Violent Crimes

A criminal conviction always carries a negative stigma. However, violent crimes tend to have much harsher punishments that can also affect your personal life. Many employers, educational institutions or scholarship opportunities will not accept people labeled as a violent criminal.

Texas considers the term “violent crime” to be a blanket description for a variety of offenses. Most of these charges carry heavy penalties such as steep fines and time behind bars. Some violent crimes under Texas law include:

  • Kidnapping;
  • Manslaughter;
  • Domestic Assault;
  • Domestic Battery;
  • Aggravated Robbery;
  • Child Abuse;
  • Sexual Assault;
  • Sexual Battery;
  • Attempted Murder / Homicide.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a violent crime, it’s vital you seek an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Attorney for Violent Crimes in Harris County, Texas

Any violent crime charge must be taken seriously. The potential consequences for a violent crime include expensive fines and even possible prison time. Additionally, people convicted of a violent crime have issues gaining employment, housing or pursuing educational opportunities.

Don’t let one single event uproot your whole life. Contact the criminal defense attorneys at Tyler Flood & Associates, Inc. today for a case evaluation. We will do everything possible to protect your rights in court. Our attorneys have years of experience representing people accused of violent crimes. Start your defense plan today by calling (713) 224-5529.

The attorneys at Tyler Flood & Associates, Inc. represent people with violent crime allegations throughout the Houston area including West University Place, Pasadena, River Oaks, Tomball and Uptown.

Overview of Violent Crimes in Texas

What Does Texas Consider to Be Assault?

The majority of violent crimes committed against another are referred to as assault. Assault is an incredibly broad offense under Texas law, meaning there can be vastly different situations for the same crime. In some cases, the offense involves another person being harmed to the point they are physically injured. However, you can also be charged with assault if you touch someone who thinks the contact was provocative or offensive.

Texas Penal Code § 22.01 states that a person can commit assault by:

  • Causing bodily injury to another person;
  • Threatening another person with imminent bodily injury;
  • Causing physical contact with another person knowing that the contact can be regarded as offensive or provocative.

Assault is typically a class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by:

  • Up to 12 months in jail; and
  • A possible $4,000 fine.

The penalties for the crime can be enhanced depending on who the victim is. If you committed assault against any of the people listed below, then your offense will be reclassified as a third-degree felony.

  • A household member, family member or person whom you had a dating relationship with and have:
    • Been previously convicted for a domestic violence crime; or
    • You intentionally, recklessly or knowingly impeded the normal breathing or circulation of the alleged victim by applying pressure to their throat or neck or blocking the victim’s nose or mouth.
  • A public servant on or off duty;
  • A government contractor while they are performing a service;
  • Emergency service personnel who are on duty; or
  • A security officer while they are on duty.

A third-degree felony is punishable by:

  • Up to 10 years in prison; and
  • A possible fine of up to $4,000

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Aggravated Robbery in Texas

While robbery isn’t considered to be a violent crime, aggravated robbery is. If certain factors are present in the offense, then your crime will be reclassified as an aggravated robbery. Aggravated robbery is when you commit robbery and also:

  • Cause serious bodily injury to another person;
  • Exhibits or uses a deadly weapon during the offense; or
  • Causes bodily injury to another person or threatens them with bodily injury or death and the victim is either:
    • 65 years old or older; or
    • Disabled

Aggravated robbery is a first-degree felony, which is punishable by:

  • Minimum prison term of 5 years;
  • Maximum prison term of up to 99 years or life in prison; and
  • A possible fine of up to $10,000.

Homicide Offenses in Texas

One of the most serious violent criminal offenses is homicide. Killing another person intentionally or on accident can result in lifechanging penalties. Depending on the circumstances, you could face life in prison or even the death penalty.

Texas classifies homicide under four categories; criminally negligent homicide, manslaughter, murder and capital murder. Each of these offenses carry harsh penalties which can alter your life completely. If you are charged with any homicide offense, it’s imperative you gain legal representation.

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Criminally Negligent Homicide

The crime doesn’t have to be intentional for you to be charged with homicide. Criminally negligent homicide is when another person died due to extreme negligence. Negligence is when a reasonable person acts recklessly or doesn’t act at all in a situation where substantial risk of injury or death is prevalent.

For example, if you are a hospice worker and you kept forgetting to give a dementia patient water until they died of dehydration, this would be considered criminally negligent homicide.

Criminally negligent homicide is a state jail felony which is punishable by:

  • Up to 24 months in state jail; and
  • A possible fine of up to $10,000

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Sometimes events can be entirely out of our control. If you accidentally caused another person because of your reckless actions, then you could be charged with manslaughter. Manslaughter can apply to a variety of situations. For instance, if you were inebriated and caused an accident that led to the death of another person, you may face manslaughter charges.

Manslaughter is a second-degree felony and can lead to:

  • Up to 20 years in prison; and
  • A possible fine of up to $10,000

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Murder is classified as one of Texas’s most serious crimes. If you’re convicted, then it’s a probability you will spend your life in prison. Even if you’re released, having a murder conviction on your record will devastate your chances of gaining employment or housing.

You can be charged with murder for:

  • Knowingly or intentionally causing the death of another person;
  • Intending to cause serious bodily injury by committing a dangerous act that causes the death of another person;
  • Causes the death of another while you are committing or attempting to commit a felony other than manslaughter; or
  • Caused the death of another person while you were fleeing or attempting to flee from the authorities.

Murder is a first-degree felony which can result in:

  • Minimum prison term of 5 years;
  • Maximum prison term of up to 99 years or life in prison; and
  • A possible fine of up to $10,000.

You could possibly reduce your charges by raising the “sudden passion” defense during the punishment stage of your trial. Texas law defines “sudden passion” as an intense sudden impulse to harm the other person because of an emotional reason such as jealousy, terror, resentment or anger.

For example, if a person found out their family member was sexually abusing their child secretly, they may commit murder because of a sudden passion to harm the other person.

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Capital Murder

If certain circumstances are present in the crime, your charges may be reclassified to capital murder. A person commits capital murder if they intentionally cause the death of:

  • A police officer or fireman;
  • A person younger than 10 years old;
  • A judge or justice of a court in retaliation for a service they did;
  • A person during the course of committing or attempting to commit
    • Kidnapping;
    • Burglary;
    • Robbery;
    • Arson;
    • Obstruction;
    • Retaliation;
    • Aggravated sexual assault; or
    • A terroristic threat

If you’re incarcerated, you could be charged with capital murder for intentionally killing:

  • An employee of a penal institution while you are incarcerated;
  • Another inmate with the intent to establish, maintain or participate in a combination;
  • Another inmate while you are serving time for a previous homicide conviction;
  • Another inmate while serving a life sentence

You can also be charged with capital murder if you kill another for:

  • The sake of remuneration;
  • During an attempt to escape from a penal institution

Capital murder is a capital felony which can result in life imprisonment without parole or death by lethal injection.

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Additional Resources

Texas Assault Laws – Visit the official website for Texas Legislature to learn more about assaultive offenses. Access the statutes to find more information surrounding assault, aggravated assault, sexual assault and the crime’s enhancements.

Texas Crime Analysis – Visit a document provided by the Texas Department of Safety (DPS) to learn more about their crime analysis program. Access the document to learn the trends of violent crimes in Texas such as rape, aggravated assault, murder or aggravated robbery.

Lawyer for Violent Crimes in Houston, Texas

If you or someone you know has been charged with a violent crime, it’s vital you seek trusted legal representation. The attorneys at Tyler Flood & Associates, Inc. have years of experience representing clients accused of violent crimes. Combat your charges today with the attorneys at Tyler Flood & Associates, Inc..

Don’t spend another moment agonizing over your charges and call us at (713) 224-5529 to schedule a case evaluation. Our attorneys will assess your charges, uncover your legal options and can inform you on what to do next. We accept clients throughout the Harris County area including Tomball, Bellaire, Houston and Pasadena.

This article was last updated on March 7th, 2019.


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Robert Henderson
Robert Henderson
December 22, 2023.
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