Mutual combat is legal in Texas — something that might come as a surprise to many people.
It’s true though. According to Penal Code 22.06, if two parties agree to a physical fight then they’re allowed to get handsy.
The legality of fighting came up in a recent episode of the “Advice Not Taken” podcast with writer and stand-up comedian Jamie Kilstein.
During an interview with Mike Simpson, a fellow podcast host, medical doctor and TV personality with an extensive military background, the two discussed the mutual combat law in Texas.
Watch the exchange below. Warning there is language some people may find offensive:
@advicenottakenpod Mutual Combat in Texas @thejamiekilstein #texas #mutualcombat #drmikesimpson #jamiekilstein #austin #comedian #casabamelon ♬ original sound - Podcast by Jamie Kilstein
KSAT reached out to the San Antonio Police Department to get more insight on the mutual combat law and a spokesperson for the department said “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,” the spokesperson said.
KSAT asked about the potential that two people consent to a fight and then one person wants to press charges after and the SAPD spokesperson said “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,” the spokesperson said.
Washington is the only other state where mutual combat is legal.
Here is the full text of Texas Penal Code 22.06:
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.