When you need to defend yourself against criminal charges that have been brought against you, there are a few defenses that could work in your favor. Understanding which one to use can help you defend yourself adequately, so you can increase your changes at a reduced sentence or be found innocent of the charges.
One of the best defenses in Texas is known as a defense of necessity. This defense relied on the idea that you performed an illegal act due to exceptional circumstances. In this case, you would have had no choice but to violate the law. An example would be a person who distributes drugs because of being blackmailed; if his or her family was in danger, he or she may have felt that the distribution was a lesser evil than letting someone get hurt.
Another defense that can work to your benefit is a defense of automatism. With this defense, the person who performed the illegal act is assumed to have been out of his or her own control. For example, if a person has a sudden psychotic episode and doesn't remember murdering someone, then it's possible to claim this defense against a serious murder charge.
Self defense is a good defense for you in court, especially if you're facing assault charges. Here's a situational example. If you were at a bar and were involved in a bar fight, the police may claim you initiated it and were the person at fault. However, if you can prove that you were attacked and only fought back in defense, then a defense of self defense can help you have the charges dropped.
Source: Listverse, "Top 10 Defenses Against Criminal Charges," David Hopkins, accessed June 11, 2015