1 a : the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments b : JUDGE c : the administration of law; especially : the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law or equity
Under Texas Penal Code Section 9:
Force: Physical power or coercion exerted against a person or thing.
Deadly force: Force intended or known to be capable of causing serious injury or death.
Reasonable and necessary force: The minimum amount of lawful aggression sufficient for self protection or protection of a third person.
Section 9.31, Self-defense: You can use force when and to the degree you believe it is immediately necessary to protect yourself against the use of unlawful force. Justifies force, not deadly force.
se of force is not justified in many situations.
For verbal provocation
se of force is not justified in response to verbal provocation alone.
If you consent to the exact force used:
If you provoke the use of unlawful force:
To resist arrest: You can only resist unlawful force
Unless: Before you offer any resistance the officer uses greater force than necessary and your resistance is immediately necessary for protection.
In a planned argument: If you “sought an explanation from or a discussion with the other person” concerning differences and illegally carry a handgun.
Section 9.32, Defense of a person: You are justified in using deadly force if:
You can use force: Force is justified under Section 9.31.
You can’t retreat: A reasonable person would not have retreated.
Except: Retreat is not necessary if the other person is using force and is unlawfully entering your habitation
Deadly force is immediately necessary: “When and to the degree” the deadly force is necessary to protect against the use of unlawful deadly force, or prevent the imminent commission of aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery.
Section 9.33, Defense of a third person: Justified if the third person is in danger that would justify self defense and you believe it is immediately necessary to intervene. If they can use force, you can use force. If they can use deadly force, you can use deadly force.
Section 9.41, Protection of your property: Use of force, not deadly force.
Protecting property: You can use force to protect your land or tangible moveable property if immediately necessary to prevent trespass or interference with the property.
Recovering property: You can use force when immediately necessary to reenter the land or recover the property if in hot pursuit and the other person used force, threat, or fraud and has no claim on the property.
Section 9.42, Deadly force to protect property: You can use deadly force if:
Force is justified: You would be justified in using force under Section 9.41.
It is immediately necessary to: Prevent the commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime, or prevent someone from escaping with property after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime.
If property cannot be recovered: The property cannot be protected or recovered any other way, and use of force would cause substantial risk of death or serious injury
Section 9.43, Protection of third person’s property: Force or deadly force is justified as if protecting your own property, and force is necessary to prevent theft or criminal mischief or the third person has requested protection, you have a legal duty to protect the property, or the third person is a relative.
Section 9.05, Reckless injury of an innocent third person: You are not justified in recklessly killing or injuring an innocent third person, even if you are justified in using deadly force during the incident.
Section 9.06, Civil remedies: Justification under Chapter 9 does not affect civil lawsuits.
Self-defense is about protecting persons or property from direct immediate assault by criminals, using the minimum force necessary. What you don’t see in the law is any process including:
the maintenance or administration of what is just
the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims
the assignment of merited rewards or punishments
the administration of law
the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law or equity
Self-defense is not a vigilante activity.