Updated on August 23, 2022
Criminal charges in the State of Texas are by no means one-size-fits-all. These charges are divided into categories that are based on the relative severity of the associated crime. Further, each category has its own leniency potential that is based on the nature of the crime.
A first-time conviction of a misdemeanor, for example, is far more likely to be sentenced with probation than is a first-time conviction of a felony. Each category has its own range of punishments that are specifically calibrated to correspond to the severity of the offense in question.
If criminal charges have been brought against you, it is essential to contact a Killeen criminal defense lawyer right away. He or she will help you understand the nature of your charges, the possible consequences, and your best path forward.
In the State of Texas, an infraction is the least severe classification of criminal offense. Infractions generally refer to offenses that do not rise to the level of requiring arrest but still require legal action. These offenses include the following offenses:
Minor traffic violations (Should You Fight Your Texas Traffic Ticket?)
Public nuisance charges
While police officers may write citations for such offenses, they will rarely make an arrest. The consequences generally involve a fine, community service, or mandatory educational classes. Infractions can sometimes be cleared from one’s record.
The next level of criminal offense is the misdemeanor, which can warrant arrest but generally does not incur lengthy jail time. Misdemeanors can include the following crimes:
DWI charge if it is the first offense
Criminal mischief, meaning tampering with or damaging private property
Simple assault, which is threatening or causing bodily harm
While you may be arrested and booked into jail for a misdemeanor charge, it is unlikely that your bail will be set excessively high—most people are able to make bail after such a charge. The penalties associated with a misdemeanor conviction can include no more than a year in jail, fines, and probation.
Misdemeanor charges can be complicated and the consequences vary greatly. To learn more, read “What You Need to Know About Misdemeanors in the State of Texas.” You can also contact a Killeen criminal defense attorney to learn more about your specific charges and possible defenses.
In the Texas criminal justice system, felonies are the most serious charges. The crimes involved can range anywhere from aggravated assault to capital murder. Felony charges nearly always result in arrest and incarceration. Common felony charges include:
Assault with a deadly weapon, which includes anything that can cause serious injury or death
Aggravated robbery, or robbery that also threatens or causes harm
Sexual assault, which is forcing sexual contact on someone without consent
The penalties associated with a felony conviction are quite harsh and can include lengthy prison sentences, costly fines, and felony parole. If you are convicted of a felony, you can even lose certain personal freedoms, such as the right to vote, the right to work in certain careers, and the right to live in certain places.
If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense, Consult with a Killeen Lawyer Today
If you are facing criminal charges, it is serious, and your rights and freedom are far too important to leave to chance.
Attorney Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is a formidable Killeen criminal lawyer with years of experience helping clients like you. Our dedicated legal team is on your side, so please do not hesitate to contact us online or call us at (254) 781-4222 for more information today.