The Houston criminal defense attorneys at Tully Rinckey have a wealth of experience in both state and federal courts, and are prepared to handle criminal matters ranging from traffic tickets, DUIs, and misdemeanors. Tully Rinckey’s criminal defense team has a proven track record of fighting for our Texas clients. Our lawyers are skilled, knowledgeable and very experienced, and our team routinely services clients throughout the greater Austin and Houston areas.
Misdemeanors commonly charged in Houston range from certain drug crimes with a small amount of controlled substances, to petty theft, to DWI first offense. Most misdemeanors will be crimes that do not involve violence or a high degree of property loss. Sentencing is most often decided on by a judge, but a jury may suggest sentencing measures to a judge. In addition to helping with these type of cases, we can also represent you in the face of probation violations, or military crimes if you are a member of the armed forces. Members of the armed forces may also be eligible for special Veteran’s Treatment Courts which can result in no conviction or jail time.
Expunction and Sealing of Misdemeanor Records
The process to vacate or expunge your criminal records is known as “expunction.” This process occurs after either an arrest, an acquittal (finding of not guilty), or a dismissal. A person seeking an expunction must then wait a certain amount of time for their record to be eligible for favorable action under the expunction process. At a minimum, the person must not have any current criminal charges or proceedings pending against them. Class A and B misdemeanors are eligible for expunction one year from the date of the arrest while Class C misdemeanors are eligible 180 days from the arrest date. A person seeking expunction must petition the court for an “order of nondisclosure” and often involves completion of supervision and other court-mandated programs.
What is the Difference Between and Misdemeanor and a Felony?
Excepting very minor infractions such as speeding tickets, the State of Texas classifies all crimes codified in Texas Penal Law as either misdemeanors or felonies. This categorization reflects the intensity of the crimes, with misdemeanor charges being less serious than felony charges.
Although less serious, a misdemeanor charge should still be taken seriously. A misdemeanor conviction still results in a criminal record which can adversely impact a person’s ability to seek employment. Additionally, a person convicted of a misdemeanor still faces imprisonment and heavy fines.
Misdemeanors come in three classes: Class A, Class B, and Class C. Convictions for Class A misdemeanors may carry a penalty of up to one full year in county jail, and a fine of up to $4,000. Class B misdemeanors are considered less severe and only have a maximum jail time penalty of 180 days in a county jail, and a fine of up to $2,000. Class C misdemeanors are considered the least severe of all misdemeanor charges. There is no jail time involved with a Class C misdemeanor; however, it can result in a fine of up to $500.
Felonies, on the other hand, have five classification levels, ranging from Capital felonies to State jail felonies. Regardless of their specific class, all felonies in Texas carry a potential penalty of more than one year spent in prison. In fact, certain felonies can result in up to twenty-five years behind bars, or even life in prison or the death penalty for violent Capital felonies.
Collateral Consequences of a felony conviction
All felony convictions comes with collateral consequences. The penalties of a conviction, in addition to jail time and fines, include losing the right to vote, losing the right to carry a firearm or own weapons, getting stripped of certain certifications, or being blocked from certain professions.
Consult an Austin, TX Criminal Lawyer Today
If you are accused of a crime in the greater Houston area, your best first step may be to contact a Houston criminal lawyer from Tully Rinckey for advice on your best options. With strong legal representation from our firm on your side, you can rest assured that your case will be handled by unshakeable advocates with experience in every aspect of criminal law in the State of Texas.
To schedule an initial consultation, give us a call today at 8885294543 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Book Your Consultation Now!
Ready to book your consultation? Click here to pay our consultation fee and book your meeting with an attorney today!
When you choose Tully Rinckey PLLC, you aren’t just assigned an attorney. Your legal matter will be cared for by our entire legal team and support staff. With offices throughout the United States and overseas, we make sure you receive legal counsel and representation you can trust.
Commitment to Our Clients
Our team-oriented philosophy encourages open and ongoing communication with every attorney, paralegal, and other support staff working with each client ensures we understand their goals. Our commitment to you means meeting your objectives, working attentively and persistently toward your success, and efficiently adjusting to your changing needs.
Full Service Legal Firm
Tully Rinckey is a full-service law firm. We handle legal issues relating to appellate law, litigation, bankruptcy, international and U.S.-based business law, family and matrimonial law, military and federal employment law, intellectual property law, and much more. We also offer a variety of services, including estate planning, security clearance representation, and congressional investigations. Regardless of your legal needs, we have the experienced counsel you need.
Our highly knowledgeable law team comes to the table with attorneys who have 20 to 30 years of experience representing hundreds of clients. With hundreds of years of combined experience in appellate, international and U.S. business and corporate commercial law, litigation, criminal law, immigration, bankruptcy, employment law, estate planning, our team has what it takes to ensure your success.
Our Personal Process
Contact us to discuss your needs with a client representative and schedule a consultation with an attorney.
PREPARE FOR CONSULTATION
Your time with your attorney is important. Please use this guide to get the most out of your initial consultation.
Meet your attorney
We discuss your specific legal goals and gain important information from you to help us understand your unique situation.