What is Considered a Violent Crime in Texas?
While crime happens everywhere, there are some communities that are more prone to violent crime. Laws were created to crack down on violent crime, and often the penalties are quite harsh in response. In Texas, actions that are classified as violent crime include murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assault.
America’s Health Rankings annual report indicated that in 2018 Texas reported 439 violent crimes per 100,000 people compared to the national average of 394 crimes per 100,000 people. While the Texas numbers are higher than the national average, that is much lower than the state’s previous high of 843 per 100,000 people in 1993 and is lower than the 508 per 100,000 people reported in 2009.
The numbers had spiked in 1993 then began to lower again, climbing in 2003 and 2004 before starting to drop back in 2005. The numbers then started to rise again in 2015 and increased from 2017 to 2018.
Looking at Violent Crimes in Texas
While Texas’ violent crime rate increased in 2017, the ratio of law enforcement to the total population decreased to its lowest level in several years, according to the FBI data. The FBI data showed only 1.5 law enforcement officers for every 1,000 residents in the state that year. That number was down .5 from the previous year when there were two officers per 1,000 residents. The state ratio had hovered at or higher than 2 per 1,000 Texas during the last decade.
Nationwide the average fell from 2.4 officers per 1,000 residents to 2 per 1,000 in 2017. The ratio of officers per person is one of the nation’s lowest. Only seven states had lower ratios than Texas. While the decline in officers occurred in Texas, the Texas violent crime rate climbed to 439 incidents per 100,000 people, which was up from the previous year’s 434 incidents per 100,000 people. These trends all happened while there was a slight decrease in violent crime on the national level.
Violent Criminals Incarcerated in Texas
By 2017, the violent crime rate in Texas had started to decline slightly from the previous year, but the number of violent inmates who were transferred to state facilities had increased. During the last decade, the prison population dropped from 156,000 to 145,000, which is a drop of 7 percent. But, the number of violent offenders that are sent to prison in the state each year has increased by 12 percent, with the number climbing from 13,777 in 2008 to 15,500 during 2017.
That means that while violent crimes are decreasing or staying steady, more individuals who commit violent crimes are being caught and convicted. A conviction of a violent crime can lead to lengthy prison sentences and expensive fines in Texas.
If you or a loved one is facing a charge for a violent crime, then they should retain the services of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. If an individual has been convicted of a violent crime, it will stay on their permanent record and can haunt them the rest of their life, keeping them from getting jobs or being approved for loans. It can also affect insurance rates and other opportunities throughout life.
The team at Fears Nachawati includes some of the best criminal defense attorneys in the state of Texas, and we have attorneys that specialize in a wide range of criminal charges, including violent crimes and other felony charges. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can defend yourself or thinking that a busy and overworked public defender will best be able to help you.
When you retain the services of an experienced criminal defense lawyer like those at Fears Nachawati, you can be assured that our team will fight tirelessly to defend your rights and your freedom.
If you’ve been charged with a crime, then don’t delay in reaching out to the attorneys at Fears Nachawati for a free, no-obligation legal consultation to discuss the specifics of your case. Please call (866) 705-7584 or visit the offices of Fears Nachawati located throughout the great state of Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.