Police Department Reports Significant Increase in Assaults and Other Crime Amidst Pandemic
As reported by KPRC 2 News, there has been a spike in crime during the COVID-19 pandemic. In an incident report prepared by the Houston Police Department and provided to KPRC 2 News, there was already a 9% increase in aggravated assaults by April. Domestic violence cases and burglaries were also on the rise, according to the department.
The Stay-at-Home order triggered by the coronavirus saw an even more drastic uptick in aggravated assaults. In speaking with ABC 13 News, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said there was a 19.3% increase in assaults during the statewide quarantine.
A review of the monthly crime data provided by the Houston Police Department shows that From January until May 2020, there were over 1400 additional aggravated assault police reports taken compared to the same period the previous year. The spike in Houston assault cases during COVID-19 could have a number of causes. The police chief believes that pressures from a lost job or no income may be partially to blame for the rise in cases, as well as the likelihood that some of the assaults may be related to domestic violence.
Defending against Houston Assault Charges
Assault is charged under Texas Penal Code Section 22.01. It is considered a chargeable offense a person “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another.” Assault may also be charged if a person threatens imminent bodily injury to another or causes physical contact that they know would be offensive or provocative. Aggravated Assault (Section 22.02) is charged if a person causes serious bodily injury or uses a deadly weapon. Aggravated assault will be charged as a felony and can result in a substantial prison sentence.
While allegations of assault are extremely serious, there are defenses. It is essential that you contact an experienced attorney as soon as you are arrested. A defense attorney can help to get your charges reduced or dismissed, and will get you the best outcome in your case.
The most common defense against assault charges is that you were acting in self-defense. A defense lawyer may also be able to show that there is insufficient evidence to convict you of the charges or that the victim was not truthful in their testimony.
Contact James Alston Law
If you have been charged with assault in Houston, you need an attorney who will fight to protect your rights. Assault charges are serious, even a conviction for simple assault can result in jail time. The coronavirus has created a desperate time, between the ongoing health crisis and a developing economic one, many people may not know where to turn. Attorney James Alston understands how difficult it is right now. He is a former state and federal prosecutor who will aggressively defend your freedom. If you have been arrested for assault in Houston, contact James Alston Law today at (713) 228-1400 for a free consultation.