Under its criminal laws, the state of Texas classifies certain crimes as violent crimes, and provides for the severe punishment of the perpetrators of such crimes. A violent crime charge, even if you are innocent, can potentially affect your life forever, given the penalties that a conviction for a violent crime carries. Therefore, even if the state has not formally charged you, it's essential that you do not delay once you become aware of the allegations against you in obtaining the Dallas criminal defense attorney who can best represent your interests.

Former prosecutors and current Dallas criminal attorneys Keith and Kevin Harris have the experience and toughness that you need to combat a serious criminal charge. Put them on your side to defend you against the potentially grave penalties of a violent crime conviction.

Aggravated Assault and Texas Law

In the state of Texas, the crime of assault occurs when a person knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally causes physical harm to another person, intentionally threatens another person with physical harm, or touches another person in a way that is offensive or provocative. Assault becomes an even more serious crime, or aggravated assault, when the incident causes bodily harm to the victim, or when the perpetrator uses a deadly weapon to commit the assault.

Aggravated assault is usually a second-degree felony under Texas law. However, aggravated assault can also be a first-degree felony if it involves certain factors, such as the use of a deadly weapon against a family member or significant other, an on-duty police or security officer, retaliation against a witness, a drive-by shooting, or the perpetrator acting in the scope of his duties as a public servant.


Kidnapping in the State of Texas

Kidnapping is a broad term that encompasses several different types of crimes under Texas law. For instance, the crime of unlawful restraint occurs when the perpetrator restricts the movement of another person without consent, either by moving that person from place to place, or by confining him or her to a certain location or space. Unlawful restraint is typically a Class A misdemeanor, but the state can charge the crime as a felony if the incident involved a minor child, an on-duty public servant, or reckless endangerment of the victim. Likewise, unlawful restraint can be a lesser crime if, for example, the perpetrator was a relative who attempted to exert only lawful control over the victim, or if the perpetrator was no more than three years older than the teenage victim, and used no force, intimidation, or deception.

The charge of kidnapping under Texas law, however, occurs when the perpetrator abducts another person or takes the victim in a manner to prevent his or her rescue. Kidnapping is usually a third-degree felony but can be a first-degree felony charge when aggravated. The much more serious crime of aggravated kidnapping involves abducting the victim for some significantly dangerous purpose, such as holding the victim for ransom or as a hostage, sexually or physically assaulting the victim, or using a deadly weapon to carry out the kidnapping.

Robbery under Texas Law

Texas law deems robbery to be a violent offense because it involves theft of property by causing physical harm, or threatening to cause physical harm, to the victim. Robbery is always a felony charge. Additionally, if the perpetrator uses a gun, knife, or other type of deadly weapon, the state can charge him or her with aggravated robbery, which carries even more severe penalties, such as a longer period of incarceration and higher fines.