Texas Misdemeanor Crimes Lawyer
Our Experienced Misdemeanor Crimes Lawyer Can Help You When You’re Facing Imprisonment and Fines — Houston, Galveston, League City, Texas
Texas law categorizes a number of different types of criminal offenses as misdemeanors. While it is true that these kinds of charges generally come with less severe penalties than felony crimes, they should still be taken seriously, as they are punishable by jail time and hefty fines. That being said, however, misdemeanor crimes should never be dismissed as insignificant, or written off as something that doesn’t deserve serious legal attention if a person is charged with a misdemeanor. Being convicted of a misdemeanor crime can have serious legal implications on a person’s life, affecting everything from reputation to being able to secure employment and more.
At the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, our experienced misdemeanor crime attorneys serving Galveston and Houston, help you to understand the law and build your defense when you have been charged with a misdemeanor. Tad Nelson is board certified in criminal trial law, and isn’t intimidated by the prospect of working hard to protect and represent you, even if that means going to court. For legal advice and counsel you can count on, call us today to schedule your free, no obligation case consultation.
Common Types of Misdemeanor Offenses
While misdemeanors are not as serious as felonies in Texas, a misdemeanor conviction will still result in a criminal record and can often lead to a sentence that involves jail time. Indeed, a Class B misdemeanor can result in a sentence that includes up to 180 days in jail, while a Class A misdemeanor can result in a sentence that includes up to one year in jail. Accordingly, you need to begin working with an experienced Texas misdemeanor criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to avoid a conviction.
In the meantime, you should learn more about the types of offenses that can result in misdemeanor charges. Theft-related allegations are some of the most commonly charged misdemeanor offenses in Texas. There are also a number of drug crimes that are charged as misdemeanors in Texas. Another type of misdemeanor is driving while intoxicated. This is a Class B misdemeanor in Texas and comes with a mandatory three days in jail, or if an open container of alcohol is discovered in the vehicle, up to six days confinement. If you are facing misdemeanor charges, our attorneys are here to represent you.
While there are many different types of misdemeanors under the Texas Penal Code, the following are some examples of commonly charged misdemeanor offenses in Texas.
No matter the misdemeanor crime you have been charged with, we will take the charges seriously and work aggressively to protect your rights.
Depending upon the amount of money that is alleged to have been stolen, or the value of the property, you can face either misdemeanor or felony charges. The classification of your charge will depend on the value or amount of money associated with the theft. When it comes to misdemeanor theft offenses, a Class C misdemeanor theft charge is for money or property valued at less than $50. Class C misdemeanors are punished with a monetary fine of up to $500, and you will have a criminal record. Class B misdemeanor theft charges occur when the money or property value is between $50 and $499 (i.e., less than $500). You will face Class A misdemeanor theft charges if money or property valued between $500 and $1,499 is stolen. Any thefts involving money or property valued at $1,500 or more are felony offenses.
Misdemeanor Drug Charges
Possessing less than two ounces of marijuana is generally charged as a Class B misdemeanor and as such, is punishable by up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine. Possession of two to four ounces of this substance, on the other hand, is a Class A misdemeanor, which could mean up to a year in jail. The possession of depressants and certain stimulants without a prescription can also results in misdemeanor drug charges. Less than 28 grams of salvia, peyote, and certain hormonal drugs, for instance, is a Class A misdemeanor. Possession of drugs with medicinal properties, but that also contain traces of narcotics like codeine and opium, can also lead to Class B misdemeanor charges.
As mentioned previously, driving while intoxicated is a Class B misdemeanor in Texas and comes with a mandatory three days in jail. If an open container of alcohol is discovered in the vehicle, a penalty of up to six days confinement could be issued. In fact, even appearing in public while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a Class C misdemeanor. Repeat drunk driving offenders, however, can expect to face felony charges, as well as more severe penalties, including the suspension or revocation of their driver’s license.
Driving While Intoxicated
If you are convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas, you will have a Class B misdemeanor conviction on your record if this was your first offense. However, the charges can be increased to a Class A misdemeanor if you had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15 or more at the time of your arrest. In addition to anywhere from 180 days to one year in jail, you can also face a monetary fine of up to $2,000 for a Class B misdemeanor or up to $4,000 for a Class A misdemeanor. If you have a previous DWI conviction on your record, you could be facing felony charges.
Simple assault charges are typically misdemeanor offenses, although a simple assault can be a felony in certain situations. A simple assault that involves a threat of harm or contact is usually a Class C misdemeanor, although it may be a Class A or Class B misdemeanor depending upon the identity of the victim. A simple assault in which another person sustains bodily harm will be charged as a Class A misdemeanor, although it may be a felony offense in some cases.
Penalties for Misdemeanor Crimes in Texas
The severity of the penalties that accompany a criminal conviction in Texas depend largely on whether the offense is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Those convicted of felonies, for instance, can almost always expect to spend significant time in jail, while individuals convicted of misdemeanors could end up with fines and probation, but avoid imprisonment. This does not mean, however, that misdemeanor charges should be taken less seriously, as having any kind of criminal record can have far-reaching consequences, so if you were accused of a crime in Texas, you should speak with an experienced Houston misdemeanor crimes lawyer who can help you build a defense.
I Was Charged with a Misdemeanor – Could I be Facing Jail Time?
Types of Misdemeanors in Texas
Misdemeanor offenses are more common than their felony counterparts, as the former tend to encompass crimes that are non-violent and don’t involve major property damage. Class C misdemeanors, for instance, which are the least serious form of misdemeanor crime, come with a fine of $500, but no jail time.
Certain types of misdemeanor charges do, however, come with the threat of severe penalties, including significant jail time. Class B misdemeanors, the next most serious form of this offense, for example, come with a much higher fine of $2,000, as well as up to six months in county jail. Class A misdemeanors, on the other hand, which represent Texas’ most serious form of misdemeanor crime, are accompanied by not only a $4,000 fine, but also the threat of up to a year in jail.
How crimes are charged in Texas is not, however, always straightforward. A crime that would normally qualify as a Class C misdemeanor for a first time offender could, for instance, be enhanced to a Class B, or even Class C misdemeanor for someone with a criminal record. Having an experienced legal representative on your side can make all the difference in the types of charges you end up facing in court.
The Consequences of a Criminal Record
While many people who are facing misdemeanor criminal charges in Texas are relieved that they could be avoiding jail time, the reality is that having any kind of criminal record can be detrimental to the accused’s personal life and career opportunities. Many of those with criminal convictions on their record, for instance, could face difficulty in finding employment, buying or renting a home, taking advantage of educational opportunities, or joining the military. Many also suffer from damage to their personal and/or business reputations in their communities, making it especially important for those accused of crimes in Texas, to mount a strong defense.
Were You Charged with a Misdemeanor Offense?
If you were accused of committing a misdemeanor offense, whether theft, drug, or alcohol-related, you could be facing significant jail time and expensive fines. Put our criminal defense experience on your side. We can help ensure that you are able to mount the strongest defense possible to the criminal allegations being levied against you. Call one of our dedicated Houston misdemeanor crime lawyers at The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates today for a free consultation at 281-280-0100 or chat us via online message.