Posted on 9/14/20

Civil unrest is happening across the United States, including in Dallas and the surrounding areas. Police are currently investigating the death of a 28 year old man who was killed in an encounter with a motorists. The deceased man died after the armed driver shot him. The issue of who provoked whom is an important one. The defendant will likely argue that he had a right to stand his ground and engage in self-defense under Texas law. Many Texas gun owners are concerned about their rights should they need to use their weapons in a conflict. 

What is Texas’ Stand Your Ground Law?

Texas’ stand your ground law allows people to use deadly force against another person when they believe they are in imminent danger. The stand your ground defense is also known as the Castle Doctrine. Criminal defense lawyers often turn to the stand your ground law when defending clients who have been in a physical conflict. You do not have to retreat or back down if you feel a threat of bodily harm while in your car, home, or place of work.

When Does Stand Your Ground Apply?

Under Texas law, you can only use deadly force to protect yourself in your vehicle, home, or place of work when the following conditions apply:

  • You were lawfully present at that location

  • You were not engaged in any type of illegal activities at the time

  • The injured person attacked you without provocation

Defendants need to prove that they had to use deadly force because of their reasonable fear of death or bodily harm from a violent crime, such as sexual assault, assault, murder, aggravated kidnapping, or aggravated robbery.

The Garret Foster Case

The man who killed Garrett Foster is now facing criminal charges. He was trying to turn his vehicle and allegedly honked at protesters in the crosswalk. Garret Foster was legally carrying an AK-47 rifle with him as he pushed his fiancee in her wheelchair across an Austin intersection during the protests. What happened next is disputed. The defendant alleges that Garret Foster pointed his gun at the motorist, who was legally armed himself. Law enforcement has stated that the motorist shot Foster, then fled the scene to call 911 and tell the police he fired on Foster because he pointed his rifle first. 

The defendant will likely be centering his legal defense around Texas’ Stand Your Ground law. He will need to prove that he reasonably felt in danger for his life when he shot Garret Foster. Defendants can only use the stand your ground defense when they have not provoked the threat from someone else. Whether or not Foster perceived that the motorist’s actions were a threat will be a key part of his defense.

Contact an Experienced Dallas Lawyer

If you have had to use force against someone in self-defense, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Contact Abel Law Firm today to schedule your initial appointment. 

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Phone: 972.584.7837

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