What Are the Penalties for Violent Crimes in Houston, Texas

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There is nothing worse than being accused of committing a crime, especially a crime of violence. The term “violent crime” is a blanket term used to describe crimes that involve either physically harming or threatening to harm another person physically. If you’ve been accused of a violent crime, you can expect to face a wide range of significant penalties, many of which we’ll explain in further detail in the questions below. To learn more about violent crimes in Houston, Texas, read this article and speak with a seasoned Houston violent crimes defense attorney from The Gonzalez Law Group.

What are Some Common Examples of Violent Crimes in Texas?

As previously stated, “violent crime” can encompass a wide range of offenses involving acts of violence or threats of violence. Just some of the most common examples of violent crimes are as follows:


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  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Manslaughter
  • Domestic Violence
  • Sexual Assault
  • Robbery
  • Homicide
  • Terroristic Threats

What is the Difference between Assault and Battery in Texas?

Perhaps the most common charges involving violent crimes are assault and battery.

Note that though assault and battery are two separate crimes, they are often conflated. The primary difference between assault and battery is that assault is when a person threatens another person with imminent bodily injury, while battery involves physically harming another person.

What are the Penalties for Felony Assault Charges in Texas?

There are three degrees of felony assault charges. For third-degree felony assault charges, you can expect to face up to 10 years of incarceration and a maximum $10,00 fine. For second-degree felony assault charges, you can expect to face between two and 20 years of incarceration and a potential $10,000 fine. Finally, for a first-degree felony assault charge, you can face anywhere between five years and life in prison.


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The degree of assault you are charged with will depend mainly on the circumstances of the alleged assault and the person you allegedly assaulted. For example, you can expect to face the highest assault charges if you’re convicted of assaulting a law enforcement officer.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is when an individual commits an act of violence against a party with whom they have a domestic relationship. This can include a spouse, significant other, ex-spouse, child, relative, or someone who shares a home. The circumstances surrounding the alleged act of violence will determine the penalties you may face. For example, if strangulation/suffocation was involved, or if you have previous domestic violence convictions, you can expect to face harsher penalties. Domestic violence charges can range from Class C misdemeanors to first-degree felonies.

How Can I Defend Myself from a Domestic Violence Charge?

Fortunately, with the right attorney in your corner, there are potential defenses against domestic violence charges. Just some of the most valuable defenses against these charges are as follows:

  • The alleged act of violence was unintentional
  • The act of violence was done in self-defense
  • The act of violence was done in defense of another household member
  • The alleged act of violence never occurred or was fabricated

What are the Penalties for Sexual Assault Charges in Texas?

Sexual assault is loosely defined as when a person commits an act of sexual violence against another without their consent. For a sexual assault conviction, you will likely face anywhere between two and 20 years of incarceration and a $10,000 fine. For an aggravated sexual assault conviction, you will face anywhere between five and 99 years of incarceration and a $10,000 fine. A person may face an aggravated sexual assault charge, among other circumstances, if they’re accused of using a “date rape drug,” committing an act of sexual assault against a child under the age of 14, or if the assault caused severe bodily injury to the victim.


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Is Burglary the Same as Robbery?

Burglary and robbery are also two separate crimes that are often used interchangeably in colloquial speech. However, they are entirely different. Burglary is entering private property unlawfully with the intent to commit a crime. At the same time, robbery is a second-degree felony and involves the intentional, knowing, or reckless cause of bodily harm to another person. Typically, robbery charges warrant harsher penalties than burglary charges. Further, armed robbery charges typically warrant harsher penalties than “standard” robbery charges.

What is Manslaughter?

When someone is charged with manslaughter in Texas, they’re accused of killing another person through an act of “reckless disregard.” Though manslaughter does involve the loss of life, manslaughter lacks the element of premeditation, so the penalties typically aren’t quite as harsh as those you’d face for a murder or homicide charge. That said, the consequences of a manslaughter charge, whether vehicular or intoxication manslaughter, are still very severe. Upon conviction, you’ll face anywhere between two and 20 years of incarceration and a maximum $10,000 fine.

What are the Penalties for a Murder Charge in Texas?

Murder is defined as the intentional killing of a person or intentionally hurting a person so severely that they die. Murder is a first-degree felony here in Texas, punishable by anywhere between five and 99 years of incarceration and a $10,000 fine. That said, if the court determines the murder was done in a “sudden passion,” the individual may face second-degree felony charges, which can warrant anywhere between two and 20 years of incarceration and a potential $10,000 fine.

If you have any further questions about violent crimes here in the state of Texas or if you need an attorney who can come to your defense, give us a call today.

Contact The Gonzalez Law Group Today

The bottom line is that if you are facing violent crime charges of any kind, the most important thing you can do is retain the services of a seasoned criminal defense lawyer who can fight for your freedom every step. Our legal team is on your side. Contact The Gonzalez Law Group today to schedule your free case evaluation with our seasoned criminal defense firm.

Marco Gonzalez

Marco Gonzalez is the managing partner at The Gonzalez Law Group. Marco followed in his father's footsteps in becoming a lawyer who fights for the legal rights of others. He has successfully represented clients involved in many areas of law. These areas include criminal defense, family law, immigration, estate administration, business law, and personal injury cases. He is passionate about expanding his law firm through a backbone of repeat and referred clients. He strives to do his best for the client so that each client knows they have a legal team for life!

Comments 2

  1. resume coaches says:

    The range of penalties, including imprisonment, fines, and enhanced charges for certain circumstances, reflects the seriousness with which the justice system addresses violent acts. While the severity of the penalties may act as a deterrent, it is crucial for the legal system to also focus on prevention, rehabilitation, and addressing the root causes of violence to ensure long-term societal safety.

  2. Albuquerque Elevator Repair says:

    It’s great to see that there are potential defenses against domestic violence charges, such as unintentional acts or acts done in self-defense. A skilled attorney is essential to help navigate the legal process and fight for your rights. Have you had any experience representing clients in domestic violence cases, and what strategies have you found effective in defending against these charges?

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