FElonies and MIsdemeanors
Facing Felony or Misdemeanor Charges in Texas? With years of experience in criminal defense, Richard Corbitt can help you navigate the complexities of felony and misdemeanor charges and fight for the best possible outcome.
Differences Between Felony and Misdemeanor in Texas
In Texas, there are significant differences between felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are more serious crimes and carry much harsher penalties than misdemeanors. A felony is a crime that is punishable by imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice or state jail for more than one year. Some common examples of felonies in Texas include murder, aggravated assault, and drug trafficking.
Misdemeanors, on the other hand, are considered less serious crimes and are punishable by a fine or imprisonment in county jail for up to one year. Examples of misdemeanors in Texas include simple assault, DUI, and petty theft. While misdemeanors carry less severe consequences than felonies, they can still have a significant impact on an individual’s life, including the possibility of losing certain privileges or job opportunities.
It’s important to note that some offenses can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the specific circumstances of the case. Additionally, the penalties for both felonies and misdemeanors can vary based on the severity of the offense and the defendant’s criminal history. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help evaluate the charges and potential penalties and provide guidance on the best course of action.
Potential Penalties for Felonies and Misdemeanors
DWI: A first-time DWI offense in Texas is usually considered a misdemeanor, unless there are certain aggravating factors involved such as causing serious injury or death to another person. In general, a first-time DWI offense is punishable by a fine of up to $2,000, jail time of up to 180 days, and a suspension of driver’s license for up to one year. Subsequent offenses can result in increased penalties, including longer jail time, higher fines, and longer license suspensions.
Drug possession: Possession of a controlled substance in Texas is a felony offense, with potential penalties including 180 days to 99 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000. The severity of the penalties will depend on the type and amount of the drug in question.
Assault: Depending on the degree of the assault, the penalties can range from a Class C misdemeanor (resulting in a fine of up to $500) to a first-degree felony (resulting in 5 to 99 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000).
Theft: Depending on the value of the stolen property, theft in Texas can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Penalties can range from up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000 for a Class C misdemeanor to 99 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000 for a first-degree felony.
Burglary: Burglary in Texas is generally a felony offense, with penalties ranging from 180 days to life in prison and fines of up to $10,000. The severity of the penalties will depend on factors such as whether a deadly weapon was used and whether the burglary was committed in a habitation.
Robbery: Robbery is a felony offense in Texas, with potential penalties ranging from 2 to 99 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. The severity of the penalties will depend on factors such as whether a deadly weapon was used and whether the victim suffered serious bodily injury.
Some common defenses for Felonies and Misdemeanors
Lack of evidence: In order to convict someone of a crime, the prosecution must present sufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If the evidence is weak or insufficient, a defense attorney may argue that the prosecution has not met its burden of proof.
Self-defense: If an individual is charged with a violent crime such as assault or homicide, a defense attorney may argue that the individual acted in self-defense. This defense typically involves showing that the defendant believed they were in imminent danger of harm and used reasonable force to protect themselves.
Entrapment: If an individual is induced or coerced by law enforcement into committing a crime they would not have otherwise committed, a defense attorney may argue that the individual was entrapped. This defense typically involves showing that the individual would not have committed the crime without the encouragement or pressure of law enforcement.
Insanity: If an individual is charged with a crime and was mentally ill or incompetent at the time of the offense, a defense attorney may argue that they were legally insane and therefore not responsible for their actions. This defense typically involves presenting evidence of the defendant’s mental state at the time of the offense.
Violation of rights: If law enforcement officers violate an individual’s rights during an investigation or arrest, a defense attorney may argue that any evidence obtained as a result of the violation should be excluded from the trial. This defense typically involves challenging the admissibility of evidence based on violations of the Fourth, Fifth, or Sixth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
The Importance of Hiring An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
The consequences of being convicted of a felony or misdemeanor in Texas can be severe, including imprisonment, fines, and damage to one’s reputation and future opportunities. This is why it is crucial to have a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney on your side to protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome.
Richard’s extensive experience in criminal defense enables him to understand the Texas criminal justice system and the applicable laws and procedures in your case. His expertise in criminal defense allows him to conduct a thorough investigation of your case, including identifying any weaknesses in the prosecution’s evidence and any violations of your constitutional rights. Richard can also provide you with a comprehensive analysis of the potential consequences of each available legal option and work with you to develop a defense strategy customized to your particular case.
WE CAN HELP
Richard is an experienced criminal defense lawyer committed to helping clients navigate the complexities of the Texas criminal justice system. With his extensive knowledge of the law and dedication to protecting our clients’ rights, he works tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome in every case. Whether you are facing a misdemeanor or felony charge, he is here to provide the guidance and representation you need to protect your future.
Protect yourself and schedule a consultation with us
If you or a loved one is facing felony or misdemeanor charges in Texas, contact us today to schedule a consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Let us help you protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome.
Can I get a felony or misdemeanor expunged from my record?
If a person was arrested for a crime but not charged or the charges were dismissed, they may be able to have the arrest expunged from their record. Additionally, if a person was charged with a misdemeanor offense and found not guilty or the charges were dismissed, they may be eligible for expungement.
However, if a person was convicted of a misdemeanor offense, they may only be eligible for expungement if they received deferred adjudication and completed the terms of their probation. For felony convictions, expungement is generally not available except in very limited circumstances, such as cases of wrongful conviction or mistaken identity.
It’s important to note that expungement is a complex and highly technical process that requires the expertise of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Richard can evaluate a person’s eligibility for expungement and guide them through the process to help ensure that their criminal record is properly expunged.
Can I still face jail time for a misdemeanor conviction in Texas??
Yes, it is possible to face jail time for a misdemeanor conviction in Texas. The length of the sentence will depend on the specific offense, as well as any aggravating or mitigating factors in the case.
For Class A misdemeanors, the maximum sentence is up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $4,000. For Class B misdemeanors, the maximum sentence is up to 180 days in county jail and a fine of up to $2,000. Additionally, certain misdemeanor offenses may have mandatory minimum sentences or may be subject to enhanced penalties if the offense is committed under certain circumstances, such as repeat offenses or offenses committed in certain locations.
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