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Standing Your Ground in Texas Transcript

Hi. I’m Emily Taylor, Independent Program Attorney for Texas LawShield.

Let’s talk about standing your ground in the state of Texas. Texas law does not make you retreat before using justified deadly force if you’ve satisfied three statutory requirements.

First, you had a legal right to be present at the location deadly force was used. This one’s pretty easy for most of us to satisfy. Getting gas at the gas station, shopping at the grocery store, walking through the employee parking lot to get to your car after work—you had a legal right to be in all of those places.

Second, you’re not committing a criminal act other than a Class C misdemeanor regulating traffic at the time you want to use deadly force. Again, this one should be easy for you. If you’re looking to get your LTC, you’re a law-abiding citizen with no significant criminal history. So long as you’re not committing a crime when you need to use deadly force, you’ve satisfied this element.

Finally, you can’t have provoked the person against whom deadly force was used. This part’s a little more complicated. Provocation comes from an old common law doctrine called “provoking the difficulty.” A person provoked the difficulty when they tricked someone into attacking them so that they would have an opportunity to harm them. However, if you start the altercation or you’re the bad guy in any way, your situation could be left to a jury to decide if you satisfy this element and are allowed to stand your ground.

Getting stand your ground protection means that the law will not require that you retreat before defending yourself, and a prosecutor cannot argue in trial that you should have retreated or escaped or that you had a viable path for retreat or escape.

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