I'd like to think that Texans always -- well, mostly -- take the higher ground when it comes to physical altercations. I for one am not a fighter. However, That doesn't mean that a disagreement or a situation wouldn't warrant a fight -- but I certainly would not seek one out.

But some people want nothing more than to get into some form of fisticuffs anytime they're out in public. This behavior will easily lead to an assault charge and possibly some jail time.

what if I told you that if you have beef with someone and the only resolution is to throw hands, it can be done without any charges being filed? Oh yes, and it's a Texas law. Let's take a look at the facts.

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I Am Not a Fighter

The last time I was in a fight was in junior high. So yeah, I will not seek out a fight unless I absolutely have to. But if the moment were to arise, I would make sure the other party and I would be participating in "mutual combat."

What is mutual combat?

That is a very good question. To put it simply, if you and the person you want to fight both agree to the altercation, no matter the outcome, neither party can file charges nor will either party be arrested or spend any time in jail. However, if a weapon is introduced during this fight or one party is severely injured, or even killed, then the statute is null and void and charges will be filed and an arrest will be made.

Texas is not the only state that allows mutual combat, Washington state, of all places, allows mutual combat as well. It's a lot of legal speak, but here is what it says below in Section 22.06 of the Texas Penal Code:

Sec. 22.06. CONSENT AS DEFENSE TO ASSAULTIVE CONDUCT. (a) The victim's effective consent or the actor's reasonable belief that the victim consented to the actor's conduct is a defense to prosecution under Section 22.01 (Assault), 22.02 (Aggravated Assault), or 22.05 (Deadly Conduct) if:

(1) the conduct did not threaten or inflict serious bodily injury; or

(2) the victim knew the conduct was a risk of:

(A) his occupation;

(B) recognized medical treatment; or

(C) a scientific experiment conducted by recognized methods.

(b) The defense to prosecution provided by Subsection (a) is not available to a defendant who commits an offense described by Subsection (a) as a condition of the defendant's or the victim's initiation or continued membership in a criminal street gang, as defined by Section 71.01.

This was Even Brought Up on TikTok. (Warning: Language is Not Safe for Work)

@advicenottakenpod Mutual Combat in Texas @thejamiekilstein #texas #mutualcombat #drmikesimpson #jamiekilstein #austin #comedian #casabamelon ♬ original sound - Podcast by Jamie Kilstein

San Antonio Police Department Response

To further prove that this is Texas law, KSAT in San Antonio reached out to the San Antonio Police Department and got this response from their spokesman:

...mutual combat is just a fight and during that fight, if someone introduces a weapon that’s when use of force laws enter in. Most of the time it’s an argument that both parties agree to turn physical.

KSAT then followed up with the question of if someone were to file charges after the fact and got this response:

...they are not able to do it.

Homicide will not file a case on mutual combat just because one party wants to — as well as the fact that mutual combat is a Class C Misdemeanor and handled by the municipal court. In which most cases, if one party goes to press charges, the court files on both parties.

In no way are we condoning any kind of violence against an East Texan but if (I always intend my puns) push comes to shove, as long as both of you agree to the fight without the intent of causing major injuries or death, you can legally fight without receiving charges in Texas.

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 EDIT: This was originally published on March 25, 2023.

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