Special Sentencing Considerations for Misdemeanor Offenses

February 16th, 2021 by Tad Nelson in Misdemeanor Crimes

Criminal offenses that are considered to be less serious are usually charged as misdemeanors and so may not come with particularly severe penalties. There are, however, a few exceptions to this rule, as Texas law requires courts to apply minimum sentences in certain misdemeanor cases. To learn more about these rules and how they could affect your own charges, please reach out to our experienced Houston misdemeanor crimes lawyers today. 

Repeat Offenses

Under Texas law, those who are convicted of a Class A misdemeanor and who have a prior conviction for a Class A misdemeanor (or a felony) on their record, will be required to spend at least 90 days in jail. Similarly, those found guilty of a Class B misdemeanor and who have a prior Class A or Class B misdemeanor, or a felony conviction on their record, will be sentenced to at least 90 days in jail. Those convicted of a Class C misdemeanor, on the other hand, will face up to 180 days in jail and a fine of $2,000 if:

  • They have three or more prior offenses involving the same charge on their record; or
  • They have been convicted of a combination of at least three Class C offenses. 

For help determining whether any of these rules could affect your own sentence if convicted, please call our office today. 

man in handcuffs

Racially-Motivated Crimes

Texas law also states that anyone found guilty of committing a Class B or Class C misdemeanor can expect their punishment to be increased to the next highest level of severity if the offense can be linked to racial prejudice or bias. A Class C misdemeanor, for instance, will be treated like a Class B misdemeanor when it comes to the penalties for conviction. If enhanced to a Class A misdemeanor, a defendant will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 180 days in jail. 

Use of a Controlled Substance

Finally, the punishment for those who are convicted of a Class B or Class C misdemeanor will be increased to the next level of severity if the offense in question was allegedly committed while the person was under the influence of a controlled substance. A Class B misdemeanor, for instance, would be penalized like a Class A misdemeanor. For Class A misdemeanor convictions, a defendant will be sentenced to at least 180 days in jail. 

Set Up a Consultation with an Experienced Houston Misdemeanor Crimes Lawyer

Although misdemeanor offenses are much less serious than their felony counterparts, they could still come with severe penalties, especially when drugs were allegedly involved, or the person involved has a prior criminal record. For help planning your own defense, or to learn more about the penalties you could be facing if convicted of a misdemeanor, please call 281-962-7817 and speak with the experienced Houston misdemeanor crimes lawyer at The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates.

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