Being charged with a crime is a serious issue. Particularly when such criminal accusation is a felony, individuals charged should take the accusations seriously. In Texas, potential consequences of a felonious conviction range from substantial fines, lengthy jail time, probation and serious reputation damage. These potential life-altering consequences are exactly why it is important to be aware of one’s rights when entering into criminal litigation, specifically domestic violence accusations.

A woman from Burnet County, Texas was recently charged with murder after she contacted 9-1-1 to report the shooting of her husband. According to sources, she later admitted to authorities that she shot him. There is likely much more to the story, however.

Even when an individual participated in what some might call criminal behavior this does not mean the individual is actually guilty of committing a crime. In certain scenarios, particularly when one is acting in self-defense, one is permitted to use force to protect one’s self. According to the woman’s attorney, there is evidence of a struggle on the 9-1-1 tapes. Further, the woman states that her husband came at her with a gun, and she shot him to protect herself.

If this is true, then the woman likely has a strong defense to her crime. In Texas, if one is in immediate apprehension of bodily harm, that person has the right to protect herself by using force. Instances of domestic violence are troubling and difficult encounters to overcome. If an individual uses force to protect herself from potential harm imposed by another, she has the right to be free from conviction if such force was reasonable.

Source: The River Cities Daily Tribune, “Attorney in Bertram murder case: Wife shot husband in self-defense,” Connie Swinney, July 15, 2013