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Violent Crimes

One of the primary purposes of criminal laws are to protect against physical harm. Any accusation of a crime that involves bodily injury or the threat of bodily injury will involve serious penalties. If facing allegations of a violent crime, you also risk a criminal record that will make you appear to future employers, lenders, landlords or schools as a dangerous criminal or an unstable person.

Like any other offense, allegations of violent crime must be proven by Travis County prosecutors beyond all reasonable doubt. A skilled criminal defense attorney can challenge the prosecution’s evidence and vigorously cross-examine their witnesses to show the weaknesses in their case against you.

Austin Violent Crime Lawyer

Kevin Bennett is an experienced Austin violent crime lawyer who fights for the rights of those accused of any kind of violent crime, including assault, robbery or any crime involving physical harm or the threat of physical harm against another. If accused of any type of violent crime, you can face serious consequences. Have an advocate on your side.

Kevin Bennett handles every matter of your case personally, and works to make sure you understand everything that is happening during this frightening and confusing time. Call The Law Office of Kevin Bennett today at (512) 476-4626 to set up a consultation.

Kevin Bennett represents anyone accused of a crime in Travis County courts, including students, visitors, and residents of Austin, Lago Vista, Lakeway or anywhere else.


Violent Crime Defense Info for Travis County


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Assault Charges in the Texas Penal Code

Assault, in the Texas Penal Code Chapter 22, covers a broad range of criminal offenses that involve causing bodily injury, threatening to cause bodily injury or causing physical contact with a person when the accused knows the contact will be offensive.

There are multiple offenses that are classified as assault. The specific assault charge is determined by multiple factors that prosecutors must prove beyond reasonable doubt, including the type of harm caused, the actions involved, whether or not a weapon was used and, in some cases, who the victim was.

An assault does not have to cause pain or injure a person to be a criminal offense. Assault by contact means the accused caused some kind of physical contact that was offensive and/or unwanted by the victim, and the accused knew or should have known it would be offensive (Texas Penal Code § 22.01(a)(3)). It is a Class C misdemeanor.

It is also a Class C misdemeanor to threaten a person with imminent bodily injury, even if the injury did not occur (Texas Penal Code § 22.01(a)(2)). However, any Class C misdemeanor assault is upgraded to a Class A misdemeanor if the victim was elderly or disabled.

However, an assault in which prosecutors can prove the accused intentionally, knowingly or recklessly caused bodily injury is a Class A misdemeanor. It may be upgraded to a third degree felony if the victim was a public servant discharging his or her duty, was a security officer or was emergency services personnel.

Aggravated assault means the defendant is accused of an assault that caused serious bodily injury. Serious bodily injury is defined as an injury that involves a substantial risk of risk, or causes permanent disfigurement or impairment. Aggravated assault is a second degree felony (Texas Penal Code § 22.02).

An assault using a deadly weapon is also an aggravated assault. If the assault with a deadly weapon caused serious bodily injury, it is upgraded to a first degree felony. An aggravated assault against a public servant or when the accused fired a gun from a vehicle is also a first degree felony.


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Other Violent Accusations Travis County Residents Face

Deadly Conduct (Texas Penal Code § 22.05): Deadly Conduct means the accused recklessly committed an act that put other people in imminent danger of serious bodily injury. No injury needs to have occurred for prosecutors to prove this claim. The charge includes instances where the accused is alleged to have fired a gun at a person or at a building or vehicle. It is a Class A misdemeanor unless a gun was fired, at which point it becomes a third degree felony.

Unlawful Restraint (Texas Penal Code § 20.02): Unlawful Restraint means the accused illegally kept a person from moving without that person’s consent by confining the person, by moving the person from place to place or by otherwise seriously interfering with that person’s liberty.

The unlawful restrain must involve threats, intimidation or force, unless the child is younger than 14, younger than 17 and was taken out of the state or more than 120 miles from their residence, or the person was incompetent.

Unlawful Restraint is a Class A misdemeanor. If the victim was younger than 17, it is a state jail felony. It is a third degree felony if the victim was reckless exposed to substantial risk of serious bodily injury.R

Terroristic Threats (Texas Penal Code § 22.07): A terroristic threat is one in which the accused threatened to commit an offense against a person or property, if intended to place a person in fear of imminent threat, cause a reaction from an emergency services agency, disrupt a public place or cause public fear.

Terroristic threats made against an individual are usually a Class B misdemeanor, unless committed against a family member, person with whom the accused is in a dating relationship or public servant, in which case it is a Class A misdemeanor. Threats that ultimately cause more than $1,500 in losses are a state jail felony, and threats against the public are a third degree felony.

Robbery (Texas Penal Code § 29.02): Robbery means to commit theft and, in the act, intentionally cause bodily injury or threaten to cause bodily injury. It is a second degree felony. Aggravated robbery, which is robbery involving a deadly weapon, serious bodily injury or an elderly or disable victim is a first degree felony.


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Punishment for Violent Crimes

The punishment for any violent offense is determined by its classification:

  • First Degree Felony: Five to 99 years in prison or life and a fine up to $10,000
  • Second Degree Felony: Two 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000
  • Third Degree Felony: Two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000
  • State Jail Felony: 180 days to two years in prison and a fine up to $10,000
  • Class A Misdemeanor: Up to a year in jail and a fine up to $4,000
  • Class B Misdemeanor: Up to 180 days in jail and a fine up to $2,000
  • Class C Misdemeanor: A fine up to $500

Any offense will give you a criminal record that may make you look violent or unstable. It's critical to have an Austin criminal defense lawyer on your side.


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Representing Those Accused of Violent Crimes in Travis County, TX

Violent crimes have serious penalties, and you risk having a permanent criminal record that casts you as a dangerous and unstable person. With Kevin Bennett, you will have an Austin violent crime lawyer who will mount a vigorous defense for you.

If accused of a violent crime in Austin, Hyde Park, Tarrytown, Lakeway, West Lake Hills or anywhere in Travis County, Kevin Bennett can represent you. Call today at (512) 476-4626 to schedule a consultation.