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Violent Crime in Houston on the Decline

Violent Crime in Houston on the Decline

During the COVID-19 pandemic, violent crime surged in Houston and surrounding big cities. However, for the first time since that surge, violent crime is on the decline. The Houston Police Department reported on overall crime in the community for the first quarter of 2023. According to that data, violent crime is down 12 percent, and the murder rate is down 27 percent. There was a decrease in other violent crimes as well during that period. Robberies were down 10 percent, aggravated assault was down 12 percent, rape decreased by 6 percent, and human trafficking was down by 23 percent.

Houston had 33 fewer murders in the first quarter of 2023 compared to 2021 when the spike occurred. This increase in violent crimes prompted Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner to create the $73 million “One Safe Houston” initiative to tackle violent crime in the city.

The “One Safe Houston” initiative saw the Houston Police Department (HPD) collaborate with local, state, and federal partners to target repeat offenders and employ crime prevention and harm-reduction strategies. Some of those strategies included:

  • Identifying Top Crime Neighborhoods: The HPD focused on identifying and addressing top hot spot crime neighborhoods and locations, emphasizing murders, aggravated assaults, aggravated robberies, and violent criminal gangs.
  • Deploying Additional Officers: Additional officers were deployed based on data analysis to enhance crime deterrence and respond rapidly to crimes in progress. Fifteen additional Park Ranger positions were hired to support local law enforcement efforts in keeping parks safe.
  • Creating a Multi-Agency Task Force: A multi-agency task force was created to collaborate between local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. This task force apprehended violent offenders, focusing on fugitive apprehension and traffic enforcement.
  • Implementing a Gun Program: The HPD also worked with federal partners to implement a crime gun intelligence response, seize illegal firearms, and target repeat offenders. A robust gun buyback initiative was funded to reduce the presence of stolen guns on the streets.
  • Improving Criminal Justice System Processing: The initiative also prioritized the prosecution of the top 200 violent offenders, addressing court backlogs, and improving bond company protocols and best practices.

Arrests for Violent Crimes are Serious

If you’re arrested and charged with a violent crime, you must understand the severity of these charges. A violent crime typically involves the use or threat of force against another individual or property. It includes homicide, rape, robbery, assault, kidnapping, and domestic violence.

The consequences of being convicted of a violent crime typically involve life-long penalties, including lengthy prison sentences, possible registration as a sex offender, hefty fines, and even loss of voting and firearm rights. Repeat offenders or those who commit offenses under certain aggravating circumstances (e.g., hate crimes, crimes against children, use of a deadly weapon) may face enhanced penalties, leading to longer sentences or harsher consequences.

If You’re Arrested, Remember Your RIGHTS!

Sometimes individuals are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sometimes, the authorities don’t have all the facts or understand the situation’s circumstances. Even if you believe you’re innocent, do NOT talk to the police without a lawyer present. This is one of the many rights you have, so be sure to exercise them.

  • Right to due process: The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution guarantee the right to due process, ensuring fair treatment and protection of fundamental rights throughout the criminal justice process.
  • Right to be informed of the charges: You have the right to be informed of the criminal charges brought against you.
  • Right to remain silent: The Fifth Amendment protects the right against self-incrimination, allowing you to remain silent during interrogations or court proceedings.
  • Right to a fair and speedy trial: The Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to a prompt and public trial by an impartial jury.
  • Right to confront witnesses: The Sixth Amendment provides the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses testifying against the accused.
  • Right to compel witnesses: You can call witnesses in your defense and present evidence supporting their case.
  • Protection against unreasonable searches and seizures: The Fourth Amendment protects individuals from unlawful searches and seizures by law enforcement.
  • Protection against cruel and unusual punishment: The Eighth Amendment prohibits the imposition of excessive or cruel punishments.

Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty. The prosecution bears the burden of proving the guilt of the accused. The standard of proof is “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the highest standard in criminal cases.

There are ways to beat these serious charges, but not without an exceptional criminal defense. As such, the first and only thing you should do when you get arrested is to contact a Houston criminal defense lawyer immediately. Your attorney will protect your rights and fight against these serious charges.

Contact Our Houston Criminal Defense Lawyers

Even though violent crime is down in Houston, innocent men and women are arrested daily and charged with crimes they didn’t commit. At Roger G. Jain & Associates, P.C., we can go to work quickly to protect your future and your freedom. Call us at (713) 981-0600 or fill out our confidential contact form. We know you have questions and want to move through the criminal justice system swiftly. We can help. Call us today!

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