A conviction for a crime of violence in Dallas can lead to very serious and possibly lengthy penalties and repercussions. Possible consequences to a violent crime conviction can include a possibly permanent criminal record, jail or prison time, steep fines, an inability to own or possess a firearm, ineligibility to pursue certain occupations or professions, and/ or ineligibility to receive certain types of government aid or assistance.
Criminal charges for violent crimes do not mean you will necessarily be convicted of an offense. The prosecution is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt you committed every element to your alleged violent crime offense.
This is a very difficult burden of proof to meet, and even the slightest doubt cast in the mind of the judge or jury could result in a reduction or complete dismissal of your criminal charges. Therefore, it is important to hire an experienced Dallas criminal defense lawyer who will begin crafting your best legal strategy to possibly help you avoid a conviction for your alleged violent offense.
Dallas Violent Crimes Lawyer
If you have been charged with a violent crime in Dallas, or any of the surrounding areas in Texas, including Garland, Irving, Grand Prairie, Denton, Plano, McKinney, Fort Worth, Decatur, Terrell, Weatherford, Sherman, Rockwall, Burleson, Waxahachie, Arlington, Mesquite, Carrolton, Richardson, Lewisville or Frisco, contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy.
Attorney Richard McConathy is knowledgeable in all areas of Dallas violent crime laws and will make every to have your charges reduced or even dismissed. Call Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy for a free consultation at (972) 233-5700 about alleged violent crime.
Dallas Violent Crimes Information Center
- Crimes of Violence in Dallas
- Definition of Mental States in Texas
- Dallas Violent Crime Penalties
- Defenses to Dallas Violent Crimes
- Dallas Resources for Crimes of Violence
Crimes of Violence in Dallas
An individual can be charged with a violent crimes offense in Dallas if they commit any of the following offenses:
According to Tex. Penal Code § 22.01, an individual can be charged with assault if they:
- Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly cause bodily injury to another person;
- Intentionally or knowingly threaten to cause bodily injury to another person; or
- Knowingly or intentionally physically contact another person in a manner they know or have reason to believe the person will perceive as offensive or provocative.
A conviction for this offense can result in a Class C, B or A misdemeanor, or felony of the third degree or second degree.
As defined in Tex. Penal Code § 22.02, an individual can be charged with aggravated assault if they commit an assault offense and cause serious bodily injury to another person or commit the assault with a deadly weapon. Aggravated assault is also commonly referred to as assault with a deadly weapon. A conviction for aggravated assault is generally punishable as a felony of the second or first degree.
An individual can be charged with unlawful restraint under Tex. Penal Code § 20.02 if they intentionally or knowingly restrain another person against their will. A conviction for this offense can result in a Class A misdemeanor, state jail felony or felony of the third degree.
An individual can be charged with kidnapping under section 20.03 of the Texas Penal Code if they intentionally and knowingly abduct another person against their will. A conviction for this offense can result in a felony of the third degree.
Charges of disorderly conduct may be filed if a person is accused of disturbing the peace, including abusive language, fighting or firing a gun.
Deadly conduct involves behavior that puts another in immignent danger of death.
According to section 19.02 of the Texas Penal Code § 19.02, an individual can be charged with murder if they:
- Intentionally or knowingly cause the death of another person;
- Cause the death of another person, but only intended to cause that person serious bodily injury; or
- Cause the death of another person during the commission of a felony offense or attempt to commit a felony offense. This offense is also called felony-murder.
A conviction for this offense is punishable as a felony of the second or first degree.
As defined in section 19.04 of the Texas Penal Code, an individual can be charged with manslaughter if they recklessly cause the death of another person. A conviction for this offense is punishable as a felony of the second degree.
Definition of Mental States in Texas
For many violent crimes in Dallas, an individual is required to have a certain mental state, or act in an intention, reckless or knowing manner. Mental states are generally subjective, or unique to each person, so it can be difficult for the prosecution to prove a certain mental state.
As defined in section 6.03 of the Texas Penal Code, the most common violent crime mental states are listed below.
- Intentionally – An individual acts intentionally when they commit a crime and it is in their conscious objective or desire to engage in the conduct or cause the result of the conduct.
- Knowingly – An individual acts knowingly, or with knowledge, when they commit a crime if they are aware their conduct is reasonably certain to cause the result of the conduct.
- Recklessly – An individual acts recklessly when they commit a crime if they are aware of their conduct or the result of the conduct but consciously disregards the possibility the result will occur.
Dallas Violent Crime Penalties
The penalties for violent crimes in Texas can vary depending on the severity of the offense, whether a deadly weapon was used in the commission of the offense, whether death or bodily injury resulted from the offense, whether the alleged offender has any previous criminal conviction, and whether the victim was an elderly or disabled individual. The general penalties for most violent crimes are as listed below.
An individual who has been charged with a Class C misdemeanor assault offense can face a fine up to $500.
An individual who has been charged with a Class B misdemeanor assault can receive a jail sentence up to 180 days and/or a fine not more than $2,000.
An individual who has been charged with a Class A misdemeanor assault or unlawful restraint can face a jail sentence up to one year and/or a fine up to $4,000.
An individual who has been charged with state jail felony unlawful restraint offense can face a jail sentence from 180 days to two years and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
An individual who is convicted of a felony of the third degree assault, kidnapping or unlawful restraint offense can receive a prison sentence from two to ten years and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
An individual who has been convicted of a felony of the second degree assault, manslaughter, murder or aggravated assault offense can receive a prison sentence from two to 20 years and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
An individual who has been convicted of a felony of the first degree aggravated assault or murder offense can receive a prison sentence from five years to 99 years or life and/or a fine up to $10,000.
Defenses to Dallas Violent Crimes
In certain situations, you may have a defense to your alleged offense. However, these defenses are not applicable to every case, so it is important to first consult with your criminal defense lawyer to determine what your best legal strategy may be. According to Chapter 9 of the Texas Penal Code, the following defenses may be available to criminal defendants in Texas:
- Defense of Others – This defense may be available in a situation where the alleged offender used reasonable force to defend another person from the attack of a third party, or where they thought another person was going to be seriously harmed from a third party.
- Defense of Property – An alleged offender may be able to claim this defense if they used reasonable force against a person to prevent them from entering their home, vehicle or residence, or to prevent another person from damaging their property.
- Justification – A justification defense may apply in criminal situations where the alleged offender committed an act that would normally be a criminal offense, but did so in order to prevent public or private injury in an emergency situation.
- Lack of Mental State – An individual may not have had the required mental state, or did not act knowingly, recklessly or intentionally, when allegedly committing the violent crime.
- Self Defense – Self defense may be an applicable defense in situations where the alleged offender used necessary force to protect himself from another person’s attack or if they thought another person was going to cause them serious bodily injury or death.
Dallas Resources for Crimes of Violence
Texas Penal Code – Assaultive Offenses – Many violent crimes in Texas are defined in Chapter 22 of the Texas Penal Code, including assault and rape. This Chapter, also known as Assaultive Offenses, defines the elements to each offense and the penalties an individual could potentially receive if convicted of the offense.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice – This link is to the Texas Victim Services Division. This division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice provides service to crime victims and their families. This link is to services provided by the Victim Impact Unit, which include the Texas Crime Victim Clearinghouse (TxCVC), Victim Impact Statement, Crime Victim Assistance Standards and an online resources directory for victims.
The National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC) – This national non-profit organization provides assistance to individuals who are victims of violent crimes, in addition to individuals, families and communities that have been harmed by crimes of violence.
Find a Dallas Violent Crime Attorney | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
Contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today for a consultation about your violent crime allegations throughout Dallas County in Texas. Richard McConathy is an experienced Dallas criminal defense attorney who will make every to help you avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions to your alleged offense.
Contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy at (972) 233-5700 for a free, confidential consultation about your crime of violence throughout Dallas County in Texas and the surrounding counties of Denton County, Collin County, Tarrant County,Wise County, Kaufman County, Parker County, Grayson County, Rockwall County, Johnson County and Ellis County.