The Beginning of 2014 Shows Decreased Crime in Dallas

While crime reporting, statistics, facts, and figures do not generally tell us very much, it can be interesting to review the information to give us an idea of how far we’ve come or what we, as a community, need to work on.

Recently, crime reports have come out for the first two months of 2014. Apparently, reported crime through the month of February in the city of Dallas was more than 12 percent less than the same time last year. This is according to the Dallas Police Department’s statistics. Further, violent crimes have fallen about 10 percent, but would have been significantly lower than that if not for a large increase in reported rapes. Consider this: there were 138 attacks reported in January and February of 2014. This is a 68 percent increase from the 82 attacks that were reported in January and February of last year.

In the past, rape has been the most under-reported crime. The recent spike in reports is attributed to efforts that help and encourage more victims to come forward and file charges against their attacker. Meanwhile, murders, aggravated assaults and robberies are all lower than this time last year.

Burglaries have fallen 25 percent, while auto thefts have increased slightly since last year. If this trend continues, the Dallas Police Department will see a reduction in crime for the 11th straight year.

I want to highlight some of the crimes mentioned in this post. Often times, defendants do not fully understand the charges they are facing because there is some confusion about the elements of the crime for which they have been arrested. Take, for instance, assault. There are varying categories of assault and it’s a good idea to have some basic knowledge about the different offenses.

Under Texas law, the following list includes different assault offenses that can be charged in the state:

  • Assault by Contact: Class C misdemeanor. This offense is charged when an individual intentionally or knowingly physically touches another individual while knowing that the person touched will regard the contact as offensive.
  • Assault by Threat: Class C misdemeanor. This offense has occurred when an a person intentionally or knowingly threatens another with immediate bodily injury.
  • Assault with Bodily Injury: Class A misdemeanor. This offense is charged when an individual intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another individual. In this case, bodily injury includes physical pain, illness or any impairment that causes the individual to experience physical impairment.
  • Sexual Assault: 2nd Degree felony. A person has committed sexual assault when, without consent, an individual is coerced by threats of force or actual force; the individual is unconscious or physically unable to resist; or the individual has taken a drug without his or her consent.
  • Aggravated Assault: The crime of aggravated assault happens when an individual inflicts serious bodily injury upon another individual or uses/exhibits a deadly weapon during the incident in question. Deadly weapons include not only knives and guns, but anything that can inflict serious bodily injury or death on a person.

If you have been charged with assault or any other crime in Texas, it is important to consult with an experienced and local defense attorney as soon as possible.