Austin Has Seen a Spike in Homicides, Uncertainty on What Is to Blame | Wilson County Criminal Defense Attorney

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Austin Has Seen a Spike in Homicides, Uncertainty on What Is to Blame

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Atascosa County criminal defense attorney homicide

Austin is one of the largest cities in Texas, housing the University of Texas, and seeing a recent growth in population. This up-and-coming city is not typically known for the violence that exists in dark corners, but over the past year, Austin has seen a spike in violent crimes. Similar to many cities across the country, Austin has experienced an increase in homicides and aggravated assaults. Lawmakers and officials have speculated on the cause of this violence and hope that the new year does not follow suit.

Increase or Decrease Police Supervision?

The year 2020 has come with its fair share of challenges, including social unrest from all ends of the political spectrum. Peaceful protests have quickly turned to dangerous gatherings in streets across the country for a variety of reasons. Like many cities, local officials decided to cut a portion of its police department funding, amounting to $20 million. This was done in an attempt to reallocate resources and responsibilities away from the police to other parts of city government so officers could focus on fighting crime, thus increasing public safety throughout Austin. Despite these efforts, 45 homicides were reported by mid-December of 2020 which is a significant jump from the 29 total homicides in Austin that occurred during the previous year. Additionally, aggravated assaults have risen 12 percent in the past year. Based on these numbers, Austin now ranks 43rd in the country in homicide rates among U.S. cities.

The U.S. Attorney for Western Texas blames the spike in violent crime on these budget cuts, and he is not alone with these sentiments. However, when looking at the numbers, the violent crime spike appears to have begun before the budget cuts were made. It is also important to note that many cities across the country have seen a spike in crime this past year, including those that increased their police budgets.

So, What Is Considered Homicide?

The term “criminal homicide” encompasses a number of different criminal charges, all of which include murder. According to the Texas penal code, criminal homicide is murder, capital murder, manslaughter, and criminally negligent homicide. It is important to understand the difference between the various crimes as they each come with different legal consequences:

  1. Murder: A person commits murder if he or she intentionally or knowingly causes the death of an individual. He or she must intend to cause serious injury and commits an act that is clearly dangerous and causes the death of another person. If the individual is attempting to commit a felony, other than manslaughter, and kills a person in the process, this is considered murder.

  2. Capital murder: A person commits capital murder if the above description is true in addition to the following:

    1. The person murders a peace officer or fireman who is on duty.

    2. The person commits murder while committing kidnapping, burglary, robbery, aggravated sexual assault, arson, or a terroristic threat.

    3. The person commits murder for payment.

    4. The person commits murder while incarcerated.

    5. The person murders more than one individual during the same crime.

    6. The person murders someone under the age of 15.

  3. Manslaughter: A person commits manslaughter if he or she recklessly causes the death of another person.

  4. Criminally negligent homicide: A person commits criminally negligent homicide if he or she causes the death of another person by criminal negligence.

Contact a Floresville Criminal Defense Lawyer

As you can see, there are a number of different charges that one can face that are considered a homicide. Because this is such a serious crime, it is imperative that you work with a reputable criminal defense attorney if you are facing charges of any kind. Our BCP Criminal Defense Attorneys firmly believe that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and we work tirelessly to prove this in a court of law. Our legal team has over 40 years of experience in criminal law and is prepared to use this experience toward defending you in court. If you are facing murder charges, contact our tenacious Wilson County criminal defense attorneys at 830-769-1010 today.

 

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicholasreimann/2020/12/18/feds-blame-austin-crime-spike-on-defunding-police-but-evidence-remains-murky/?sh=5aed45f79a93

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.19.htm 

 

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