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A criminal accusation involving any type of violence will typically be the subject of aggressive prosecution, and any penalties involved are likely to be harsh. Violent crimes under state law are mostly found in Texas Penal Code, Title 5, “Offenses Against the Person.”
Crimes of violence may include assault, kidnapping, threats and other offenses. Many of these offenses contain similar elements. For instance, the differences between assault and aggravated assault or unlawful restraint and kidnapping can be slight. The difference in penalties between these offenses, however, can be significant.
The accusation of a violent crime could change your life. It is important to fight to protect your freedom. A San Antonio violent crime attorney can help you work to get the best possible results in your case and to get your life back on track.
At Goldstein, Goldstein & Hilley, our experienced attorneys will carefully evaluate all evidence. We will find any way to challenge the charges and seek to have them reduced or dismissed. Our San Antonio-based firm has represented clients on serious criminal matters for more than four decades, including allegations involving violence. Call us today at 210-226-1463 for a free telephone consultation.
Simple assault, as defined in Texas Penal Code sec. 22.01, means to intentionally and knowingly:
An assault under section (a) is a Class A misdemeanor, and an assault under section (b) or (c) is a Class C misdemeanor. However, the law provides for the offense to increase in severity if certain circumstances are met. Under section 22.01(b), any of the following can cause an assault to be a third degree felony:
Some violent offenses, including aggravated robbery, robbery, burglary and theft, could be charged as organized criminal activity if a group works together to commit the criminal offense. In these cases, the charges could carry more severe penalties.
Aggravated assault is a more serious assault charge found in Texas Penal Code section 22.02. An assault can be elevated to an aggravated assault if it is alleged to have caused serious bodily injury, or if the use or exhibition of a deadly weapon is alleged in the commission of the assault.
Aggravated assault is a second-degree felony. However, the charges may be elevated to a felony of the first degree if the aggravated assault:
Other assaultive offenses in Chapter 22 include:
Texas Penal Code, Chapter 20 contains the offenses of kidnapping and unlawful restraint.
Unlawful restraint (Texas Penal Code sec. 20.02) means to intentionally and knowingly restrain another person. “Restrain” means to move a person or confine a person’s movements without consent. The lack of consent can be due to force, intimidation or deception. A child younger than 14 cannot consent, and a child between 14 and 17 cannot consent to being moved outside the state or outside 120 miles of his or her home.
It is a Class A misdemeanor, unless the victim was younger than 17, in which case it becomes a state jail felony. If the victim is a public servant discharging his or her duties or the accused is in custody, the charge becomes a third-degree felony.
Kidnapping (Texas Penal Code sec. 20.03) is a more serious offense. It involves the same elements as unlawful restraint, but the victim is “abducted,” meaning he or she is held in a secret place where he or she cannot be found, or deadly force or the threat of deadly force is used. Kidnapping is a third-degree felony.
Kidnapping may become aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony, if:
Bexar County Victim Services Division - This link includes a list of local services in Bexar County that can help victims of violent crime and other crimes.
Texas Penal Code - 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.
National Center for Victims of Crime - 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.
If you are facing accusations of any type of violent offense in San Antonio, contact a skilled lawyer at Goldstein, Goldstein & Hilley. We have vast experience representing clients charged with serious offenses that can result in decades in jail, like assault or kidnapping. Call us today at 210-226-1463.