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Violent Crimes Law, Penalties, & Common Defenses in Texas

Challenging a violent crime case in Texas is often extremely difficult, even for an experienced defense lawyer. A jury may assume guilt and lean toward conviction early in the case because of the appalling evidence, graphic crime scene photographs, and traumatic stories from the victims and their families.

Violent crimes carry serious consequences in Texas and it is crucial to hire an experienced attorney to defend these types of cases. While it is very important for your attorney to understand the law in violent crime cases, it is equally important to be confident in investigative techniques, scientific evidence such as DNA, blood and ballistic evidence, crime scene and evidence collection procedures and a wide range of other important topics that can drastically affect the evidence presented to a jury and, ultimately, the outcome of your case.

As a former police investigator and experienced trial prosecutor, Attorney Kenneth Biggs has a strong foundation in which to evaluate, prepare and defend all types of violent crime cases, no matter how complex.

Here are some of the violent crimes cases Mr. Biggs can handle:

Aggravated Assault

An assault may be a misdemeanor or a felony. In Texas, a misdemeanor assault involves either intentionally causing or threatening to cause bodily injury to someone or making physical contact, knowing that the person will consider the interaction offensive.

In contrast, Aggravated Assault is when a person first commits a misdemeanor assault and in doing so causes serious bodily injury or uses or exhibits a deadly weapon. Whether a person is charged or convicted of a misdemeanor assault or aggravated assault sometimes hinges on whether there is bodily injury versus serious bodily injury. These terms have specific legal meaning and it is important to obtain representation by an attorney well versed in these definitions and their application to the facts of your case.

Even a mere threat can be elevated to an aggravated assault if the actor uses or exhibits a deadly weapon (a firearm, or anything that in the manner and means of its use, or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury). Contesting whether a specific object was displayed or intended as a deadly weapon could result in the case being reduced and prosecuted as a misdemeanor.

Most of the time, aggravated assault is a second degree felony. In that case, sentencing can range from two to 20 years in prison. However, occasionally a prosecutor may seek to charge you with a first degree felony depending on the facts of the case and the details of the event. That means the defendant faces up to 99 years or life in prison. If the jury confirms the use of a deadly weapon, you will be required to serve half of your sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

There are several potential defenses to an assault charge such as self-defense, defense of others, defense of property, and mistake of fact. In these difficult cases, every detail matters, and it is essential to call on a lawyer who is experienced in criminal law and dedicated to giving your case the careful attention it deserves.

Attorney Kenneth Biggs has unique insight into how these cases are investigated and prosecuted. His experience as a police investigator and former prosecutor, coupled with a Marine Corps work ethic and attention to detail equips him with the tools and ability to achieve the best possible results.

Robbery

Many people confuse theft with robbery. However, the critical distinction between the two has to do with the victim. In the case of robbery, the theft results in the victim suffering physical harm, receiving a threat, or feeling afraid for his or her safety. Non-violent thefts involve no actual harm or perceived threat of injury.

Unlike theft, even a relatively minor robbery where the items stolen have a low monetary value is usually charged as a felony if the victim was hurt, threatened, or afraid. As a second degree felony, a defendant faces a prison sentence of two to 20 years.

Aggravated Robbery

Aggravated robbery is a robbery that either results in serious bodily injury of the victim or involves injury or threat while displaying a deadly weapon. You can also be charged with aggravated robbery if the victim is over 65 years old or disabled, regardless of serious injury or the use of a deadly weapon.

As a first degree felony, a guilty verdict of aggravated robbery may land a defendant in prison for five to 99 years. If a deadly weapon was involved, the defendant will be required to serve half of his or her sentence, or 30 years—whichever is less—before becoming eligible for parole.

Contact Biggs & Greenslade Today!

Violent crimes are very serious offenses in Texas. A conviction may result in many years in prison. It is essential to contact a qualified criminal defense attorney immediately who can build a compelling case on your behalf. Call the Law Office of Biggs and Greenslade today to schedule a professional legal consultation. Your future may depend on it.

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