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Course Outline

Penal Code §9.31(a) discusses the use of force for self-defense.

  • Under this section, you are justified in using force against another person if you reasonably believe the force is immediately necessary to protect yourself from another person’s use or attempted use of unlawful force.
  • Additionally, the use of force is presumed to be reasonable if ALL three of these apply.
    1. You believe the other person:
      • Has used force or is attempting to use force to illegally enter your occupied home, vehicle, or place of business or…
      • Is attempting to use force to remove you from your home, vehicle, or place of business or…
      • Is committing or attempting to commit aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery.
    2. You did not provoke the other person.
    3. You were not otherwise engaged in criminal activity.
  • This section relates only to the use of force and does not include deadly force.
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