CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY AND DEFENSE: Part 1

In Texas, there are general principles of criminal responsibility and general defense for it.

  • INSANITY
  • MISTAKE OF FACT
  • MISTAKE OF LAW
  • INTOXICATION
  • DURESS
  • ENTRAPMENT
  • AGE AFFECTING CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY
  • CHILD WITH MENTAL ILLNESS, DISABILITY, OR LACK OF CAPACITY

INSANITY.  

(a)  It is an affirmative defense to prosecution that, at the time of the conduct charged, the actor, as a result of severe mental disease or defect, did not know that his conduct was wrong.

(b)  The term “mental disease or defect” does not include an abnormality manifested only by repeated criminal or otherwise antisocial conduct.

MISTAKE OF FACT.  

(a)  It is a defense to prosecution that the actor through mistake formed a reasonable belief about a matter of fact if his mistaken belief negated the kind of culpability required for commission of the offense.

(b)  Although an actor’s mistake of fact may constitute a defense to the offense charged, he may nevertheless be convicted of any lesser included offense of which he would be guilty if the fact were as he believed.

MISTAKE OF LAW.  

(a)  It is no defense to prosecution that the actor was ignorant of the provisions of any law after the law has taken effect.

(b)  It is an affirmative defense to prosecution that the actor reasonably believed the conduct charged did not constitute a crime and that he acted in reasonable reliance upon:

(1)  an official statement of the law contained in a written order or grant of permission by an administrative agency charged by law with responsibility for interpreting the law in question;  or

(2)  a written interpretation of the law contained in an opinion of a court of record or made by a public official charged by law with responsibility for interpreting the law in question.

(c)  Although an actor’s mistake of law may constitute a defense to the offense charged, he may nevertheless be convicted of a lesser included offense of which he would be guilty if the law were as he believed.

INTOXICATION.  

(a)  Voluntary intoxication does not constitute a defense to the commission of crime.

(b)  Evidence of temporary insanity caused by intoxication may be introduced by the actor in mitigation of the penalty attached to the offense for which he is being tried.

(c)  When temporary insanity is relied upon as a defense and the evidence tends to show that such insanity was caused by intoxication, the court shall charge the jury in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(d)  For purposes of this section “intoxication” means disturbance of mental or physical capacity resulting from the introduction of any substance into the body.

As always, the best option is to contact Atlas Bail and go over available info and all the details. With our experience, knowledge and great customer service, we can have your loved ones back to you as soon as the law will allow us. From the moment you show up in our office we understand your need for guidance and help. The fact that a person is in jail is only the beginning of the process. Selecting AAA Atlas Bail is an important first step. With years of experience in our office, we most definitely will have the right answer for you.

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