FELONY AND MISDEMEANOR REPRESENTATION
State and Federal Representation
Felonies are serious crimes with prison sentences that include life terms, and in rare cases, capital punishment.
In Texas, felonies are crimes punishable by terms that must be served in state prison or state jail. Less serious crimes (misdemeanors) are punishable by up to one year in local or county jail.Felonies in Texas are designated as capital felonies; first, second or third degree felonies; or state jail felonies. (Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 12.04.)
In Texas, capital felonies are punishable by death or life without parole. Murder is an example of a capital felony.We don’t handle capital felonies due to the nature of the work involved, capital felony attorneys often only work on the capital felony case for the whole time that it is being prosecuted and do nothing else but work on that case.
First Degree Felony
A conviction for a first degree felony can result in life imprisonment or five to 99 years’ imprisonment, as well as a fine of up to $10,000. (Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 12.32.)
Second Degree Felony
Under Texas law, second degree felonies are punishable by two to 20 years in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000. (Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 12.33.)
Third Degree Felony
A third degree felony is punishable by two to ten years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000. (Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 12.34.)
State Jail Felony
In Texas, state jail felonies are punishable by 180 days to two years in state jail and a fine of up to $10,000.If lawmakers identify a crime as a felony but fail to designate it as a particular kind of felony or set a specific sentence, then the felony is a state jail felony.A judge must punish a defendant convicted of a state jail felony to a third degree felony term if:
- the defendant used or exhibited a deadly weapon in the commission of the crime, or
- the defendant has previously been convicted of a felony.
(Tex. Penal Code Ann. § § 12.04, 12.35.)Regardless of the charges, our felony attorneys will do all they can to help you. We specialize in White Collar Criminal Defense but can handle most felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies include but are not limited to the following:
- Aggravated assault and/or battery
- Manslaughter (unintentional killing of another)
- Animal cruelty
- Vehicular homicide
- Tax evasion
- Various forms of fraud
- The manufacture, sale, distribution, or possession with intent to distribute of certain types and/or quantities of illegal drugs
- In some states, the simple possession (possession without intent to distribute, e.g., for personal use) of certain types of illegal drugs, usually in more than a certain quantity but regardless of quantity for some drugs in some jurisdictions
- Grand larceny or grand theft, i.e., larceny or theft above a certain statutorily established value or quantity of goods
- Vandalism on federal property.
- Obstruction of justice
- Check fraud
- Copyright infringement
- Child pornography
- Mail and wire fraud
- Violating parole, probation, or recognizance bond
- Threatening an official (police officer, judge)
If you’re indicted on charges of a felony, you need a lawyer who has the experience and training to represent you and try for the best possible outcome that is in your favor. Hernandez and English LLP has the expertise and a thorough knowledge of the Texas Penal Code to represent you. A law firm that can get felony charges dropped or reduced can save you money, valuable years of your life, and also help you retain the right to vote and carry a firearm. If the value of a theft is $1500 and above, a misdemeanor gets elevated to the level of a felony. In such cases, the only thing that stands between a light sentence and a much stiffer punishment is a lawyer who can prove that the theft or damage was not of such high a value. Texas Law is harsh on repeat offenders, and if you have a misdemeanor against your record, the same offense will be treated as a felony the next time. The sentence pronounced depends upon the judge’s interpretation of the sentencing guidelines, inputs from the prosecution, and in some cases, suggestions from the jury. As defense lawyers, we can make a plea bargain so that you face a reduced sentence for a lower-degree felony, and possibly, a misdemeanor. If the matter goes to trial, you have the option of authorizing the jury to make a sentencing recommendation. During the trial, we have the opportunity to argue for a lenient sentence by presenting extenuating circumstances for the crime. If probation is an option in your case, we will try hard for it. At every step of the process, we’ll fight for you and also ensure that you understand the consequences of each step.
A misdemeanor may appear to be a minor offense that will likely lead to only a fine or community service, but you need to keep in mind that misdemeanor charges that are ignored can lead to unpleasant ramifications. Misdemeanors attract imprisonment, fines, suspension of driver’s license, and limitations in educational opportunities available. An experienced criminal defense attorney can be the difference between punishment and a criminal record against your name as opposed to freedom and the charges being dropped. Skilled lawyers Hernandez and English LLP knows how the prosecution approaches these cases, and if the judge is not convinced beyond reasonable doubt that there is indeed a case against the defendant, then the charges against the accused may be dropped.Texas Penal Code Sec. 12.03.CLASSIFICATION OF MISDEMEANORS.(a) Misdemeanors are classified according to the relative seriousness of the offense into three categories:(1) Class A misdemeanors;(2) Class B misdemeanors;(3) Class C misdemeanors.(b) An offense designated a misdemeanor in this code without specification as to punishment or category is a Class C misdemeanor.(c) Conviction of a Class C misdemeanor does not impose any legal disability or disadvantage.
Class A Misdemeanor
In Texas, class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000, or both jail time and a fine. (Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 12.21.)Common Class A Misdemeanors in Texas include:
- Assault Causing Bodily Injury
- Assault Causing Bodily Injury – Family Member
- Driving While Intoxicated Misdemeanor Repetition
- Driving While Intoxicated BAC >/= .15 (.08 is the legal limit)
- Evading Arrest
- Theft $750-2500
- Resisting Arrest
Class B Misdemeanor
Under Texas’s laws, a class B misdemeanor is punishable by:up to 180 days in jail, a fine of up to $2,000, or both.(Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 12.22.)Common Class B misdemeanors include:
- Criminal Mischief $100-$750
- Criminal Trespass
- Driving While Intoxicated
- Driving While Intoxicated – Open Container
- Theft $100-$750
- Possession of Marijuana under 2 Ounces
Class C Misdemeanor
Class C misdemeanors in Texas are punishable by a fine of up to $500. There is no jail time for a class C misdemeanor. (Tex. Penal Code Ann. § § 12.03, 12.23.)
We normally tell our clients to handle their own Class C misdemeanors because of the cost associated.A good lawyer will try his best to ensure that a repeat misdemeanor by the client does not get treated as a felony. A felony charge attracts stiffer punishment.Get in touch with us and we’ll study your case and offer consultation on the appropriate course of action for your given situation. Call us today for secure and zealous representation.
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