Whereas civil law focuses on resolving disputes between two parties and providing just compensation to the victims, criminal law concentrates on meting out punishment to the ones responsible for the crimes committed. This body of law is seen as essential in regulating how people behave within communities. It serves to prohibit any activity that could be dangerous to the physical health, mental health, and property of individuals. It defines all of the technical details of every crime and their corresponding punishment. Each state has their own, including Texas. If you are charged with a crime, then get an Austin criminal lawyer immediately to protect your rights.
Austin Crime Statistics
Austin is considered as one of the biggest cities in Texas in terms of population with almost a million residents. It’s a prosperous city with a large economy and a sprawling urban center. It has its share of crimes like any other place but the numbers are relatively low compared to the other metropolitan areas in the state. According to the 2013 data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, Austin is the safest mega city around these parts with a violent crime rate that is only a third of the worst performing city. It is definitely a good place to live in if you are conscious about safety.
It has a reputation for being a low crime urban paradise and the numbers attest to the truth of this image. A ranking of all the cities in the list puts it at 21st place out of a total of 24. When compared to the main metropolitan areas in Texas, it is definitely the safest of them all. The murder rate is only 2.8 incidents for every 100,000 in the population which is an incredibly low figure. Of the violent crimes in the city, robbery does not even reach 20% – better than Houston, Dallas or San Antonio. While the numbers are impressive, crimes still happen and those involved will need a criminal lawyer for their defense.
Capital Punishment in Texas
Individuals who are charged of a crime could face harsh penalties under Texas law. In fact, the state provides the most severe punishment of all: the death penalty. It has executed more inmates compared to all other states with a 537 count since 1982. The method used today is lethal injection. Only those who have been convicted of capital murder can be punished with death in this manner. Lesser crimes are typically punished with jail sentences, the length of which is determined by the gravity of the offense. The courts may also order convicted criminals to provide compensation for the victims or their family.
Capital murder is defined in the Texas Penal Code as premature killing of another human being with an aggravating factor. This could be murder that is committed while trying to escape a penal institution or attempting to carry out a felony. The type of victims matters as well. A case is elevated to capital murder if those killed are on-duty officers or firefighters. The same is true for victims who are justice of the courts or those who are under 10 years of age. These are considered as heinous crimes that are highly detrimental to society. Note that capital punishment is not automatic.
The prosecution will work hard towards a conviction so the defense must be prepared to present counter-arguments. However, the legal team may elect to forego the death penalty even if the defendant is found guilty. They can do this if the family of the victim asks them to and if they believe that the defendant is truly worthy of being put to death. The trial will be long and consist of two phases. The first phase will determine whether the person is guilty or innocent. The second phase will determine the appropriate punishment should there be a guilty verdict.
Hire an Austin Criminal Lawyer
The stakes are high in criminal trials. With prison time or even death looming, persons charged deserve to have the best legal representation possible. An Austin criminal lawyer will help clients post bail whenever possible so that they can remain with their families throughout this trying time. They will need all the support they can get. Lawyers will also make sure that they don’t get questioned in any manner that would harm their chances of acquittal. The rights of the accused will be protected. After all, the law states that everyone is considered as innocent until proven guilty in the courts.
Court cases are long drawn out processes that will present multiple challenges at every corner. Suspects need experienced legal minds who know exactly what to do no matter what might transpire in and out of the trial. Find lawyers who are excellent litigators and negotiators. They need to be convincing as they present evidence and witnesses in court. They should also be incredibly alert to find holes in the testimony of the prosecution’s witnesses. Their line of questioning during the cross-examination should highlight these holes and inconsistencies to place doubt in the minds of the jury. Reasonable doubt is usually all that’s needed for an acquittal.
Even petty crimes can result in jail time. Things like drunk driving, for instance, may land someone in prison even if the act did not have any victims. An Austin criminal lawyer will work towards a dismissal of the case whenever possible by putting into question the circumstances surrounding the arrest and chemical testing. In cases where guilt cannot be denied, a lawyer may still be able to lower the conviction and have the client avoid jail time through probation. If you ever find yourself charged with crime, then be sure to hire a reputable lawyer immediately.