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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
A simple mistake or lapse in judgment can result in criminal charges with penalties that have the potential to alter the course of your life. Attempting to handle the matter on your own can often make matters worse. The seriousness of any type of criminal charges can make having a Collin County criminal defense lawyer at your side throughout all court proceedings crucial.
You may not be fully aware of the consequences of a criminal conviction, even for a relatively minor misdemeanor offense. In order to educate yourself about the potential repercussions of the criminal charges that you are facing, you may wish to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
Criminal Charges in Collin County
Texas law provides for different types of criminal offenses, some of which are more serious than others. These offenses primarily fall into two major categories: crimes against the person and crimes against property. A criminal defense attorney in Collin County can help individuals who are facing any type of criminal charges.
Crimes against the person are those that create a risk or cause harm to others. These offenses often carry the potential for the most severe penalties and include offenses such as murder, rape, assault, and sexually-based offenses.
Other criminal offenses deal exclusively with property. These crimes include theft, arson, and burglary. Property crimes also encompass so-called white collar crimes, which typically deal exclusively with the theft of money, often by professionals. White collar criminal offenses include embezzlement, money laundering, bribery, and various types of fraud.
Offenses related to drugs and alcohol may or may not involve harm to others. For example, a DWI or DUI charge may not create a risk of harm to anyone other than the drivers but can result in serious bodily injuries to others or fatal accidents. Drug offenses also can vary widely from simple possession of marijuana to the distribution of thousands of pounds of heroin.
Misdemeanor criminal offenses tend to be more minor and have the potential to result in a jail sentence of no more than one year. Some common misdemeanors include:
- Simple assault
- First-time DWI and DUI
- Possession of small amounts of marijuana
- Theft of goods valued at less than $2,500
Other penalties for a misdemeanor conviction may include completion of community service hours, attendance at an alcohol or drug education course, fines, and restitution. It is important to note that a misdemeanor conviction will show up on background checks and may impair the ability of a person to obtain jobs, housing, and pursue some professional licenses.
Higher Level Charges
On the other hand, felony criminal offenses are much more serious. The penalties can vary widely based on the severity of the crime and may include prison sentences ranging from one year to life and may even result in a death sentence in the most heinous crimes. Common felony charges include aggravated assault, the manufacture, and delivery of large amounts of controlled substances, rape, robbery, and burglary.
Any type of felony conviction also has collateral consequences. These consequences include the loss of civil rights, such as the ability to vote, hold public office, and possess firearms. A criminal defense lawyer in Collin County can help aggressively fight the charges to work towards a positive outcome.
Get Assistance from a Collin County Criminal Defense Attorney
All criminal charges have the potential to adversely impact your reputation in the community, your personal relationships, your career, and your future. A permanent criminal record can be damaging to your life in more ways than you might realize. As a result, contacting a Collin County criminal defense lawyer for representation may be key to keeping life as you know it intact.
Attempting to handle criminal matters on your own can have disastrous consequences. Getting legal advice from someone who will advocate on your behalf can be essential to successfully weathering any criminal charges that you might be facing. To learn how an attorney can help you, call today.