Misdemeanor Lawyer in Houston, Texas
There are three types of misdemeanors in Houston, all of which are punishable by a year in a local or county jail in the State of Texas. Each type of misdemeanor requires payment of a fine and/or some sort of financial compensation to the state. The three types of misdemeanors are identified by letters, presented here from the highest to lowest levels of legal culpability:
- Misdemeanor, Class A: The punishment for a class A misdemeanor includes up to one year in jail and no more than a $4,000 fine. Depending on the nature of the crime, both jail time and payment of a fine may be required. Examples of a Class A misdemeanor in Texas include a second DUI offense, possession of marijuana, animal cruelty, and carrying a weapon unlawfully. This group of misdemeanors is considered the most serious in this criminal category.
- Misdemeanor, Class B: A class B misdemeanor is less severe than a class A, but can still be punished with up to six months in jail, a fine of no more than $2,000, or both. Crimes that fall into this class include a first DUI offense, making a terror threat, prostitution, vandalism, and making a false report to a police officer or 911. Class B misdemeanors are less severe than Class A misdemeanors, but still require the valuable guidance of a qualified attorney.
- Misdemeanor, Class C: Though Class C misdemeanors are considered the least serious of all the three types of misdemeanors, they are criminal offenses nonetheless. These crimes require no more than a $500 fine, though jail time is not included. Examples of behaviors that warrant this kind of classification include disorderly conduct, auto theft, writing bad checks, petty theft, and criminal trespass.
What Else Should I Know about Misdemeanor Crime in Texas?
In the State of Texas, misdemeanors are considered less important or attention-worthy than felonies. While misdemeanors enjoy this “lesser status,” they can still wreak havoc on opportunities to secure gainful employment and may reflect poorly on your potential as a reliable individual. Misdemeanors must be appropriately and legally addressed so that their impact on your life does not build into increasing severity.
If committed more than once or twice, repeat misdemeanor offenses can lead to increasingly more severe punishments. For example, assault committed for the second time against a family member can be increased from a Class A Misdemeanor to a third degree felony.
If you commit a misdemeanor and the court determines that you are entitled to serve a probationary sentence rather than immediately serving time and paying damages, you may find yourself enjoying the benefits of a deferred adjudication. While this deferral does not remove the crime from your record, it does allow you to stay out of prison. This condition is available to clients that meet specific criteria set forth by the state. Once again, this is an arena in which an focused attorney can be there to help guide you towards meeting those eligibility requirements.
Will a Misdemeanor Stay On My Record or Does it Depend on the Crime?
Whether or not the mark of your misdemeanor remains on your criminal record is up to the courts, the classification of the misdemeanor, and your behavior. It is possible for even a class A misdemeanor to be removed or expunged from your records, but each case must be viewed and reviewed carefully on a case-by-case basis.
If You Have been Arrested for a Misdemeanor in Houston, Texas, Call Law Office of Scott D. Reiner
No matter the type of misdemeanor you are arrested for, it is critical that you take your charge seriously and treat it the way a serious allegation of crime deserves. Because the consequences of a misdemeanor can be dire and follow you into the foreseeable future, it may be in your best interests to contact Law Office of Scott D. Reiner. We will help you untangle legal messes and help you do what you can to prevent future mishaps.