Contact Us for a Free Consultation 713-222-9141


The State of Texas is focused on crimes that involve the potential for loss of life or serious injury. For obvious reasons, an accused is substantially more likely to go to prison for the commission of a crime of violence than for any other category of crime. When a weapon is alleged to have been involved, punishment may be enhanced and parole may be limited. Some types of violent crimes include:

  • Murder
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Aggravated Robbery
  • Kidnapping
  • Burglary of a Habitation
  • Injury to a Child

A person arrested and accused of committing a violent crime needs an aggressive legal team experienced in defending against criminal charges. Violent crimes are serious and can result in a long prison sentence.

We have handled numerous murder and robbery cases, resulting in acquittal and sometimes probation. In one case we tried involving a bank robbery, the prosecution offer prior to trial was 40 years. Although the robbery involved several weapons and a video showing our client waiving two guns, the jury sentenced our client to 5 years.

In one Murder case, involving a stabbing, our client received deferred adjudication after our investigation. Many of our Aggravated Robbery cases have been reduced to Robbery, and many of our Aggravated Assault cases have been reduced to a misdemeanor.

If you are accused of any crime classified as violent,  It is important to contact an experienced Houston criminal defense attorney early for legal advice and guidance to avoid making a mistake that could cost you at trial. With a violent crime lawyer, you will be able to effectively assert your fifth amendment privileges, and silence in the face of an accusation could be used against you in the prosecution's case.

Call Chernoff Law today for a free consultation!

Murder and Manslaughter

There are several different types of murder and manslaughter charges that one can be facing in Texas. Involuntary manslaughter is reckless conduct which results in the death of another. This is without premeditation or malice. For example, an accidental death caused by reckless driving or violation of driving laws could be charged as involuntary manslaughter. This type of act could be charged as negligent homicide as well, if the prosecution believes the death was the result of criminal negligence.  Murder is intentionally causing the death of another, and capital murder is a the taking of the life of another and includes killing more than one person, killing a police officer, a child or causing a death in the act of committing a violent felony.

What Are the Penalties for Murder in Texas?

In Texas, all of these crimes are considered criminal homicide offenses and will result in felony charges of varying degrees. The penalties for these offenses include imprisonment from 2 years to life, or in some cases the death penalty.

These are some of the most serious of violent crimes with the most severe penalties in the state, and anyone accused of murder or manslaughter should consult a Houston criminal defense attorney for a full explanation of the charges.

What Can a Lawyer Do for You If Charged with Murder?

False accusations of murder and manslaughter can occur in various ways from mistaken identity to misinterpretation of an attempt to defend oneself or another from harm. Investigators are not always unbiased. Very often they start an investigation with a presumption of guilt of wrongdoing and look for evidence that supports that presumption. An overzealous law enforcement investigator may label a simple tragic accident as manslaughter.

When you are accused of or charged with a homicide offense you face a very real threat of losing your freedom and more. It is up to you to take effective action in your own defense. The development of a powerful defense can depend upon a thorough investigation into the facts of the case and the credibility of any witnesses. Expert testimony may be required by independent accident reconstruction experts or forensic scientists. A skilled lawyer with our firm has years of expertise in preparing and clearly presenting a compelling defense.

Houston criminal attorney Ed Chernoff has successfully represented clients facing serious felony charges throughout Texas. The skilled legal team at our firm fights to produce a positive outcome for every client. Call Chernoff Law for an initial no charge consultation to discuss the circumstances of your case.

What Is Aggravated Assault?

Aggravated Assault in Texas is defined in Penal Code §22.02 as an assault that causes serious bodily injury or an assault or threat where the accused uses or exhibits a deadly weapon. Violence is involved in this crime and prosecutors treat it seriously. Probation is not available from the Judge for Aggravated Assault, though she can grant Deferred Adjudication if he or she believes that it is in the best interest of the community.

Aggravated Assault of a Family Member

Penal Code §22.01 makes Assault a 3rd degree felony if bodily injury is caused to a family member and the accused has previously been convicted or received deferred adjudication for Assault of a Family Member. It further recognizes assault of a family member by choking as a 3rd degree felony.

We sometimes see prosecutors “charge up” a simple assault of a family member as a choking felony. This happens when the police interpret any contact around the chest and neck as choking. In reality, choking is strictly defined as “impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the person by applying pressure to the person's throat or neck or by blocking the person's nose or mouth.” It is important for a criminal defense attorney to remember this strict definition and seek to lower the charge to a misdemeanor when the offense report or witness statements do not substantiate the felony charge.

What Are the Penalties for Aggravated Assault in Texas?

Aggravated Assault with a deadly weapon is a second degree felony. Punishments may range from 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10, 000.

Aggravated Assault of a Family Member is a first degree felony and penalties range from 5 to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10, 000, if a deadly weapon is uses or serious bodily injury results.

One convicted of Aggravated Assault in Texas may also be required to pay restitution, that is expenses of the victim due to the crime, such as medical bills. If an affirmative finding of a deadly weapon is found, parole is severely restricted on a prison sentence.

Why Do You Need to Hire a Defense Lawyer for  Aggravated Assault?

Don't allow an unfair prosecution for Aggravated Assault destroy your reputation and subject you to the possibility of prison.

Many of the family assaults reported to police occur in private with only the complainant and accused as witnesses. Police will usually attempt to obtain statements and take photos of any visible injuries. However, ultimately the issue comes down to believability. A police officer isn't going to make a credibility determination at the scene and almost always arrests the person who did not call 911. This is well known and is often motivation for an assaultive spouse or friend to call 911 as a proactive measure. We have had many cases where our clients caused injury simply by attempting to defend themselves.

Call criminal defense attorney Ed Chernoff today for a free consultation. Call now at 713-222-9141.

Aggravated Robbery

Robbery and burglary are theft crimes. Robbery is the taking of another's money or property using verbal threat or force. The use of a weapon during a robbery (armed robbery) is aggravated robbery. It is also the case if the victim is a disabled person or over 65 years of age.

Burglary is the unlawful entry into a building or vehicle in order to commit a theft, assault or a felony. If it an entry into a house or other habitation for the purpose of committing assault or rape, then the penalties are more severe.

Both Robbery and Burglary are felonies with penalties of fines and incarceration and usually restitution.

What are the Penalties for Aggravated Robbery in Texas?

Robbery in Texas is a second degree felony. Aggravated Robbery is a first degree felony and the potential penalty ranges between 5 and 99 years in prison and fines up to $10, 000.

Convicted individuals may also be forced to pay restitution to the victims.

Each case is unique and requires a creative approach when designing an effective defense strategy. Our determination to achieve a positive outcome has brought clients from all over the state to our office. Call Chernoff Law for an initial consultation at no charge.

What Are Kidnapping and Unlawful Restraint Charges in Texas?

Although kidnapping is always a felony, there are degrees of seriousness in kidnapping charges that may cause it to be tried as a federal crime or in state court. Unlawful restraint is the intentional restraining of another person, but is not kidnapping. In certain circumstances, unlawful restraint may be regarded as a misdemeanor. Abduction with the intention to hold for ransom or facilitate flight such as using the victim as a hostage or shield is Aggravated Kidnapping, and may result in 20 years in prison and severe fines. Penalties may be greater or decreased depending upon other factors such as injury intended or suffered by the victim.

For a complete understanding of charges faced by you or a loved one, it is wise to consult a criminal defense attorney.

What Is Parental Kidnapping in Texas?

The dynamics of families and relationships can sometimes be complicated emotionally and legally. While a disagreement between spouses or partners can be serious, when children become involved matters can escalate much further.

A person who removes their child from their home without consent of the other spouse, or outside their legal times of possession, may not realize that he or she could be charged with kidnapping. These are very serious charges and if you face them after such an incident, you will need the assistance of a knowledgeable Houston domestic violence lawyer with a history of successfully defending charges of kidnapping in domestic cases.

At its root, kidnapping is defined simply as the act of intentionally abducting a person. When a family member removes a child from the home to an undisclosed location – even with the minor's consent – and does not have sole legal custody, they can face kidnapping charges. This can occur even when one parent removes a child or children from possible harm and domestic violence or other situation. Criminal charges can be filed and consequences such as imprisonment could be the result when convicted of parental kidnapping.

Facing Kidnapping Charges in Houston?

We at Chernoff Law are keenly aware of the sensitivity involved in domestic violence matters and in custody disputes. Our attorneys are uniquely prepared to assist you should you face parental kidnapping charges, as our team includes an attorney who is certified in criminal law by the state of Texas. Our experience and prowess within these fields can be of critical use in your defense, as can our full commitment to your best interests and legal care.

Because of the severity of the charges involved, a thorough investigation into the circumstances of your charges may be necessary. Our firm's founding attorney Ed Chernoff is Board-Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. We explore all possible avenues when building your defense, so call Chernoff Law for a consultation at no fee.

Contact Me Today

Chernoff Law is committed to answering your questions about Theft, Assault, Sex Crimes, Drug Crimes, Federal Crimes, Probation Violation, Murder, DWI/DUI, and Violent Crime law issues in Texas.

I offer a free consultation and I'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact me today to schedule an appointment.