San Antonio Misdemeanor Attorneys
Fighting for the Arrested and Accused in Texas
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor in the state of Texas, it is important to take this seriously. While it is fortunate that you have not been accused of a more serious felony, which can result in extremely severe penalties, misdemeanor charges are no laughing matter either.
Even though they are not usually treated as seriously in comparison to felonies, misdemeanors still result in harsh penalties, including both jail time and costly fines. Moreover, you may be put on probation and end up with a permanent criminal record, which will likely have long-lasting consequences. Reach out to our misdemeanor defense lawyers in San Antonio as quickly as possible so we can build your case.
Contact The Law Office of Derek S. Ritchie, PLLC at (210) 761-4943 to benefit from our client-centered approach to criminal defense.
Misdemeanors vs. Felonies in Texas
In the state of Texas, any crime that a person is accused of committing gets classified in one of two categories: a misdemeanor or a felony. The felony classification tends to be reserved for the harshest crimes, whereas misdemeanors tend to be viewed as slightly less serious.
However, the exact nature of a crime and its delineation depends entirely on the unique circumstances of your situation. In some cases, there is no distinction between a misdemeanor and a felony except the particular location, or even the status of the alleged victim. While both offenses come with many kinds of collateral penalties, misdemeanors have a maximum of 12 months in jail, but felonies usually carry a sentence of more than one year in prison.
Common Examples of Misdemeanor Offenses
While in some cases the severity of a crime will determine whether the offense gets counted as a misdemeanor or a felony, there are certain misdemeanors which tend to be clearly defined.
Some typical misdemeanor charges we see include those related to:
- Possessing a controlled substance
- Driving with a suspended license
- Violating a restraining order or a protective order
- Committing an assault
- Indecently exposing oneself
- Driving under the influence of alcohol
- Criminal mischief
- Engaging in harassment or stalking
- Engaging in any form of prostitution
- Being involved in a theft
Misdemeanor Classifications under Texas Law
In addition to dividing crimes into either misdemeanors or felonies, Texas law also further organizes misdemeanor charges into three specific classifications.
The three classifications of misdemeanors include:
- Class A misdemeanors are the most severe, and these have the harshest penalties as well. The statutory maximum punishment is a fine of $4,000, a year spent in jail, or both, as stated by Texas Penal Code Annotated § 12.21.
- Class B misdemeanors are serious as well, constituting a $2,000 fine along with up to 180 days served in a county jail.
- Class C misdemeanors have the lowest level penalty of a $500 fine, but the defendant will not receive a jail sentence, as stated by the Texas Penal Code Annotated § 12.23.
Contact Us Today – (210) 761-4943
Get in touch with our misdemeanor defense attorneys in San Antonio. We work diligently on behalf of our clients, helping them reduce or dismiss the charges, whenever possible. It is important to remember that no arrest should be taken lightly and you should never speak to the police or attempt to handle your case without the help of an attorney. We are passionate about helping good people who have found themselves in bad situations and will always apply the same level of commitment to every case we take on.