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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
Facing a criminal charge can be a scary experience. A criminal conviction can severely harm your prospects in many areas of life, including employment, finances, and housing. Students may face expulsion or changes in financial aid. A criminal charge is also not something you must face alone.
It is crucial for anyone facing charges to contact a Midland criminal lawyer as soon as possible. Time is of the essence when you are facing potential jail time and serious financial penalties. You have the right to request an attorney, to remain silent when arrested, and to not sign anything until you speak with experienced attorney who can help you build your case.
Steps to Take Following An Arrest
A person arrested and charged with a crime should say as little as possible to law enforcement officers and wait until they have legal representation from a criminal attorney in Midland. Anything said to law enforcement and/or prosecutors can be used against them.
Criminal charges run the gamut, but are either classified as misdemeanors or felonies depending upon the circumstances of the case. Even misdemeanor convictions can mean jail time.
Defendants arrested on misdemeanor charges are usually arraigned in a county court. Defendants charged with felonies are indicted in district court, with a grand jury present. A misdemeanor charge is punishable by less than one year incarceration while a felony is punishable by more than one year incarceration.
Common Criminal Charges and Penalties
Under Texas Penal Code 12.03, misdemeanor crimes are punishable by up to one year in county or local jail. Conviction of a Class A or B misdemeanor can mean incarceration and/or fines, while a Class C conviction is punishable by a fine of up to $500 and does not include jail time.
Felonies are more serious classifications, and conviction means state jail or prison terms – even the death penalty in the case of a capital felony such as murder. Substantial fines are also involved in a felony conviction. Felonies fall into five categories with the following possible punishments:
- Capital felonies – death penalty or life without parole
- First –degree felonies –a minimum of five years up to 99 years or life
- Second-degree felonies – between two and 20 years’ imprisonment
- Third-degree felonies – between two and 10 years’ imprisonment
- State jail felonies – between six months and two years’ imprisonment
Crimes commonly prosecuted in the local and state criminal justice system that warrant the attention of a Midland criminal attorney include:
- Domestic violence
- Drug charges
- Sex-related offenses
- Vehicular homicide
- Certain computer crimes
- Certain white-collar crimes
Contacting An Experienced Attorney
If you are facing criminal charges, you need the services of a criminal attorney who practices in Midland. The prosecutor’s office has tremendous resources and defendants need an attorney who will aggressively defend their case utilizing their own best resources.
A Midland criminal lawyer thoroughly investigates each case and defends their clients’ rights. An attorney hires medical, forensic, and other experts and has access to first-rate crime laboratories.
An experienced attorney can guide you through the criminal justice process, ensure you understand the proceedings, and work to give you the fair treatment you deserve.
Texas Criminal Defense Group Giving Back Scholarship
The Texas Criminal Defense Group Giving Back Scholarship is an opening for a worthy student who is to describe how participating in community service has impacted both themselves and their community.
Our firm is delighted to award this student with $1,000 towards their academic future. The qualifying applicant will provide a personal essay with a meaningful description of their experiences in community service and what giving back to their community means to them.
The essay must be about 750 words in 12-point Times New Roman font and free of any typos or grammatical errors. In order to initially qualify, the student must have a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative grade point average from an accredited college or university. Please also include an updated resume and cover letter with your essay.