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Facing Murder Charges for Self-Defense in Dallas? Here's What You Need to Know…

March 18, 2024 March 18, 2024

Facing murder charges can be a terrifying experience, especially when you believe you acted in self-defense. The confusion and fear are understandable. In Texas, there are laws in place to protect individuals who use reasonable force to defend themselves. However, navigating the legal system after a self-defense incident can be complex.

Here at M|C Criminal Law, we understand the unique challenges faced by those accused of murder after acting in self-defense. We have extensive experience in Dallas defending clients in such situations. This blog post will provide a basic overview of self-defense laws in Texas and what you should know if you're facing murder charges after a self-defense incident. Remember, understanding your rights and having strong legal representation are crucial in these situations.

Understanding Self-Defense in Texas

Texas law allows individuals to use force to protect themselves under certain circumstances. This right to self-defense is outlined in the Texas Penal Code Section 9.31

The key concept here is "reasonable force." You are justified in using force against another person when, and to the degree, you reasonably believe the force is immediately necessary to protect yourself against the other's unlawful force.

There are several important things to consider regarding "reasonable force":

  • The level of force used must be proportional to the threat you perceive.

  • You cannot use deadly force in response to a non-deadly threat.

  • Texas is a "stand your ground" state, meaning you generally have no duty to retreat before using force in self-defense (exceptions may apply, so consulting with our criminal defense attorneys is essential).

It is important to remember that self-defense laws can be complex, and the specifics of your situation will determine what constitutes "reasonable force." This blog post cannot provide legal advice. If you're facing murder charges after acting in self-defense, call our office sooner rather than later so that we can begin working on the specifics or your case.

Facing Murder Charges After Self-Defense

Being charged with murder after acting in self-defense can be incredibly confusing and frightening. You may be unsure of what happened, what evidence the prosecution has, and how to proceed. It's important to understand that prosecutors may view the situation differently and attempt to build a case against you.  It is also a mistake to wait to seek an attorney until after you are formally charged.  You may miss crucial opportunities to present your defense. 

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Prosecutors may scrutinize your actions: They will analyze whether you truly believed you were in danger and if the force used was truly necessary.

  • Evidence is crucial: Any evidence that supports your claim of self-defense, such as witness statements, 911 call recordings, or security footage, can be extremely helpful in your case.

  • Don't speak to the authorities without an attorney: M|C Criminal Law strongly advises against speaking to the police or anyone else about the incident without legal counsel present.

  • Don’t wait until the indictment to consult an attorney: M|C Criminal Law believes that your defense starts immediately.  There are ways an attorney can begin to fight for you that may result in charges never being filed.

The aftermath of a self-defense situation can be overwhelming. M|C Criminal Law understands the complexities involved, the emotional toll such a situation can take, and we are here for you every step of the way.

What M|C Criminal Law Can Do to Help

Facing murder charges after acting in self-defense is a serious situation that requires a skilled and experienced legal team by your side. At M|C Criminal Law, we understand the intricacies of Texas self-defense laws and how to navigate the legal system to protect your rights. Here's how we can help:

  • Gather Evidence: We will work diligently to gather all available evidence that supports your claim of self-defense. This may include witness interviews, securing security footage, and analyzing police reports.

  • Build a Strong Defense: Based on the evidence and the specifics of your case, we will build a comprehensive defense strategy that highlights your actions as justified self-defense.

  • Fight for Your Rights: M|C Criminal Law will aggressively represent you in court, ensuring your voice is heard and your rights are protected throughout the legal process.

  • Navigate the Criminal Process with you: M|C Criminal Law practices exclusively in criminal defense and pride ourselves in our expertise.  The process is confusing and scary.  We walk with you and fight for you at every step. 

Having strong legal representation can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. We understand the complexities of self-defense laws and will work tirelessly to achieve the best possible result for you.

Here are some additional tips to keep in mind:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and take steps to avoid dangerous situations whenever possible. This is the best form of self-defense.

  • If you are involved in a self-defense incident, call 911 immediately and stay at the scene. Cooperate with law enforcement, but avoid making any statements about the incident without first consulting with an attorney.  A polite request to have an attorney present is your right and the best decision you can make.

  • Keep a detailed record of the events surrounding the self-defense incident. This can be helpful for your attorney if you need to defend yourself in court.

  • In addition to the Texas Penal Code Section 9.31, familiarize yourself with the Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground laws in Texas. These laws can further clarify your rights to self-defense in your home or vehicle and when you have no duty to retreat from danger, respectively. However, these are complex legal concepts, and consulting with an attorney for specific guidance is always recommended.


The information provided in this blog post is for general knowledge only and does not constitute legal advice. Every case is unique, and the specific laws applicable to your situation may vary. For legal guidance specific to your situation, consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

If you're facing murder charges after acting in self-defense, you don't have to go through this alone. M|C Criminal Law is here to help, we understand the challenges you face, and we will fight for your rights. Don't hesitate to reach out – we're here to help you navigate this difficult situation.


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