Arguing Self-Defense

Highly recommend! Colin thank you so much for your dedication. Thank you for actually wanting to sincerely help and give us the best outcome we can get. You are by far one of the best. You helped my bf reschedule a court date after it was missed and was able to give him the same plea deal. Thank you again Colin.

Kassandra H

Absolutely wonderful! Collin was fantastic. He really fought for me and I am very happy with the outcome of my case. He really fought for my case to have a positive outcome and was supportive, easy to get ahold of when needed and walked me through everything. I would definitely recommend him to anyone and everyone!!

Stephanie M

I would highly recommend Hoeller McLaughlin. They helped my husband on a probation violation case and did an excellent job. Dustin Trammel was our attorney and he communicated with us and was supportive and helpful throughout the process. Very good legal service and would recommend this firm.

Hillary G

Colin by far has been one of the BEST attorneys in Ft. Worth. His dedication and attentiveness really shows not only in court but with the client and family. Great communication, easy web portal and friendly staff. 5 stars are NOT enough. Thank you Colin

Stephanie Alvarado

I can not say enough about how grateful I am that Dustin Trammel was my attorney! Having no experience with court proceedings, Dustin explained everything and stayed in touch with me the entire time. I couldn’t have asked for a better attorney! Very highly recommend!!

Brenna Mills
March 30, 2020

It is universally accepted that a person may protect themselves and others from harm, even if that means committing a crime against another person who is trying to hurt them. This concept of self defense criminal law is allowed as a defense in every stated as well as by the federal government.


If you are being accused of a violent crime and you were actually just trying to protect yourself or others, contact an attorney who can protect your rights today. Call Hoeller & McLaughlin PLLC at (877) 208-3382.


What Is Self Defense?


Self defense is a defense that you might use against charges that you committed a violent crime against another person. Through this claim, you are saying that you used an appropriate level of counterforce against the violence that another person was using against you.


Although the concept may seem simple, it raises may questions, including:


  • What is “appropriate force”?
  • What goes beyond the sufficient level of counterforce?
  • What if the victim provoked the attack?
  • Should victims have to retreat if possible?
  • What constitutes an actual threat?


These are all questions that must be answered when raising self defense if you have been accused or charged of a violent crime. It can be difficult to gather the evidence necessary to support your case for this type of claim. You should always work with a criminal defense attorney to make sure your voice is heard.


Determining Who Started a Fight


A self defense claim is not generally valid if you started the fight; however, there are exceptions. A person who provokes another may not be able to claim self defense in all situations.


Verbal altercations are not uncommon between a husband and wife. However, if she slaps him and he grabs a knife, she might be able to use self defense if she also grabs a knife to defend herself. In this case, the husband escalated the situation and did not simply use similar counterforce to defend himself.


Is the Response Reasonable?


One question that must be determined in a self defense claim is whether or not the counterforce was “reasonable.” In the example with the husband and wife, it is not likely that a court would find the husband’s use of a knife to be reasonable against a slap. However, the wife grabbing a knife in defense of the husband’s knife is more reasonable.


Is The Threat Imminent?


Self defense is typically only an acceptable claim if there is an imminent threat to you or someone else. A threat may be verbal, but it must create the imminent fear of physical harm. Offensive words without accompanying imminent threat do not justify a person to use force and make a valid claim of self defense.


Additionally, force may not be used against someone else if the threat has ended. For example, if a person assaults a victim and then leaves the scene, there is no longer any imminent threat of violence. The danger has ended. Thus, force against the original assailant would not be justified as self defense.


Deadly Force in Self Defense


The use of deadly force in self defense is often considered in a different category completely. Deadly force is “force likely to kill or seriously injury someone.” Deadly force may only be used by a victim if the aggressor originally used deadly force and the victim reasonably feared for their own life.


A victim may also use deadly force if:


  • If a defendant has a gun or other deadly weapon, or
  • If a defendant was causing or threatening to cause serious injury or death.


Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer for Help


Many self defense claims are used in domestic violence or other violent crimes cases. If you are a victim and someone is accusing you, contact Hoeller & McLaughlin PLLC at (877) 208-3382. We will listen to your story and develop the best defense strategy for you.



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