During 2015, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released a list of the Most Dangerous Cities in Texas. Surprisingly, the report found that for the most part, the more dangerous areas were not the larger cities. Houston was the only one of the five most populous cities listed among the top five most dangerous cites.
Houston trails Odessa and Lubbock with the number three spot. Texas Monthly suggests that the types of crimes committed in Houston differ from the crimes in the West Texas cities. Less assault crimes were reported in Houston, compared to Odessa and Lubbock. Surrounding Beaumont had a murder rate of 8.6 per 100,000 residents- the highest murder rate in Texas. Houston’s murder rate was listed as 5.9 per each 100,000 people- or about 370 murders city-wide. However, Houston’s robbery rate was 233 per 100,000 –nearly double that of the other top cities.
Robbery may seem like a minor offense compared to murder, but Houston criminal defense lawyer Matthew Tyson advises that theft-related crimes are taken very seriously in Texas. The sentence for a theft crime can range from fines to jail time. Theft of certain property, such as firearms and some metals are often grounds for a felony charge.
In addition to robbery, other types of Texas theft crimes include:
- Petty theft or shoplifting
- Grand theft
Crimes involving a business establishment can also result in the merchant filing civil charges.
Tyson cautions that conviction of robbery and other theft crimes become a part of an individual’s criminal record. This can negatively impact reputation and the ability to get and keep a job. Houston residents convicted of a robbery or theft crime have a right to legal representation and are urged to contact a Houston criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. If you cannot afford to hire legal representation, the court will appoint an attorney for you.
A Houston criminal defense lawyer knows the ins and outs of the legal system. A good lawyer will aggressively defend your rights, keep you informed and help you make the best decisions regarding your case. A good Houston criminal defense lawyer believes you are innocent until proven guilty.