Waco Violent Crime Attorneys
Challenging Homicide & Other Violent Crime Charges in McLennan County
If you have been charged with murder, aggravated assault, assault of a peace officer, or another assault-related offense, then you already understand there are a lot of moving parts to your case. You must hire a law firm that understands the complexities of those parts.
For starters, you aren't just a criminal case. You are probably a news story. Modern society has a morbid fascination with murder and violence. Chances are, your booking photo has already been plastered all over television and the internet. Not only is this embarrassing, it feels as if the media has already tried, convicted, and sentenced you in the court of public opinion before you even bond out of jail.
Sutton Milam & Fanning, PLLC has a proven track record of handling cases that are drenched in media attention. Our Waco violent crimes attorneys understand that, in addition to your freedom and your criminal history, you are also looking to us to protect your reputation. While most local attorneys issue a standard "no comment" response to every interview request, we are unafraid to answer a reporter's phone call if, through deliberate analysis, we determine that doing so can be helpful to you and your case.
For a consultation, call (254) 237-5602. We help clients in Waco and Lorena, Baylor University students, and people accused of serious violent crimes across McLennan County.
In Texas, some assaultive offenses carry special consequences because of the severity of the allegation or the existence of some additional aggravating factor. These kinds of charges are often referred to as "aggravated" or "3g" offenses, a reference to Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 42.12, Section 3g. These charges cause us special concern not just because of the increased punishment ranges they carry, but also because of two other collateral consequences: (1) loss of the possibility of judge-ordered probation; and (2) increased incarceration prior to parole eligibility.
The following crimes are considered aggravated under Texas law:
- Capital murder
- Indecency with a child
- Aggravated kidnapping
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Aggravated robbery
- Drug offenses in a drug-free zone with a prior drug-free zone conviction
- Drug offenses that involve use of children
- Sexual assault
- Injury to a child, if charged as a first-degree felony
- Sexual performance by a child
- Criminal solicitation, if of a first-degree family
- Compelling prostitution
- Human trafficking
- Burglary of a habitation, if with intent to commit felony assaultive offense
- Any felony offense in which a deadly weapon was used or exhibited
Serious Consequences of a 3g Offense in Texas
If you are convicted of a "3g offense," it is not possible under the law for the government to offer, or for the judge to order, that you be given probation. Consequently, the only possible plea deals that can be arranged in such cases are for prison sentences. Obviously, this raises the stakes in these aggravated cases tremendously.
Furthermore, anyone who is given a prison sentence after being convicted of a "3g offense" must serve half of the stated sentence before they become eligible to be released on parole, with a cap of 30 years. In a typical felony case, a first parole eligibility hearing can happen as soon as one-eighth of the sentence has been served. This means that a 20-year sentence of a non-3g offense could mean parole in less than 3 years, while the same sentence on the 3g offense would render a person ineligible for parole until 10 years had been served.
These facts, of course, increase the likelihood that a trial would be necessary to avoid the eventuality of prison time. As you search for a Waco violent crime lawyer, hire a firm with experience in the trial of these serious cases: Sutton Milam & Fanning, PLLC.
“Complaining Witness” vs. “Victim”
A key part of any type of assaultive offense involves the complaining witness. Notice that we don't use the term "victim." Unless you tell us otherwise, our Waco violent crime lawyers presume you innocent. If you are innocent, then you have no victim — only a witness who is accusing you.
Regardless of your eventual plea, the complaining witness is an important piece of the pie. We will discuss this further in our personal meeting, but the main thing you need to know right now is to stay away from them. Do not contact them in person, via phone, text, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. Imagine how easy it would be for a prosecutor to point to interactions, whether virtual or real, between you and the complaining witness and paint them as attempts to convince the person not to testify against you. Furthermore, "tampering with a witness" and "retaliation" are both additional charges that could quickly and easily be brought against you by prosecutors. So, don't take a chance. Steer clear of complaining witnesses. We, as your attorneys, will reach out to the complaining witness if it needs to be done in your case.
Representing Clients at Baylor University & in Lorena, TX
When your future is at stake, you need a firm you can trust. Sutton Milam & Fanning, PLLC can provide the dauntless advocacy that makes all the difference in cases involving assaultive offenses. Best of all, we offer a comprehensive case evaluation to review your charges and to help you begin working toward a positive result.Call (254) 237-5602 today to set up a meeting with our Waco violent crime lawyers.