Defending Against Texas DWI Charges: Strategies to Protect Your Rights
Facing driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges in Texas can be a distressing and overwhelming experience. A DWI conviction cRead More
Regarding criminal charges, there are two main categories of crimes: misdemeanors and felonies. The distinction between these two types of crimes is important, as the severity of the punishment and the long-term consequences can be significant. In Texas, misdemeanors and felonies are defined by the Texas Penal Code, and the penalties can range from fines and probation to imprisonment and even death.
Whether you are facing a misdemeanor or a felony charge, it is important to take the charges seriously and seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. A skilled attorney can help you navigate the legal process, protect your rights, and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.
In Texas, misdemeanors are divided into three categories: Class A, Class B, and Class C. Class A is the most serious misdemeanor, carrying a potential punishment of up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000. Class B misdemeanors carry a potential punishment of up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000, while Class C misdemeanors carry a potential fine of up to $500.
Some common examples of Class A misdemeanors in Texas include Assault Causing Bodily Injury, Theft of Property valued at $750 to $2,500, Public Lewdness, Burglary of a coin-operated machine, Improper Influence, Perjury, Hindering Proceedings by disorderly conduct, and Resisting Arrest.
Some common examples of Class B misdemeanors in Texas include Indecent Exposure, False Report to a Peace Officer, False identification as a Peace Officer, Interference with Public Duties, Disrupting a Meeting or Procession, Harassment, Trespass, and Theft of Property valued at $100 to an amount less than $750,
Class C misdemeanors typically include minor traffic violations and other minor offenses such as Public Intoxication and Disorderly Conduct.
Felonies are more serious crimes than misdemeanors and carry more severe penalties. Felonies are punishable by imprisonment in a state penitentiary, fines, or a combination of both. Texas has five categories of felonies, ranging from State Jail Felonies to Capital Felonies.
State Jail Felonies are the least severe felony. State Jail Felonies carry a potential punishment of 180 days to 2 years in a state jail facility and a fine of up to $10,000. Some common examples of State Jail Felonies in Texas include Criminally Negligent Homicide, Invasive Visual Recordings, Interference with Child Custody, Interference with the Rights of a Guardian, Evading Arrest, and Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle.
Offenses may often be charged as First, Second, or Third Degree Felonies depending on the specific allegations.
Third Degree Felonies carry a potential punishment of 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Some common examples of Third Degree Felonies in Texas may include: Deadly Conduct, Continuous Violence Against Family, Theft of Trade Secrets, Exploitation of a Child, Elderly Individual, or Disabled Individual, Aggravated Perjury, and Impersonating a Public Servant
Second Degree Felonies carry a potential punishment of 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Some common examples of Second Degree Felonies in Texas include Manslaughter, Indecency with a Child, Improper Relationship between Educator and Student, Robbery, and Online Solicitation of a Minor. First Degree Felonies carry a potential punishment of 5 to 99 years or life in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Some common examples of First Degree Felonies in Texas include Murder, Aggravated Kidnapping, Aggravated Sexual Assault, and Aggravated Robbery.
Capital Felonies carry a potential punishment of Life in prison or death. Capital Felonies in Texas include Murder of a peace officer who is acting in the lawful discharge of an official duty. For a murder case to be charged as Capital Murder, it must be alleged that the murder was committed under one of the statutory enumerated aggravated situations.
The potential consequences of a misdemeanor or felony conviction in Texas can be significant and long-lasting. In addition to potential fines and jail or prison time, a criminal conviction can impact employment, housing, and educational opportunities. A criminal record can also lead to social stigma and a loss of certain civil rights, such as voting or owning firearms.
In addition to these direct consequences, a criminal conviction can also have indirect consequences. For example, it may affect child custody proceedings, immigration status, and professional licenses.
Understanding the differences between misdemeanors and felonies is crucial for anyone facing criminal charges in Texas. The severity of the charge can significantly impact the consequences that follow, from the amount of fines to the length of potential incarceration.
It is always recommended to seek legal counsel in the event of a criminal charge, as a skilled attorney can provide valuable guidance and help to seek the best possible outcome for the case. With a comprehensive understanding of the nuances of the Texas criminal justice system, defendants can make informed decisions and take appropriate action to protect their rights and secure the best possible outcome in their case.
The client believed to be facing potential Wire Fraud Charges related to SBA PPP loan applications. Investigation of applications for PPP loans and PPP forgiveness demonstrated that the Client had at all times acted in a lawful manner. Investigation demonstrated no fraud was committed by the client. Case closed.
Client was charged by Federal Indictment with making a social media post that threatened Malicious Damage and Destruction of a Building by Means of Fire and Explosives in violation of Federal law. The Defense showed that Client was a law-abiding citizen. The Defense further showed that the alleged threat was not made with any criminal intent.
The client, a public official with a long history of public service, was accused by a former girlfriend of engaging in non-consensual sexual relations. The Defense investigation and analysis showed through a detailed timeline that the allegation made absolutely no sense. Phone records, including calls and texts, were relied on to help establish an accurate timeline. The Defense met with law enforcement and reviewed a detailed package that exonerated the accused.
Client, a Houston area professional who frequently travels for work, was accused by his wife of assaulting her in his family home. Defense showed that wife’s story lacked credibility and there was no physical evidence in support of the wife’s allegation.
The client, a young Black male, was driving his car when police pulled him over for no apparent reason. It looked to be a profile stop. The client was accused of possessing a controlled substance in his vehicle. The Defense showed that there was no lawful basis for the police to stop the Client’s car. The Defense also showed that there was no lawful basis for the search of the Client’s car. It was a bad search, so the seized evidence was not admissible.
Client charged in Federal Indictment In “Operation Wrecking Ball” with 55 named co-defendants. Client faced seven charges. Client was charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine and Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering. Client was also charged with four counts of Distribution of Cocaine and one count of Money laundering.
Allegations involved client’s alleged use of his home to distribute cocaine. Government’s lengthy investigation involved numerous wiretaps, surveillance, video, pole cams, search warrants, vehicle stops and use of cooperating co-defendants.
Client went to trial with four remaining defendants. After a two-week trial, Judge granted Motion for Acquittal on four of the seven charges. Jury found Client Not Guilty of remaining three charges.
Client charged in Federal Court with two counts of Wire Fraud related to Five SBA EIDL loan applications. The Government alleged the client, a Houston professional, defrauded the Small Business Administration out of over $150,000. The Government also found the intended loss was over half a million dollars. The Client faced up to 20 years in prison on each count. The Defense investigated the case and negotiated a deal that included the Government not opposing a probation. The Federal Guideline calculation was for a prison sentence and the Probation Department recommended a prison sentence. Attorney Fickman submitted a 90 page Defense Sentencing Memorandum asking for Probation.
Client was retired professional. Client was accused of being involved in a road rage incident in 1960 Area. Defense put together a 100 page memorandum that demonstrated complainant was actual aggressor.
Client was accused of touching child. Case involved thousands of pages of psychiatric and Child Protective Services records as well as investigations by multiple police departments. After three- year fight, case dismissed.
Client accused of shoving and knocking down family member causing injury. After investigation, charges were dismissed.
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