Violent crimes are serious offenses involving a direct confrontation between the alleged offender and the victim. Examples include aggravated assault, robbery, sexual assault, and murder. Because of the nature of these crimes, they are charged as felonies carrying substantial punishments, including decades of imprisonment. A lot is at stake in these matters, and anyone accused would benefit from hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer. The attorney can evaluate the case and determine what defenses can be raised to challenge the accusations.
What Constitutes a Violent Crime?
Generally, violent crimes contain an element of confrontation between the alleged offender and victim. Such confrontation can include using or threatening force or causing fear of harm in the targeted person. Violent crimes are distinct from property crimes like burglary, theft, or arson in that the latter are committed against objects, not people.
Below is a list of violent crimes in Texas:
- Aggravated assault: This involves attacking another person and using or displaying a weapon. It may also consist of physical contact with another individual resulting in severe bodily injury to that person, such as broken bones, internal injuries, or loss of consciousness.
- Robbery: The crime includes taking or attempting to take property under another person’s control or care using force or violence or causing the other individual to fear harm. Additionally, the offense is committed when someone intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury while taking another person’s property.
- Sexual assault: Also called rape, the offense occurs when a person penetrates, even slightly, the anus or vagina of someone else with a body part or object. Additionally, the alleged offender might penetrate an individual’s mouth with the sexual organ of another person. The alleged victim must not have given their consent or been incapable of consenting due to age or mental or physical incapacity.
- Murder: The offense involves the unlawful killing of another person. It may also include intending to cause bodily harm to someone and engaging in a dangerous act that results in death. Additionally, murder can occur when someone, while committing, furthering, or fleeing from a felony, does something that causes another person’s death.
How Common Are Violent Crimes?
Violent crimes occur quite often. According to the Crime in Texas Report, 2021 saw a total of 129,931 violent crimes.
The following is a breakdown of the instances of these offenses:
- Aggravated assault: 90,876
- Robbery: 22,320
- Rape: 14,671
- Murder: 2,064
Are Violent Crimes Felonies?
Typically, violent crimes are felonies. For example, murder is a first-degree felony. Aggravated assault, sexual assault, and robbery are all second-degree felonies. However, these offenses can be charged as first-degree felonies when certain factors are present.
What Are the Penalties for Violent Crimes?
For the most part, the potential punishments for a violent crime depend on the degree of charge. For instance, a first-degree felony in Texas is penalized by 5 to 99 years of imprisonment. A second-degree felony is punishable by 2 to 20 years. Both degrees carry a fine of up to $10,000.
The specific penalties levied in a particular case depend on the facts. A judge will look at factors such as the defendant’s criminal history and whether a weapon was present to determine the sentence. After considering relevant facts, they will impose a prison term and fine based on the allowable range of punishments.
Can You Fight a Violent Crime Charge?
Violent crimes are the most severe offenses someone can be accused of. Still, that doesn’t mean they can’t be fought or that these cases are unwinnable.
The prosecutor must prove every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. The defendant can counter their arguments by presenting their own evidence that shows weaknesses in proof. The defenses raised will be based on the facts of the case.
Contact Our Team Today
You might be feeling worried or scared about being charged with a violent crime. But you may have legal options available to pursue a favorable outcome. A criminal defense attorney can evaluate your case and discuss avenues to explore to mitigate possible punishments.
At Deandra Grant Law, we help our clients see paths forward and pursue just outcomes in even the toughest criminal matters. Let us review your Dallas case by calling (214) 225-7117 or contacting us online.