Texas Penal Code 22.02(a)(2) Aggravated Assault With A Deadly Weapon – Self Defense
What is aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Texas?
A defendant commits the offense of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon if the defendant commits assault as defined in penal code section 22.01 and uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault. See TEX. PEN. CODE ANN. § 22.02(a)(2). A defendant commits assault under section 22.01 if the defendant “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another.” Id. § 22.01(a)(1). A firearm is a deadly weapon. See id. § 1.07(a)(17)(A).
How does self-defense apply in an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon case?
Under certain circumstances, self-defense may justify a defendant’s use of deadly force against another. See id. § 9.32(a). “Deadly force” is “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.” Id. § 9.01(3). A defendant is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the defendant reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the defendant against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful force. See id. § 9.31(a). A defendant is justified in using deadly force against another (1) if the defendant would be justified in using force and (2) when and to the degree the defendant reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary to protect the defendant against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful deadly force. See id. § 9.32(a). A “reasonable belief” is a belief that would be held by an ordinary and prudent person in the same circumstances as the defendant. See id. at §
Who has the burden to prove self-defense? The State or the Defendant?
The defendant has an initial burden to produce evidence supporting a justification defense. Braughton v. State, No. PD-0907-17, 2018 WL 6626621, at *12 (Tex. Crim. App. Dec. 19, 2018).
If the defendant produces some evidence, the State has the burden of persuasion to disprove the
defense. Id.; Gaona v. State, 498 S.W.3d 706, 709 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2016, pet. ref’d).