Articles Posted in Violent Crimes

A recent criminal case before a district court in Texas highlights the importance of specific and credible testimony during trial. At issue in this appeal was the defendant’s conviction for aggravated assault by threat. On appeal, the defendant argued there was insufficient evidence to prove he threatened one of the complainants in the case. Upon reviewing the trial record, the higher court reviewed the defendant’s argument but ultimately disagreed, affirming the appeal.

Background of the Case

According to the opinion, the incident at issue involved two men fighting for space in a lane while driving on the highway. Both men rolled down their windows, and the defendant shouted profanities and racial slurs at the second man. The men both ended up at a nearby gas station, and they got out of their cars to exchange words.

Meanwhile, the complainant’s girlfriend and their two young children stayed in his car. The girlfriend testified at trial that she heard her boyfriend indicate that the defendant had a gun in his possession. Similarly, the complainant testified that the defendant had an AR rifle in his hand and that the defendant verbally indicated he wanted to shoot the defendant and his family.

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In a recent criminal case before a district court in Texas, the defendant asked the court to find that the trial judge had been biased against him when deciding to sentence him to 50 years in prison. According to the defendant, the judge decided on 50 years arbitrarily, and the higher court should reverse that decision. Looking at the record, however, the district court disagreed with the defendant and ended up affirming the lower court’s sentence. This case serves as an example of how difficult it can be to establish bias-related claims on appeal, which is why it is essential for criminal defense attorneys to create detailed records in the event bias becomes a concern down the road.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant was charged with assault after he physically abused a person that he was dating. He struck her with his hand, hit her with an object, pulled her hair, and pushed her to the ground. According to the State, the defendant used both a car and a firearm during the assault, which made the offense more serious.

The defendant had been previously convicted of assault, specifically assault against a family member. The case went to trial, and a jury found the defendant guilty. After trial, the court sentenced the defendant to 50 years in prison. The defendant promptly appealed the judge’s decision.

The Court’s Decision and Legal Analysis

On appeal, the defendant argued that the trial court judge was biased against him. During the sentencing phase of the case, the judge spoke at length about the defendant’s prior convictions. After discussing the defendant’s criminal history at length, the judge decided he would accept the State’s suggestion and sentence the defendant to 50 years in prison.

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In a recent case before a Texas court, the defendant appealed a jury’s unanimous decision that he was the shooter responsible for a 2020 drive-by shooting. According to the defendant, the evidence was legally insufficient to result in his guilty conviction. On appeal, the higher court considered the defendant’s argument but ultimately disagreed, affirming the original conviction and sentence. The case serves as a good example of one of the most common–but challenging–defenses in all of criminal law: insufficiency of the evidence.

Facts of the Case

The defendant’s case revolved around an August 2020 drive-by shooting that took place in Grand Prairie, Texas. A seventeen-year-old boy was killed while at a convenience store, and investigators discovered that the shots came from a driver-side window of a white SUV speeding by. The police department notified all local agencies to be on the lookout for the car, and an officer eventually stopped the SUV a few hours later.

The officer searched the SUV and found a nine-millimeter bullet, which matched the bullet casings found at the crime scene. After some additional investigation, the State charged the defendant (who was also the car’s driver) as the shooter. His case went to trial, and he was found guilty as charged. The defendant appealed.

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In a recent criminal case on appeal before a Texas court, the defendant argued that his indictment for aggravated assault should have been barred by the state’s statute of limitations. Originally, the defendant was indicted almost exactly two years after he committed the aggravated assault. Fighting the indictment, the defendant argued on appeal that the indictment was brought too late and should therefore be dismissed. Considering the defendant’s argument, the court of appeals reviewed the relevant procedures, reversed the lower court’s ruling, and dismissed the defendant’s indictment.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant in this case committed aggravated assault while he was acting in the role of a public servant. The assault happened on July 7, 2019. For reasons unclear from the court’s opinion, the defendant was indicted for the assault on July 9, 2021 – approximately two years after the incident.

Legally, this means that two years passed between the incident and the formal charges that the State presented against the defendant. After being indicted, the defendant appealed.

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Domestic violence is a serious crime, and the mere mention of domestic violence charges being filed against you can change your life. When someone is accused of domestic violence, the evidence presented in court can play a crucial role in determining their guilt or innocence. Statements to police or detectives by the accused often play a major role in these cases. However, not all statements are admissible in court. In this article, we will explore the criteria for when a defendant’s statement is admissible in a Texas domestic violence case, as well as the process of challenging its admissibility.

Understanding Domestic Violence Laws in Texas

Before delving into the admissibility of a defendant’s statement, it’s important to first understand the domestic violence laws in Texas. According to the Texas Penal Code, domestic violence, also known as domestic assault, occurs when an individual intentionally or knowingly causes bodily injury to a family member, household member, or current or former romantic partner. The law encompasses a wide range of behaviors, including physical violence, threats of harm, and emotional abuse.

Definition of Domestic Violence in Texas

The definition of domestic violence in Texas is broad and covers various types of relationships. Under the law, family members include spouses, former spouses, parents, children, foster parents, and foster children. Household members are individuals who live together in the same household, such as roommates. Additionally, individuals who are or were in a dating relationship, including individuals of the same sex, are also protected under the domestic violence laws in Texas.

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Assault charges in Kaufman County can have life-altering consequences, including damage to your reputation, a criminal record, and potential imprisonment. If you or a loved one is facing assault charges, it is crucial to understand the severity of the situation and seek the expertise of a reputable Kaufman County criminal defense attorney at the law firm of Guest & Gray.

At Guest & Gray, we understand that having pending charges hang over your head can feel overwhelming, which is why we want you to have as much information about the charges you face as possible. Read on to learn about the different types of assault charges, the potential consequences, and the importance of having strong legal representation.

Types of Assault Charges

Assault charges encompass a wide range of offenses, from simple assault to aggravated assault to sexual assault. Simple assault typically involves causing physical harm or the reasonable fear of bodily harm to another person. Aggravated assault, on the other hand, involves more serious factors such as the use of a deadly weapon or causing serious bodily injury. The penalties for assault charges vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case, the severity of the injuries, and any prior criminal record.

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A Texas criminal trial involves more than the simple question of whether a defendant committed a crime. In many cases, the most important aspect of the trial is sentencing. Defendants can n be sentenced to extremely variable sentences based on a variety of factors applied in the Texas justice system. In considering a sentence, courts may consider a defendant’s acceptance of responsibility and remorse, or lack thereof. Additionally, courts will consider a defendant’s risk of recidivism and any danger the defendant may cause to society.

The sentences for some crimes can be enhanced based on a defendant’s criminal record, often leading to years, or even decades longer sentences for different defendants convicted of the same crime. A Texas appellate court recently affirmed the application of a sentencing enhancement for a man convicted of aggravated robbery and sentenced to 40 years in prison.

According to the facts discussed in the recently-published appellate opinion, the defendant from the recently decided case was arrested and charged with aggravated robbery after he was caught by a neighbor breaking into the victim’s car. The neighbor confronted the defendant, and a fight ensued, with the defendant ultimately shooting the neighbor in the leg. The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and took the case before a jury. The jury found that the defendant was guilty of the crime, however, the court also asked the jury to decide whether to apply an “enhancement paragraph” to his charges, which would increase the sentence.

Last month, the Fourth Court of Appeals issued an opinion related to a defendant’s conviction for assault on a peace officer. Originally, the defendant was charged and found guilty after an incident in which officers showed up to his home to arrest him. The defendant ran away, the officers chased him, and an altercation ensued. On appeal, the defendant argued that the indictment against him actually authorized a conviction for a lesser crime when in reality he was convicted for a more serious crime than his indictment allowed.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant in this case and his wife got into a domestic dispute one evening. His wife called the police, and two officers came to the house to investigate. Upon entering, they noticed that the defendant was rocking back and forth while seated in the corner of the living room, apparently intoxicated.

There were two outstanding warrants for the defendant’s arrest, so the officers advised him that they were going to arrest him. Immediately, the defendant began yelling, then he started to kick and push the officers out of the way. He got up and ran to the back of the house, throwing a ladder at the officers when they began to catch up. As the altercation continued to escalate, the defendant kicked the officers in the stomach, hoping to ward them off.

Eventually, the officers were able to handcuff the defendant, and he was immediately arrested for the assault.

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In a recent case before a district court in Texas, the defendant appealed his assault conviction by arguing that the evidence was legally insufficient to support his guilty verdict. According to the defendant, his trial unjustly resulted in a conviction when the prosecution had not proven every element of the assault crime he was facing. Looking at the totality of the evidence, the court of appeals ultimately disagreed with the defendant and kept the original verdict in place.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant was criminally charged after his significant other accused him of assaulting her and choking her in 2020. On the night in question, the defendant pushed himself on his girlfriend, and she told him to stop. He responded by trying to choke her, squeezing her neck, and holding down her arms and hands with his knees.

The defendant’s girlfriend did not call 911, but she took pictures of several injuries she incurred after the incident. The photos showed marks and redness on her neck, but there were shadows in the pictures that led the defense attorney to question whether or not the pictures accurately showed any injury. The photos, however, were entered at trial, and the defendant was found guilty of the assault. He was sentenced to time in prison as a result, and he promptly appealed.

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The severity of charges that are brought for the crime of assault depends on many factors. If a weapon is used in an assault, the type of weapon used can aggravate simple assault charges, possibly resulting in a serious felony conviction and significant jail time for an offender. The Texas Court of Appeals recently released a decision in which they affirmed the defendant’s conviction and subsequent sentence for aggravated assault for an attack involving a pair of children’s scissors.

According to the facts discussed in the appellate opinion, the defendant was a long-term romantic partner of the victim and allegedly attacked her with scissors during an argument, cutting her on the arm and causing her to seek medical attention. Based on the injuries sustained in the fight, as well as threats and other abuse mentioned by the victim, the defendant was charged with aggravated assault. The charge was aggravated based on the relationship between the defendant and the victim, as well as the use of a deadly weapon, namely, the scissors.

The victim did not testify at trial, and the defense argued that the children’s scissors could not be considered a deadly weapon to aggravate the charges against him. The prosecution called witnesses who testified that the scissors could cause serious bodily injury if used with significant strength. It was up to the jury to decide if the scissors were to be considered a deadly weapon. Additionally, the prosecution admitted statements by the victim that the defendant repeatedly threatened to seriously hurt her if she ever reported the abuse to authorities. The jury found the defendant guilty of the aggravated assault charge, and he was sentenced to 40 years in Texas State Prison.

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