Being convicted of a violent crime has penalties that go beyond what the court imposes. You could be fired from your job, asked to move out of your house or ostracized form your community. Unfortunately, employers and educational institutions will often hesitate to interact with someone who has been labeled a violent criminal.
If you were recently arrested for a violent crime in Harris County, the best defense you can take is hiring an experienced and proven attorney who will do everything in their power to defend you. Violent crimes carry serious consequences so it is best to secure the legal counsel of a skilled criminal defense lawyer immediately. Brian Benken at The Benken Law Firm will do everything possible to protect your future.
Violent Crimes Attorney, Houston, TX
If you were arrested for a violent crime such as manslaughter, murder or capital murder, contact The Benken Law Firm. Brian Benken is a licensed private investigator that will shed light on information in your case that is crucial to winning or having the case dismissed. He’s compassionate with his clients and can make the nightmare of being accused of a violent less frightening.
The Benken Law Firm defends clients of violent crimes in all areas throughout Harris County and surrounding counties such as The Heights, Sunnyside, Braeswood Place, Uptown, Rice Military and many others. To schedule a time to consult with Brian Benken about your case, call (713) 223 - 4051.
How does Texas Define Assault?
Assault is a broadly defined crime under Texas law. In fact, the law is so broad that just about anything can be considered assault, even if you never laid a finger on someone.
Section 22.01 of the Texas Penal Code states that an individual can commit assault in a number of ways that include:
- Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person
- Intentionally or knowingly threatening another with imminent bodily injury
- Intentionally or knowingly causing physical contact with another person when the person committing the assault knows, or should reasonably believe the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
If you tell another person that you plan to beat them up, even if you were joking, that person can claim you tried to assault them because they feared they were in imminent danger.
The penalties for assault can vary based on how the crime was committed and whom it was committed against. For example, physically touching someone, or threatening harm, but no injury was caused, is a class C misdemeanor while assaulting against a family member or public servant is a third-degree felony.
If you caused serious bodily injury or used or exhibited a deadly weapon while committing the offense, your charges will be elevated to aggravated assault. Aggravated assault is charged as a second-degree felony but has the potential to be heightened to a first-degree felony.
Types of Criminal Homicide in Texas
There are four crimes in Texas that are considered criminal homicide and they all involve the death of another person. These crimes are defined under chapter 19 of the Texas Penal Code and they include:
Murder: This crime is considered intentionally or knowingly causing the death of another person. It can be caused by serious bodily injury or while committing a felony crime. If you are found guilty of murder you could face five to 99 years of life in prison.
Capital Murder: This offense involves the intentional killing of another person, but some factors make the crime more severe. These factors include killing more than one person, murdering a police officer or killing some while in jail. You could spend life in prison or face the death penalty if convicted.
Manslaughter: This form of homicide is the result of someone’s recklessness, and it’s a second-degree felony that is charged by two to 20 years in prison.
Criminally Negligent Homicide: Criminally negligent homicide is the act of causing the death of another by criminal negligence. This is similar to manslaughter, but the punishments are not as severe. The crime is punishable as a state jail felony that is punishable by 180 days to 20 years in prison.
Robbery vs. Aggravated Robbery
Robbery is similar to theft except during the process of committing the crime you intentionally, or recklessly cause bodily injury, or you place another person in fear of injury or death.
Sometimes though, there are circumstances that result in a robbery charge being elevated to aggravated robbery. What sets the two apart is that you intentionally took something and:
- Caused serious bodily injury
- Used or displayed a deadly weapon
- Caused bodily injury or placed someone 65 and older or a disabled person in fear.
If you rob a 70-year-old man as he’s walking down the street, and he fell and broke his arm, you would be charged with aggravated robbery. If the man had been in his 30’s, you would have only been charged with robbery.
Kidnapping in Texas
Kidnapping is another violent crime with penalties that could change a person’s life forever. Per §20.03 of The Texas Penal Code, the offense is committed if an individual intentionally or knowingly abducts another person. A kidnapping charge is considered a third-degree felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
A kidnapping charge is considered a third-degree felony in almost every case, unless the individual commits aggravated kidnapping. Under section 20.04, aggravated kidnapping occurs if the offender intentionally or knowingly abducts the victim with the intent to:
- Hold him for ransom or reward;
- Utilize him as a shield or hostage;
- Facilitate the commission of a felony or the flight after the attempt or commission of a felony;
- Inflict bodily injury on him or violate or abuse him sexually;
- Terrorize him or a third person; or
- Interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function.
The state law also clarifies that a person can be charged with aggravated kidnapping if he or she intentionally or knowingly abducts another person and uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the offense. Aggravated kidnapping is classified as a first-degree felony in TX, which is punishable by up to 99 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Additional Resources for Violent Crimes in Harris County, TX
Criminal Homicide | Texas Penal Code– Read the precise legal definition of all of the homicide crimes listed on this page. You can also view penalties for each crime and the full list of factors that can result in a capital murder charge. The statute can be read on the Texas Constitution and Statutes website.
Robbery | Texas Penal Code– Follow this link to the Texas Constitution and Statutes website to read the full text of the statute that governs robbery and aggravated robbery in the state. The statute features the legal definitions and penalties for each crime.
Harris County Violent Crimes Attorney, TX
If you were arrested for a violent crime in Harris County, you will need the legal guidance of a proven and experienced lawyer. Brian Benken is a criminal defense attorney and licensed private investigator that knows what it takes to win a case or have it dismissed. He can fight aggressively to obtain a favorable outcome on your case.
Call The Benken Law Firm today to schedule a free case consultation. Brian Benken represents clients in all communities across Harris County and surrounding counties such as Bellaire, Memorial City, Hunters Creek Village, Montrose, River Oaks and many others.