if the arrest is delayed.

(d) A person other than a peace officer acting in a peace officer’s presence and at his direction is justified in using deadly force against another when and to the degree the person reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary to make a lawful arrest or to prevent escape after a lawful arrest if the use of force would have been justified under subsection (b) and:

(1) the actor reasonably believes the felony or offense against the public peace for which arrest is authorized includes the use or attempted use of deadly force or

(2) the actor reasonably believes there is a substantial risk that the person to be arrested will cause death or serious bodily injury to another if the arrest is delayed.

(e) There is no duty to retreat before using deadly force justified by subsection (c) or (d).

(f) Nothing in this section relating to the actor’s manifestation of purpose or identity shall be construed as conflicting with any other law relating to the issuance, service, and execution of an arrest or search warrant under the laws of this state or the United States.

(g) Deadly force may only be used under the circumstances enumerated in Subsections (c) and (d).

PREVENTION OF ESCAPE FROM CUSTODY.

The use of force to prevent the escape of an arrested person from custody is justifiable when the force could have been employed to effect the arrest under which the person is in custody, except that a guard employed by a correctional facility or a peace officer is justified in using any force, including deadly force, that he reasonably believes to be immediately necessary to prevent the escape of a person from the correctional facility.