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Possible defense strategies for assault charges

On Behalf of | Mar 6, 2024 | Criminal defense

In Texas, defending against an assault conviction involves understanding the various circumstances under which an individual may justifiably commit an act that would otherwise be considered assault. The definition of assault in Texas is fairly broad. It encompasses everything from intentional threats to knowingly causing harm to another.

Anyone who’s charged with assault should evaluate their options for a defense strategy. Considering the circumstances of the situation can help defendants determine how best to proceed.


One of the most common defenses to an assault charge in Texas is self-defense. In Texas, using force to protect yourself is allowable as long as certain conditions are met, including that the force is proportional to the threat. The key factors in a self-defense claim include the immediacy of the threat and the reasonableness of the belief that force was necessary.

Defense of others

The law also allows for force if the person is defending someone else. The same key factors as self-defense should be met to use this option. This defense acknowledges the right to protect others under threat of assault, provided that the perceived threat and the response are reasonable under the circumstances.

Defense of property

Texas law also permits the use of force in defense of property under certain conditions. An individual may use force to prevent or terminate another’s trespass on or theft of property if they reasonably believe that the force is necessary to prevent the other’s unlawful interference with the property.


In certain situations, consent may serve as a defense to an assault charge, particularly in contexts where physical contact is a known and accepted part of the activity, such as contact sports. If it can be demonstrated that the alleged victim consented to the risk of injury inherent in the activity, this may negate the unlawfulness of the act.

Lack of intent

Since intent is a crucial element of assault under Texas law, proving that the defendant did not intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause bodily injury or threaten another with injury can be a defense. This might apply when the contact was accidental and not the result of reckless or intentional action.

Because of the complexity of these cases, defendants should seek legal assistance. This can help them learn how their defense options may impact their case outcome and how to most effectively pursue a favorable outcome.