Texas Laws - Penal Code
PENAL CODE
TITLE 2. GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY

TITLE 2. GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY (231)(1-click HTML)

CHAPTER 6. CULPABILITY GENERALLY (232)(1-click HTML)

Sec. 6.01. REQUIREMENT OF VOLUNTARY ACT OR OMISSION. (233)(1-click HTML)

(a) A person commits an offense only if he voluntarily engages in conduct, including an act, an omission, or possession. (234)

(b) Possession is a voluntary act if the possessor knowingly obtains or receives the thing possessed or is aware of his control of the thing for a sufficient time to permit him to terminate his control. (235)

(c) A person who omits to perform an act does not commit an offense unless a law as defined by Section 1.07 provides that the omission is an offense or otherwise provides that he has a duty to perform the act. (236)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 913, ch. 342, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1975; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 3, Sec. 1, eff. Feb. 25, 1993; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (237)

Sec. 6.02. REQUIREMENT OF CULPABILITY. (238)(1-click HTML)

(a) Except as provided in Subsection (b), a person does not commit an offense unless he intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence engages in conduct as the definition of the offense requires. (239)

(b) If the definition of an offense does not prescribe a culpable mental state, a culpable mental state is nevertheless required unless the definition plainly dispenses with any mental element. (240)

(c) If the definition of an offense does not prescribe a culpable mental state, but one is nevertheless required under Subsection (b), intent, knowledge, or recklessness suffices to establish criminal responsibility. (241)

(d) Culpable mental states are classified according to relative degrees, from highest to lowest, as follows: (242)

(1) intentional; (243)

(2) knowing; (244)

(3) reckless; (245)

(4) criminal negligence. (246)

(e) Proof of a higher degree of culpability than that charged constitutes proof of the culpability charged. (247)

(f) An offense defined by municipal ordinance or by order of a county commissioners court may not dispense with the requirement of a culpable mental state if the offense is punishable by a fine exceeding the amount authorized by Section 12.23. (248)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (249)

Amended by: (250)

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1219 (H.B. 970), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005. (251)

Sec. 6.03. DEFINITIONS OF CULPABLE MENTAL STATES. (252)(1-click HTML)

(a) A person acts intentionally, or with intent, with respect to the nature of his conduct or to a result of his conduct when it is his conscious objective or desire to engage in the conduct or cause the result. (253)

(b) A person acts knowingly, or with knowledge, with respect to the nature of his conduct or to circumstances surrounding his conduct when he is aware of the nature of his conduct or that the circumstances exist. A person acts knowingly, or with knowledge, with respect to a result of his conduct when he is aware that his conduct is reasonably certain to cause the result. (254)

(c) A person acts recklessly, or is reckless, with respect to circumstances surrounding his conduct or the result of his conduct when he is aware of but consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that its disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances as viewed from the actor's standpoint. (255)

(d) A person acts with criminal negligence, or is criminally negligent, with respect to circumstances surrounding his conduct or the result of his conduct when he ought to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that the failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances as viewed from the actor's standpoint. (256)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (257)

Sec. 6.04. CAUSATION: CONDUCT AND RESULTS. (258)(1-click HTML)

(a) A person is criminally responsible if the result would not have occurred but for his conduct, operating either alone or concurrently with another cause, unless the concurrent cause was clearly sufficient to produce the result and the conduct of the actor clearly insufficient. (259)

(b) A person is nevertheless criminally responsible for causing a result if the only difference between what actually occurred and what he desired, contemplated, or risked is that: (260)

(1) a different offense was committed; or (261)

(2) a different person or property was injured, harmed, or otherwise affected. (262)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (263)

CHAPTER 7. CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR CONDUCT OF ANOTHER (264)(1-click HTML)

SUBCHAPTER A. COMPLICITY (265)(1-click HTML)
Sec. 7.01. PARTIES TO OFFENSES. (266)(1-click HTML)

(a) A person is criminally responsible as a party to an offense if the offense is committed by his own conduct, by the conduct of another for which he is criminally responsible, or by both. (267)

(b) Each party to an offense may be charged with commission of the offense. (268)

(c) All traditional distinctions between accomplices and principals are abolished by this section, and each party to an offense may be charged and convicted without alleging that he acted as a principal or accomplice. (269)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (270)

Sec. 7.02. CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR CONDUCT OF ANOTHER. (271)(1-click HTML)

(a) A person is criminally responsible for an offense committed by the conduct of another if: (272)

(1) acting with the kind of culpability required for the offense, he causes or aids an innocent or nonresponsible person to engage in conduct prohibited by the definition of the offense; (273)

(2) acting with intent to promote or assist the commission of the offense, he solicits, encourages, directs, aids, or attempts to aid the other person to commit the offense; or (274)

(3) having a legal duty to prevent commission of the offense and acting with intent to promote or assist its commission, he fails to make a reasonable effort to prevent commission of the offense. (275)

(b) If, in the attempt to carry out a conspiracy to commit one felony, another felony is committed by one of the conspirators, all conspirators are guilty of the felony actually committed, though having no intent to commit it, if the offense was committed in furtherance of the unlawful purpose and was one that should have been anticipated as a result of the carrying out of the conspiracy. (276)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (277)

Sec. 7.03. DEFENSES EXCLUDED. (278)(1-click HTML)

In a prosecution in which an actor's criminal responsibility is based on the conduct of another, the actor may be convicted on proof of commission of the offense and that he was a party to its commission, and it is no defense: (279)

(1) that the actor belongs to a class of persons that by definition of the offense is legally incapable of committing the offense in an individual capacity; or (280)

(2) that the person for whose conduct the actor is criminally responsible has been acquitted, has not been prosecuted or convicted, has been convicted of a different offense or of a different type or class of offense, or is immune from prosecution. (281)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (282)

SUBCHAPTER B. CORPORATIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS (283)(1-click HTML)
Sec. 7.21. DEFINITIONS. (284)(1-click HTML)

In this subchapter: (285)

(1) "Agent" means a director, officer, employee, or other person authorized to act in behalf of a corporation or association. (286)

(2) "High managerial agent" means: (287)

(A) a partner in a partnership; (288)

(B) an officer of a corporation or association; (289)

(C) an agent of a corporation or association who has duties of such responsibility that his conduct reasonably may be assumed to represent the policy of the corporation or association. (290)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (291)

Sec. 7.22. CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY OF CORPORATION OR ASSOCIATION. (292)(1-click HTML)

(a) If conduct constituting an offense is performed by an agent acting in behalf of a corporation or association and within the scope of his office or employment, the corporation or association is criminally responsible for an offense defined: (293)

(1) in this code where corporations and associations are made subject thereto; (294)

(2) by law other than this code in which a legislative purpose to impose criminal responsibility on corporations or associations plainly appears; or (295)

(3) by law other than this code for which strict liability is imposed, unless a legislative purpose not to impose criminal responsibility on corporations or associations plainly appears. (296)

(b) A corporation or association is criminally responsible for a felony offense only if its commission was authorized, requested, commanded, performed, or recklessly tolerated by: (297)

(1) a majority of the governing board acting in behalf of the corporation or association; or (298)

(2) a high managerial agent acting in behalf of the corporation or association and within the scope of his office or employment. (299)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 913, ch. 342, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1975; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (300)

Sec. 7.23. CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY OF PERSON FOR CONDUCT IN BEHALF OF CORPORATION OR ASSOCIATION. (301)(1-click HTML)

(a) An individual is criminally responsible for conduct that he performs in the name of or in behalf of a corporation or association to the same extent as if the conduct were performed in his own name or behalf. (302)

(b) An agent having primary responsibility for the discharge of a duty to act imposed by law on a corporation or association is criminally responsible for omission to discharge the duty to the same extent as if the duty were imposed by law directly on him. (303)

(c) If an individual is convicted of conduct constituting an offense performed in the name of or on behalf of a corporation or association, he is subject to the sentence authorized by law for an individual convicted of the offense. (304)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (305)

Sec. 7.24. DEFENSE TO CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY OF CORPORATION OR ASSOCIATION. (306)(1-click HTML)

It is an affirmative defense to prosecution of a corporation or association under Section 7.22(a)(1) or (a)(2) that the high managerial agent having supervisory responsibility over the subject matter of the offense employed due diligence to prevent its commission. (307)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 913, ch. 342, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1975; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (308)

CHAPTER 8. GENERAL DEFENSES TO CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY (309)(1-click HTML)

Sec. 8.01. INSANITY. (310)(1-click HTML)

(a) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution that, at the time of the conduct charged, the actor, as a result of severe mental disease or defect, did not know that his conduct was wrong. (311)

(b) The term "mental disease or defect" does not include an abnormality manifested only by repeated criminal or otherwise antisocial conduct. (312)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 2640, ch. 454, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 29, 1983; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (313)

Sec. 8.02. MISTAKE OF FACT. (314)(1-click HTML)

(a) It is a defense to prosecution that the actor through mistake formed a reasonable belief about a matter of fact if his mistaken belief negated the kind of culpability required for commission of the offense. (315)

(b) Although an actor's mistake of fact may constitute a defense to the offense charged, he may nevertheless be convicted of any lesser included offense of which he would be guilty if the fact were as he believed. (316)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (317)

Sec. 8.03. MISTAKE OF LAW. (318)(1-click HTML)

(a) It is no defense to prosecution that the actor was ignorant of the provisions of any law after the law has taken effect. (319)

(b) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution that the actor reasonably believed the conduct charged did not constitute a crime and that he acted in reasonable reliance upon: (320)

(1) an official statement of the law contained in a written order or grant of permission by an administrative agency charged by law with responsibility for interpreting the law in question; or (321)

(2) a written interpretation of the law contained in an opinion of a court of record or made by a public official charged by law with responsibility for interpreting the law in question. (322)

(c) Although an actor's mistake of law may constitute a defense to the offense charged, he may nevertheless be convicted of a lesser included offense of which he would be guilty if the law were as he believed. (323)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (324)

Sec. 8.04. INTOXICATION. (325)(1-click HTML)

(a) Voluntary intoxication does not constitute a defense to the commission of crime. (326)

(b) Evidence of temporary insanity caused by intoxication may be introduced by the actor in mitigation of the penalty attached to the offense for which he is being tried. (327)

(c) When temporary insanity is relied upon as a defense and the evidence tends to show that such insanity was caused by intoxication, the court shall charge the jury in accordance with the provisions of this section. (328)

(d) For purposes of this section "intoxication" means disturbance of mental or physical capacity resulting from the introduction of any substance into the body. (329)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (330)

Sec. 8.05. DURESS. (331)(1-click HTML)

(a) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution that the actor engaged in the proscribed conduct because he was compelled to do so by threat of imminent death or serious bodily injury to himself or another. (332)

(b) In a prosecution for an offense that does not constitute a felony, it is an affirmative defense to prosecution that the actor engaged in the proscribed conduct because he was compelled to do so by force or threat of force. (333)

(c) Compulsion within the meaning of this section exists only if the force or threat of force would render a person of reasonable firmness incapable of resisting the pressure. (334)

(d) The defense provided by this section is unavailable if the actor intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly placed himself in a situation in which it was probable that he would be subjected to compulsion. (335)

(e) It is no defense that a person acted at the command or persuasion of his spouse, unless he acted under compulsion that would establish a defense under this section. (336)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (337)

Sec. 8.06. ENTRAPMENT. (338)(1-click HTML)

(a) It is a defense to prosecution that the actor engaged in the conduct charged because he was induced to do so by a law enforcement agent using persuasion or other means likely to cause persons to commit the offense. Conduct merely affording a person an opportunity to commit an offense does not constitute entrapment. (339)

(b) In this section "law enforcement agent" includes personnel of the state and local law enforcement agencies as well as of the United States and any person acting in accordance with instructions from such agents. (340)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (341)

Sec. 8.07. AGE AFFECTING CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY. (342)(1-click HTML)

(a) A person may not be prosecuted for or convicted of any offense that the person committed when younger than 15 years of age except: (343)

(1) perjury and aggravated perjury when it appears by proof that the person had sufficient discretion to understand the nature and obligation of an oath; (344)

(2) a violation of a penal statute cognizable under Chapter 729, Transportation Code, except for conduct for which the person convicted may be sentenced to imprisonment or confinement in jail; (345)

(3) a violation of a motor vehicle traffic ordinance of an incorporated city or town in this state; (346)

(4) a misdemeanor punishable by fine only; (347)

(5) a violation of a penal ordinance of a political subdivision; (348)

(6) a violation of a penal statute that is, or is a lesser included offense of, a capital felony, an aggravated controlled substance felony, or a felony of the first degree for which the person is transferred to the court under Section 54.02, Family Code, for prosecution if the person committed the offense when 14 years of age or older; or (349)

(7) a capital felony or an offense under Section 19.02 for which the person is transferred to the court under Section 54.02(j)(2)(A), Family Code. (350)

(b) Unless the juvenile court waives jurisdiction under Section 54.02, Family Code, and certifies the individual for criminal prosecution or the juvenile court has previously waived jurisdiction under that section and certified the individual for criminal prosecution, a person may not be prosecuted for or convicted of any offense committed before reaching 17 years of age except an offense described by Subsections (a)(1)-(5). (351)

(c) No person may, in any case, be punished by death for an offense committed while the person was younger than 18 years. (352)

(d) Notwithstanding Subsection (a), a person may not be prosecuted for or convicted of an offense described by Subsection (a)(4) or (5) that the person committed when younger than 10 years of age. (353)

(e) A person who is at least 10 years of age but younger than 15 years of age is presumed incapable of committing an offense described by Subsection (a)(4) or (5), other than an offense under a juvenile curfew ordinance or order. This presumption may be refuted if the prosecution proves to the court by a preponderance of the evidence that the actor had sufficient capacity to understand that the conduct engaged in was wrong at the time the conduct was engaged in. The prosecution is not required to prove that the actor at the time of engaging in the conduct knew that the act was a criminal offense or knew the legal consequences of the offense. (354)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 2158, ch. 693, Sec. 24, eff. Sept. 1, 1975; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 1040, Sec. 26, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1245, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 169, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 77, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.236, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 822, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1086, Sec. 42, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 68, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 52, eff. Sept. 1, 2003. (355)

Amended by: (356)

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 787 (S.B. 60), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005. (357)

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 949 (H.B. 1575), Sec. 45, eff. September 1, 2005. (358)

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 311 (H.B. 558), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2009. (359)

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1407 (S.B. 393), Sec. 17, eff. September 1, 2013. (360)

Sec. 8.08. CHILD WITH MENTAL ILLNESS, DISABILITY, OR LACK OF CAPACITY. (361)(1-click HTML)

(a) On motion by the state, the defendant, or a person standing in parental relation to the defendant, or on the court's own motion, a court with jurisdiction of an offense described by Section 8.07(a)(4) or (5) shall determine whether probable cause exists to believe that a child, including a child with a mental illness or developmental disability: (362)

(1) lacks the capacity to understand the proceedings in criminal court or to assist in the child's own defense and is unfit to proceed; or (363)

(2) lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the wrongfulness of the child's own conduct or to conform the child's conduct to the requirement of the law. (364)

(b) If the court determines that probable cause exists for a finding under Subsection (a), after providing notice to the state, the court may dismiss the complaint. (365)

(c) A dismissal of a complaint under Subsection (b) may be appealed as provided by Article 44.01, Code of Criminal Procedure. (366)

(d) In this section, "child" has the meaning assigned by Article 45.058(h), Code of Criminal Procedure. (367)

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1407 (S.B. 393), Sec. 18, eff. September 1, 2013. (368)

CHAPTER 9. JUSTIFICATION EXCLUDING CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY (369)(1-click HTML)

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS (370)(1-click HTML)
Sec. 9.01. DEFINITIONS. (371)(1-click HTML)

In this chapter: (372)

(1) "Custody" has the meaning assigned by Section 38.01. (373)

(2) "Escape" has the meaning assigned by Section 38.01. (374)

(3) "Deadly force" means force that is intended or known by the actor to cause, or in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing, death or serious bodily injury. (375)

(4) "Habitation" has the meaning assigned by Section 30.01. (376)

(5) "Vehicle" has the meaning assigned by Section 30.01. (377)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 293, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. (378)

Amended by: (379)

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 378), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007. (380)

Sec. 9.02. JUSTIFICATION AS A DEFENSE. (381)(1-click HTML)

It is a defense to prosecution that the conduct in question is justified under this chapter. (382)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (383)

Sec. 9.03. CONFINEMENT AS JUSTIFIABLE FORCE. (384)(1-click HTML)

Confinement is justified when force is justified by this chapter if the actor takes reasonable measures to terminate the confinement as soon as he knows he safely can unless the person confined has been arrested for an offense. (385)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (386)

Sec. 9.04. THREATS AS JUSTIFIABLE FORCE. (387)(1-click HTML)

The threat of force is justified when the use of force is justified by this chapter. For purposes of this section, a threat to cause death or serious bodily injury by the production of a weapon or otherwise, as long as the actor's purpose is limited to creating an apprehension that he will use deadly force if necessary, does not constitute the use of deadly force. (388)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (389)

Sec. 9.05. RECKLESS INJURY OF INNOCENT THIRD PERSON. (390)(1-click HTML)

Even though an actor is justified under this chapter in threatening or using force or deadly force against another, if in doing so he also recklessly injures or kills an innocent third person, the justification afforded by this chapter is unavailable in a prosecution for the reckless injury or killing of the innocent third person. (391)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (392)

Sec. 9.06. CIVIL REMEDIES UNAFFECTED. (393)(1-click HTML)

The fact that conduct is justified under this chapter does not abolish or impair any remedy for the conduct that is available in a civil suit. (394)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (395)

SUBCHAPTER B. JUSTIFICATION GENERALLY (396)(1-click HTML)
Sec. 9.21. PUBLIC DUTY. (397)(1-click HTML)

(a) Except as qualified by Subsections (b) and (c), conduct is justified if the actor reasonably believes the conduct is required or authorized by law, by the judgment or order of a competent court or other governmental tribunal, or in the execution of legal process. (398)

(b) The other sections of this chapter control when force is used against a person to protect persons (Subchapter C), to protect property (Subchapter D), for law enforcement (Subchapter E), or by virtue of a special relationship (Subchapter F). (399)

(c) The use of deadly force is not justified under this section unless the actor reasonably believes the deadly force is specifically required by statute or unless it occurs in the lawful conduct of war. If deadly force is so justified, there is no duty to retreat before using it. (400)

(d) The justification afforded by this section is available if the actor reasonably believes: (401)

(1) the court or governmental tribunal has jurisdiction or the process is lawful, even though the court or governmental tribunal lacks jurisdiction or the process is unlawful; or (402)

(2) his conduct is required or authorized to assist a public servant in the performance of his official duty, even though the servant exceeds his lawful authority. (403)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (404)

Sec. 9.22. NECESSITY. (405)(1-click HTML)

Conduct is justified if: (406)

(1) the actor reasonably believes the conduct is immediately necessary to avoid imminent harm; (407)

(2) the desirability and urgency of avoiding the harm clearly outweigh, according to ordinary standards of reasonableness, the harm sought to be prevented by the law proscribing the conduct; and (408)

(3) a legislative purpose to exclude the justification claimed for the conduct does not otherwise plainly appear. (409)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (410)

SUBCHAPTER C. PROTECTION OF PERSONS (411)(1-click HTML)
Sec. 9.31. SELF-DEFENSE. (412)(1-click HTML)

(a) Except as provided in Subsection (b), a person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the actor against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful force. The actor's belief that the force was immediately necessary as described by this subsection is presumed to be reasonable if the actor: (413)

(1) knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the force was used: (414)

(A) unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the actor's occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment; (415)

(B) unlawfully and with force removed, or was attempting to remove unlawfully and with force, the actor from the actor's habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment; or (416)

(C) was committing or attempting to commit aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery; (417)

(2) did not provoke the person against whom the force was used; and (418)

(3) was not otherwise engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic at the time the force was used. (419)

(b) The use of force against another is not justified: (420)

(1) in response to verbal provocation alone; (421)

(2) to resist an arrest or search that the actor knows is being made by a peace officer, or by a person acting in a peace officer's presence and at his direction, even though the arrest or search is unlawful, unless the resistance is justified under Subsection (c); (422)

(3) if the actor consented to the exact force used or attempted by the other; (423)

(4) if the actor provoked the other's use or attempted use of unlawful force, unless: (424)

(A) the actor abandons the encounter, or clearly communicates to the other his intent to do so reasonably believing he cannot safely abandon the encounter; and (425)

(B) the other nevertheless continues or attempts to use unlawful force against the actor; or (426)

(5) if the actor sought an explanation from or discussion with the other person concerning the actor's differences with the other person while the actor was: (427)

(A) carrying a weapon in violation of Section 46.02; or (428)

(B) possessing or transporting a weapon in violation of Section 46.05. (429)

(c) The use of force to resist an arrest or search is justified: (430)

(1) if, before the actor offers any resistance, the peace officer (or person acting at his direction) uses or attempts to use greater force than necessary to make the arrest or search; and (431)

(2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect himself against the peace officer's (or other person's) use or attempted use of greater force than necessary. (432)

(d) The use of deadly force is not justified under this subchapter except as provided in Sections 9.32, 9.33, and 9.34. (433)

(e) A person who has a right to be present at the location where the force is used, who has not provoked the person against whom the force is used, and who is not engaged in criminal activity at the time the force is used is not required to retreat before using force as described by this section. (434)

(f) For purposes of Subsection (a), in determining whether an actor described by Subsection (e) reasonably believed that the use of force was necessary, a finder of fact may not consider whether the actor failed to retreat. (435)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 190, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. (436)

Amended by: (437)

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 378), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007. (438)

Sec. 9.32. DEADLY FORCE IN DEFENSE OF PERSON. (439)(1-click HTML)

(a) A person is justified in using deadly force against another: (440)

(1) if the actor would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.31; and (441)

(2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary: (442)

(A) to protect the actor against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful deadly force; or (443)

(B) to prevent the other's imminent commission of aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery. (444)

(b) The actor's belief under Subsection (a)(2) that the deadly force was immediately necessary as described by that subdivision is presumed to be reasonable if the actor: (445)

(1) knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the deadly force was used: (446)

(A) unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the actor's occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment; (447)

(B) unlawfully and with force removed, or was attempting to remove unlawfully and with force, the actor from the actor's habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment; or (448)

(C) was committing or attempting to commit an offense described by Subsection (a)(2)(B); (449)

(2) did not provoke the person against whom the force was used; and (450)

(3) was not otherwise engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic at the time the force was used. (451)

(c) A person who has a right to be present at the location where the deadly force is used, who has not provoked the person against whom the deadly force is used, and who is not engaged in criminal activity at the time the deadly force is used is not required to retreat before using deadly force as described by this section. (452)

(d) For purposes of Subsection (a)(2), in determining whether an actor described by Subsection (c) reasonably believed that the use of deadly force was necessary, a finder of fact may not consider whether the actor failed to retreat. (453)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 5316, ch. 977, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1983; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 235, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. (454)

Amended by: (455)

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 378), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2007. (456)

Sec. 9.33. DEFENSE OF THIRD PERSON. (457)(1-click HTML)

A person is justified in using force or deadly force against another to protect a third person if: (458)

(1) under the circumstances as the actor reasonably believes them to be, the actor would be justified under Section 9.31 or 9.32 in using force or deadly force to protect himself against the unlawful force or unlawful deadly force he reasonably believes to be threatening the third person he seeks to protect; and (459)

(2) the actor reasonably believes that his intervention is immediately necessary to protect the third person. (460)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (461)

Sec. 9.34. PROTECTION OF LIFE OR HEALTH. (462)(1-click HTML)

(a) A person is justified in using force, but not deadly force, against another when and to the degree he reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to prevent the other from committing suicide or inflicting serious bodily injury to himself. (463)

(b) A person is justified in using both force and deadly force against another when and to the degree he reasonably believes the force or deadly force is immediately necessary to preserve the other's life in an emergency. (464)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (465)

SUBCHAPTER D. PROTECTION OF PROPERTY (466)(1-click HTML)
Sec. 9.41. PROTECTION OF ONE'S OWN PROPERTY. (467)(1-click HTML)

(a) A person in lawful possession of land or tangible, movable property is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to prevent or terminate the other's trespass on the land or unlawful interference with the property. (468)

(b) A person unlawfully dispossessed of land or tangible, movable property by another is justified in using force against the other when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to reenter the land or recover the property if the actor uses the force immediately or in fresh pursuit after the dispossession and: (469)

(1) the actor reasonably believes the other had no claim of right when he dispossessed the actor; or (470)

(2) the other accomplished the dispossession by using force, threat, or fraud against the actor. (471)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (472)

Sec. 9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. (473)(1-click HTML)

A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property: (474)

(1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41; and (475)

(2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary: (476)

(A) to prevent the other's imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or (477)

(B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and (478)

(3) he reasonably believes that: (479)

(A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or (480)

(B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury. (481)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (482)

Sec. 9.43. PROTECTION OF THIRD PERSON'S PROPERTY. (483)(1-click HTML)

A person is justified in using force or deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property of a third person if, under the circumstances as he reasonably believes them to be, the actor would be justified under Section 9.41 or 9.42 in using force or deadly force to protect his own land or property and: (484)

(1) the actor reasonably believes the unlawful interference constitutes attempted or consummated theft of or criminal mischief to the tangible, movable property; or (485)

(2) the actor reasonably believes that: (486)

(A) the third person has requested his protection of the land or property; (487)

(B) he has a legal duty to protect the third person's land or property; or (488)

(C) the third person whose land or property he uses force or deadly force to protect is the actor's spouse, parent, or child, resides with the actor, or is under the actor's care. (489)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (490)

Sec. 9.44. USE OF DEVICE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. (491)(1-click HTML)

The justification afforded by Sections 9.41 and 9.43 applies to the use of a device to protect land or tangible, movable property if: (492)

(1) the device is not designed to cause, or known by the actor to create a substantial risk of causing, death or serious bodily injury; and (493)

(2) use of the device is reasonable under all the circumstances as the actor reasonably believes them to be when he installs the device. (494)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 913, ch. 342, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1975. Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (495)

SUBCHAPTER E. LAW ENFORCEMENT (496)(1-click HTML)
Sec. 9.51. ARREST AND SEARCH. (497)(1-click HTML)

(a) A peace officer, or a person acting in a peace officer's presence and at his direction, is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to make or assist in making an arrest or search, or to prevent or assist in preventing escape after arrest, if: (498)

(1) the actor reasonably believes the arrest or search is lawful or, if the arrest or search is made under a warrant, he reasonably believes the warrant is valid; and (499)

(2) before using force, the actor manifests his purpose to arrest or search and identifies himself as a peace officer or as one acting at a peace officer's direction, unless he reasonably believes his purpose and identity are already known by or cannot reasonably be made known to the person to be arrested. (500)

(b) A person other than a peace officer (or one acting at his direction) is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to make or assist in making a lawful arrest, or to prevent or assist in preventing escape after lawful arrest if, before using force, the actor manifests his purpose to and the reason for the arrest or reasonably believes his purpose and the reason are already known by or cannot reasonably be made known to the person to be arrested. (501)

(c) A peace officer is justified in using deadly force against another when and to the degree the peace officer reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary to make an arrest, or to prevent escape after arrest, if the use of force would have been justified under Subsection (a) and: (502)

(1) the actor reasonably believes the conduct for which arrest is authorized included the use or attempted use of deadly force; or (503)

(2) the actor reasonably believes there is a substantial risk that the person to be arrested will cause death or serious bodily injury to the actor or another if the arrest is delayed. (504)

(d) A person other than a peace officer acting in a peace officer's presence and at his direction is justified in using deadly force against another when and to the degree the person reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary to make a lawful arrest, or to prevent escape after a lawful arrest, if the use of force would have been justified under Subsection (b) and: (505)

(1) the actor reasonably believes the felony or offense against the public peace for which arrest is authorized included the use or attempted use of deadly force; or (506)

(2) the actor reasonably believes there is a substantial risk that the person to be arrested will cause death or serious bodily injury to another if the arrest is delayed. (507)

(e) There is no duty to retreat before using deadly force justified by Subsection (c) or (d). (508)

(f) Nothing in this section relating to the actor's manifestation of purpose or identity shall be construed as conflicting with any other law relating to the issuance, service, and execution of an arrest or search warrant either under the laws of this state or the United States. (509)

(g) Deadly force may only be used under the circumstances enumerated in Subsections (c) and (d). (510)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (511)

Sec. 9.52. PREVENTION OF ESCAPE FROM CUSTODY. (512)(1-click HTML)

The use of force to prevent the escape of an arrested person from custody is justifiable when the force could have been employed to effect the arrest under which the person is in custody, except that a guard employed by a correctional facility or a peace officer is justified in using any force, including deadly force, that he reasonably believes to be immediately necessary to prevent the escape of a person from the correctional facility. (513)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (514)

Sec. 9.53. MAINTAINING SECURITY IN CORRECTIONAL FACILITY. (515)(1-click HTML)

An officer or employee of a correctional facility is justified in using force against a person in custody when and to the degree the officer or employee reasonably believes the force is necessary to maintain the security of the correctional facility, the safety or security of other persons in custody or employed by the correctional facility, or his own safety or security. (516)

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 512, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (517)

SUBCHAPTER F. SPECIAL RELATIONSHIPS (518)(1-click HTML)
Sec. 9.61. PARENT-CHILD. (519)(1-click HTML)

(a) The use of force, but not deadly force, against a child younger than 18 years is justified: (520)

(1) if the actor is the child's parent or stepparent or is acting in loco parentis to the child; and (521)

(2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is necessary to discipline the child or to safeguard or promote his welfare. (522)

(b) For purposes of this section, "in loco parentis" includes grandparent and guardian, any person acting by, through, or under the direction of a court with jurisdiction over the child, and anyone who has express or implied consent of the parent or parents. (523)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (524)

Sec. 9.62. EDUCATOR-STUDENT. (525)(1-click HTML)

The use of force, but not deadly force, against a person is justified: (526)

(1) if the actor is entrusted with the care, supervision, or administration of the person for a special purpose; and (527)

(2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is necessary to further the special purpose or to maintain discipline in a group. (528)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (529)

Sec. 9.63. GUARDIAN-INCOMPETENT. (530)(1-click HTML)

The use of force, but not deadly force, against a mental incompetent is justified: (531)

(1) if the actor is the incompetent's guardian or someone similarly responsible for the general care and supervision of the incompetent; and (532)

(2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is necessary: (533)

(A) to safeguard and promote the incompetent's welfare; or (534)

(B) if the incompetent is in an institution for his care and custody, to maintain discipline in the institution. (535)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (536)

  

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