Do Sexual Assault Victims Have the Legal Right to Use Deadly Force in Texas?

Sexual assault is a horrific crime against another person. Under Texas law, there are multiple ways in which someone can be found to sexually assault someone else, even aside from rape. These are called nonconsensual sexual acts. In cases like this, it is common to wonder if a victim can legally protect themselves using deadly force. Sexual assault can also be considered to be “aggravated” when an individual causes bodily harm to the victim or if he or she tries to kill the victim or another person during the course of the assault. For instance, if a man rapes a woman without striking her or choking her, he may be charged with sexual assault. However, if that same man beats a woman while he rapes her, he may be charged with aggravated sexual assault, which is considered a first-degree felony and carries a more severe punishment. 

As horrible as sexual assault and rape are, you may be wondering what the victim can do to protect themselves. Is a sexual assault victim legally permitted to fight back? To what extent can they do so?

Fighting Back Against Your Attacker

While it’s perfectly normal to not put up a fight, sometimes sexual assault victims are able to fight back. They search for a way in which they can injure the attacker to prevent them from carrying out the act. Sometimes when a victim tries to fight back, the only option they may have available is to take the attacker’s life. For instance, if a man is attacking a woman and beating her as he tries to rape her, the only way the woman may be able to stop him is with deadly force by using a gun or a knife. So, is using deadly force legal? Is a sexual assault victim legally permitted to cause serious bodily harm or even death in the name of self-defense? The answer is often “yes.” However, it depends upon the facts and circumstances of each individual case. 

When Can You Use Deadly Force?

Under Texas state law, someone can legally use deadly force against another person in order “to prevent the other’s imminent commission of aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery.”

To put it simply, victims of sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault have the right to defend themselves against their attacker. Depending upon the facts and circumstances of the case, they may be legally permitted to use deadly force in order to prevent the crime. Since this is a question of fact, it’s extremely helpful to consult with a qualified Texas personal injury attorney who specializes in civil sexual assault. 

The Attorneys at Rochelle McCullough Help Those in Dallas Who Have Been a Victim of Sexual Assault

When you have been the victim of sexual assault, the mental, emotional, and physical injuries can be extensive, costing you a lot of time and money to try and overcome them. You should not be held responsible for someone else’s actions. You may be entitled to compensation. Be sure to speak with a qualified Texas personal injury attorney as soon as possible. 

The lawyers at Rochelle McCullough help victims of sexual assault to get their lives and their livelihood back on track. We will fight for your rights. To schedule a consultation, contact us today.