Examples That Do Not Justify the Use of Force as Self-Defense in Texas


1. Consent to an activity 

You consent to an activity, and it’s agreed upon that people are going to use force upon one another. For example, boxing, football, and soccer, but it has to follow the rules of the game. If you consent to that, you can’t justify getting hit, and then argue self-defense when you hit someone back.

2. Resisting Lawful Arrest 

Even if the arrest turns out to be a mistake, that sounds counterintuitive, but let’s say the police come and arrest John Smith. And it turns out that you’re John Edward Smith, and you’re not the same person. Still, if the police come and arrest you peacefully without using excessive force upon you, you can’t resist arrest, use force, hit the police officer, and justify your actions through self-defense. 

3. Words Alone 

Words alone can never be enough to justify you using physical force upon another person. As a general rule, if you’re out in public, words alone aren’t enough to warrant you using force on the other person. 

4. If you are the one that provokes the situation

You can never justify self-defense when you’re the person that provoked the situation. You can’t create a situation that justifies you using force on someone. For example, let’s say you pick a fight with your arch enemy using words, and the conflict escalates to physical interaction. Well, if you started the situation, you can’t use self-defense later.

As we continue our discussion, we’re going to talk about defensive third parties and the use of deadly force defending yourself, defending yourself at your home, car, or your workplace. Texas has some particular examples of the castle doctrine. We’re going to dive into that in the next couple of series here on In Your Defense. Stay tuned. 

We encourage you to reach out to attorney Steve Toland if you have any questions about defenses of property, defenses of self, or any justification defenses. 

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