All violent crimes in Texas are taken seriously by the legal system and local law enforcement as a result of the increasing violent crime rate. If you have been arrested, charged, or convicted of a violent crime, you can expect serious consequences, including lengthy punishments. The consequences of a violent crime can result in jail time, hefty fines, the inability to own a firearm, the inability to work within certain sectors, and a permanent criminal record.
If you or someone you love has been charged with a crime of violence, it is imperative you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to support your case and potentially reduce the impact on your criminal record. It is the prosecutor’s job to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of a violent crime.
By hiring a reputable defense attorney, they can create reasonable doubt for the jury by highlighting any evidence that you are not guilty. If there is evidence that you are guilty, your defense attorney will work hard to potentially reduce the charge or even see the case dismissed.
Therefore, it is vital you hire a criminal defense attorney from The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC to support you through every step of your case.
Violent Crimes In Texas
An individual can be found guilty of a violent crime in Houston, TX if they commit a crime that leads to the serious injury of another individual. This law also covers those who are victims of family violence or sexually violent crimes. We have detailed the variations of violent and property crime and the penalties associated with violent crime below.
An individual can be charged with assault if they have knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly caused a bodily injury to another individual, which can include spouses and family members. This type of crime also covers intentionally or knowingly threatening to cause bodily injury to another individual. Finally, causing physical contact with another individual in a manner that they know could be found offensive or provocative is also assault.
A conviction of assault can lead to a wide range of punishments, such as Class A, B, or C misdemeanors or second or third–degree felonies. The degree of punishment is dependent upon factors within the assault such as injuries, previous criminal record, and the inclusion of a weapon.
An individual may be charged with an aggravated assault if they have committed an assault that led to serious bodily injury to another individual or they used a deadly weapon during the assault. Aggravated assault is sometimes referred to as assault with a deadly weapon. This type of conviction results in a first or second–degree felony.
Serious bodily injury is defined as an injury that results in a risk of death, permanent serious disfigurement, or the impaired function of a limb or organ. This type of crime often occurs during property crimes such as breaking and entering.
Unlawful Restraint And Kidnapping
Unlawful restraint is one of the more serious violent crimes in Texas law. An individual may be charged with unlawful restraint when they intentionally or knowingly restrains another individual against their will. Depending upon the circumstances of the crime, including the injuries caused, this conviction can lead to a Class A Misdemeanor, a third-degree felony, or a state jail felony.
Kidnapping is when an individual is abducted and held against their will, which carries similar punishments. In many cases of kidnapping, the offender is charged with a third-degree felony.
In accordance with the Texas Penal Code, an individual can be charged for deadly conduct if they recklessly engage in behavior that could put another individual in immediate harm of serious bodily injury. This crime can also be charged if they knowingly discharge a firearm at or in an individual’s direction. This also includes knowingly discharging a firearm toward a vehicle, building or habitation. The punishment for deadly conduct is a Class A Misdemeanor or a third-degree felony.
Murder is a term known well by the public with the increasing murder rate within the US. Murder is to intentionally or knowingly cause the death of another individual. This crime can include being charged for intending to cause serious bodily harm and not expecting to cause murder. Felony murder is where an individual has caused the death of another during a felony offense or attempted to commit a felony crime. In most cases, this is a first-degree felony.
An individual may be charged for manslaughter if they recklessly caused the death of another person, which is a second-degree felony conviction. This is where a death has occurred but was not caused intentionally or knowingly, for example as a result of reckless driving.
The term criminally negligent homicide is when an individual has caused death through being criminally negligent. In most cases, this offense is a state jail felony but can be increased to a third-degree felony if the use of a deadly weapon occurred during the crime such as gun violence.
Defenses For Violent Crime
There are many defenses that are often used in cases of violent crime in Houston. However, the following defenses will not be applicable for every case. When considering the course of action for your defense case, it is important to discuss your options with your defense attorney to ensure the defense could be applied to your case.
Justification – if the actions taken that resulted in the violent crime, can be justified, this defense could be used in court.
Lack of mental state – if it can be proven that an individual did not knowingly, intentionally or recklessly commit the violent crime, then mental state could be applied as a defense. This is often used when a person does not have the mental capacity to thoroughly understand their actions and the subsequent consequences.
Third-person defense – This defense is when an individual uses force to prevent injury to a third person. When the offender used reasonable force against an individual to defend a third party who was being seriously injured, or they reasonably thought they were going to be seriously injured.
Self-defense – self-defense is one of the most commonly used defenses. This is when the offender used a necessary degree of force to defend themselves from another individual attacking them. If the person felt they were going to be caused serious bodily injury or death, self-defense could be the defending technique used.
Defense Attorney For Houston Violent Crimes
Being arrested for a violent crime can feel incredibly scary and daunting; your future is no longer certain and the legal system can be confusing. In times like this, it is vital to hire an experienced defense attorney that can guide you through the legal process and secure your future.
Contact an attorney from The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC today on 832-843-1691 to discuss your case.