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Title: The difference between assault and self-defense

When it comes to violence against another person, the law often considers this to be assault. However, there are instances where the use of force is necessary. Unfortunately, even if a person acts in self-defense, he or she could still face allegations of assault.

To defend against an assault charge, defendants have to understand the concept of assault vs. self-defense.

Assault explained

According to the Texas Penal Code, an assault occurs when a person commits an offense intentionally, recklessly or knowingly. In addition to physically harming another person, assault can also be a threat of violence or imminent harm. Assault can also occur if a person causes physical contact with a second party, aware that the party will perceive it as offensive.

Bodily injury is the foundation of assault. It refers to physical injuries, such as pain or illness to the body. This could include simple injuries, such as bruises or it can include serious injuries such as broken bones, disfigurement and more. The difference in injuries also creates a distinction between simple assault and aggravated assault.

Self-defense explained

The Texas Penal Code explains that a person can use force if deemed reasonable and justifiable. This is a legal strategy that a defendant can use to explain his or her violence. To argue self-defense, the person has to act reasonably. For instance, a person can protect him or herself against a threat of violence. To qualify as reasonable, the violence should be the minimum amount of force to protect the body.

It is not assault if there was no criminal intent.

 

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