Violent Crime Increases in Dallas as Total Crime Reduces; Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer Weighs In

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Richard C. McConathy, a Dallas criminal defense attorney, discusses the nearly 19 percent increase in violent crime in Dallas from the beginning of January through the end of February in 2012 over the same time period in 2011, in addition to violent crime laws in Texas and the penalties a convicted violent crime offender could face.

The Dallas Police Department recently released a report on the crime rates in the city from the beginning of January in 2012 through end of February 2012, which shows that overall crime in the Dallas area has declined for the same time period for the eighth consecutive year, whereas violent crime in Dallas has drastically increased. Dallas criminal defense lawyer Richard C. McConathy examines potential reasons for the increase, in addition to Texas violent crime offenses and the penalties an individual could face for a conviction.

The crime report issued by the Dallas Police Department states that overall crime in the Dallas areas has declined by about 6% at the end of February 2012 over the same time last year. However, the report shows a nearly 19% increase in violent crime over the same time period. The number of robberies in the Dallas area has risen by the largest percentage, which is up nearly 28%.

According to Richard C. McConathy, a Dallas assault attorney, "Although overall crime has dropped for the eighth year in a row, violent crime in the Dallas areas continues to grow. Many law enforcement officers believe the cause is from over-crowding in jails in the area, in addition to the ability of many accused violent offenders to be released on bond. This supposedly then allows alleged criminals to commit additional offenses while out on bond."

In addition to robbery, the report also showed the occurrence of rape and aggravated assault offenses increased. Instances of aggravated assault rose by nearly 9 percent and rape crime escalated by around 21 percent.

"Aggravated assault, rape and robbery offenses are all punishable as felony offenses in Dallas, and can result in serious penalties and repercussions if an individual is convicted of any of these crimes," stated Richard C. McConathy, an aggravated assault lawyer in Dallas.

Under section 22.021 of the Texas Penal Code, aggravated assault is defined as assault with a deadly weapon or causing death or serious bodily injury through an assault offense. Anyone charged with a first aggravated assault offense can face a conviction for a felony of the second degree, which can be punishable by a prison sentence ranging from two to 20 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.

An individual charged with a rape offense in Texas, which is also known as sexual assault and codified in sections 22.011 and 22.021 of the Texas Penal Code, could face a conviction for a felony of the second degree or a felony of the first degree, which is punishable by a prison sentence ranging from five years to 99 years and/or a fine up to $10,000. Additionally, an individual charged with a first robbery offense could receive a conviction for a felony of the second degree offense.

According to the crime report, the occurrence of non-violent property offenses declined about 8 percent. Burglary offenses dropped by nearly 13 percent and theft crimes decreased around 7.5 percent.

Richard C. McConathy of the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy is a Dallas criminal defense lawyer who represents individuals accused of violent crimes, assault, robbery and rape throughout northeast Texas, including Dallas County and the surrounding areas of Fort Worth, Garland, Irving, Arlington, Plano, McKinney, Grand Prairie, Frisco, Denton, Grapevine and Lewisville.

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