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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
Facing any criminal accusation is a frightening and intimidating experience. Most people have no prior experience with the criminal justice system and do not know what to expect or what rights they have during the process.
A Plainview criminal lawyer is here to help you fully understand the consequences of the accusations you are facing and how to fight back at every opportunity. An accomplished and experienced defense attorney can actively work towards helping you seek the best outcome for your case.
Misdemeanors and Felony Offenses
The two main classes of criminal charges under Texas Penal Law include felonies and misdemeanors. The less serious of the two are misdemeanors. The three subgroups of misdemeanors each have their own specific potential penalties:
- Class A misdemeanors under Texas Penal Code §12.21. Punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000, or both
- Class B misdemeanors under Texas Penal Code §12.22. Punishable by a potential jail sentence of 180 days, a maximum fine of $2,000, or both
- Class C misdemeanors in Texas Penal Code §12.23. These offenses are punishable by a fine of up to $500
Common examples of misdemeanor-level offenses in Plainview are DUI, assault, and disorderly conduct.
Felony categories range from state jail felonies – which require a minimum jail sentence of 180 days and fines of up to $10,000 – to capital felonies where the minimum penalty is life in prison and the death penalty is possible.
Felonies always carry a potential jail sentence and, in most cases, a necessary prison sentence. Felony level offenses usually involve serious bodily harm, theft in large amounts, or the manufacture or sale of illegal drugs.
Common Tactics in Criminal Defense Cases in Plainview
It is important to remember that the state always bears the burden of proving a charge beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that an individual does not need to present any evidence at a trial. They also cannot be forced to testify in the case. Many successful defenses center entirely around effective cross-examination of the State’s witnesses and the defense attorney never calls a witness at all.
However, a truly effective defense begins from the individual’s initial arraignment. During this hearing, the defense counsel can argue questions of bail, make an initial discovery of evidence, and speak to the prosecuting attorney about the charges.
Subsequent hearings will deal with issues of evidence and defense attorneys have the chance to submit motions to the court arguing whether specific pieces of evidence should be admitted. For example, an individual may feel police searched them illegally which led to the discovery of incriminating evidence.
Speak with a Plainview Criminal Attorney Today
Any criminal charge is a serious matter. Even relatively minor misdemeanor charges may appear on a person’s job applications and police records for the rest of their lives. For this reason, it is important that anyone facing criminal accusations obtain representation.
A Plainview criminal attorney can work with diligence and thoroughness to examine each case. Using their knowledge of the law and their experience in the courtroom, a lawyer can tailor strategies to the specific case. Contact a Plainview criminal lawyer today to further discuss your case.