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In Texas, self-defense is an "affirmartive defense. That means that in order to be found not guilty, the defendant bears the burden of proving to the jury that the "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.” TEX. PENAL CODE ANN. § 9.31(a). 

In ESCOBEDO v. STATE, No. 04-18-00712-CR, 2019 WL 2518165, at *2 (Tex. App. June 19, 2019), Escobedo appealed the jury's rejection of her self-defense claim. Escobedo asserts the evidence established the alleged victim had her trapped between the car door and the frame and attempted to drive away. Accordingly, Escobedo contends the evidence establishes she made “a proper and correct split second decision to use minimal force against Ms. Sciaraffa” in order to “free herself.”

[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.” TEX. PENAL CODE ANN. § 9.31(a). In this case, the jury was instructed that the State was required to prove Escobedo's conduct was not justified by self-defense by proving beyond a reasonable doubt that: (1) Escobedo did not believe her conduct was immediately necessary to protect herself against Sciaraffa's use or attempted use of unlawful force; or (2) Escobedo's belief was not reasonable. The appeal court held that after reviewing all of the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, the jury rationally could have rejected Escobedo's self-defense claim.
 
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