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Texas Criminal Defenses

Defenses Against Criminal Charges in Texas

There are various criminal defenses set out by Texas statute. The most common Texas criminal defenses are:

  • Insanity
  • Mistake of fact
  • Mistake of law
  • Duress
  • Entrapment
  • Justification
  • Necessity
  • Self-defense
  • Defense of a third person
  • Defense of property

There are Texas criminal defenses other than those set out above. Though technically not a statutory defense, most cases are won by the defense and lost by the prosecutor because the Texas prosecutor could not prove an essential element of the crime. Most Texas crimes will require that the prosecutor prove that the defendant acted with intent or knowingly. This is often difficult for the Texas prosecutor to prove and many acts could be committed accidentally; therefore, it is a factual defense to some crimes that the act alleged was an accident.

The Importance of Securing Legal Counsel

Texas defendants should not assume that they know Texas criminal law or understand a potential defense. Most Texas criminal defenses such as mistake of law or mistake of fact are very difficult to assert and are very seldom successful. The problem with most of the Texas statutory defenses is that they can only be asserted if you admit the alleged act that underlies the crime. Alternatively, the statutory defenses can occasionally be asserted in a trial if there are sufficient facts to believe that the defense applies. However, a Texas criminal defendant should never talk to a police investigator because he or she believes that he or she has a defense to an alleged crime. By asserting the defense you are essentially admitting you committed the act.

By asserting a defense to an investigator you have essentially admitted the majority of the crime, now you will need to prove the defense and hope that it applies. It is best to tell the police that you want to talk to an attorney first and then you will talk to them. You have a right to consult with a lawyer if the proceeding is at a critical stage. If you are denied the right to consult with a lawyer you need to remain silent.

Before talking to the police or an investigator meet with a Texas criminal defense lawyer. Your discussions with the lawyer are privileged, and you will know how to proceed and what your options are to limit the harm to you and your family. A Texas criminal defense lawyer will be able to determine whether you may have a defense and whether that defense should be disclosed to the police or the prosecutor.

Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation

To learn more about possible defenses to criminal charges in Texas, please contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.