Misdemeanor Cases

A misdemeanor is considered a minor criminal offense. Although misdemeanors are “minor,” they are still considered a crime. Misdemeanors are typically punished by community service, probation, fines, and imprisonment for less than a year.

Many people may take the position that misdemeanor offenses are minor criminal but that’s a misconception. The appearance of any criminal charge on your background has the potential to cause an escalation of criminal charges in the event of a future arrest, and can cause other negative social, professional, and economic impacts.

Austin Misdemeanor Lawyer | Travis County, TX

If you or a loved were arrested and charged with a misdemeanor criminal offense, it should be treated as a serious matter and properly addressed by an experienced Austin criminal defense lawyer. Jackson F. Gorski has years of experience in criminal law and can obtain a reduction or dismissal of your charges.

Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski has offices in Austin and Georgetown but accepts clients throughout several counties in Texas including Travis County, Williamson County, Bell County, Bastrop County, Burnett County, Hays County, Caldwell County, Blanco County, Lee County, Milam County, Hays County, and Caldwell County.


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Levels Of Crime In Texas

Infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies are the three classifications of crimes recognized by Texas law.

Infractions

Crimes that are not severe enough to warrant an arrest and do not result in jail time are known as infractions. Jaywalking, disturbing the peace with loud music at a party, and driving infractions like blowing through stop signs are a few examples. Only monetary fines can be used to punish infractions.

Misdemeanors

The next level of a criminal charge is a misdemeanor. Many misdemeanors carry fines, though some also carry jail time. For misdemeanors, there are caps on the fines and the amount of jail time that may be served. Fines cannot exceed $4,000, and jail time can’t exceed one year. Any misdemeanor conviction will result in local confinement, rather than placement in a Texas state prison, either in the county jail or under house arrest.

Felonies

Felonies are serious offenses that subject the guilty party to detention in state prison by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. If convicted of a felony, the sentence is usually longer than a year and may even include the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.


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Misdemeanor Classes

Misdemeanor charges fall into one of three categories: Class A, Class B, or Class C misdemeanors.

If the accused is found guilty of committing a Class A misdemeanor, the most serious of the three classes, they could face a fine of up to $4,000 and a year in county jail. For a Class B misdemeanor, offenders could face a fine of up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail. A Class C misdemeanor carries fines of up to $500 but no jail time.

When determining a sentence for a misdemeanor conviction, a Texas court will consider several factors, such as the offender’s history, whether bias or prejudice motivated the crime, and whether drugs were used. These factors might affect how much time in prison and other penalties the criminal defendant may receive.

Common examples of misdemeanors include:

  • Petty theft;
  • Shoplifting;
  • Battery;
  • Disorderly conduct;
  • Domestic violence;
  • Vandalism;
  • First offense DWI;
  • Driving with a suspended license;
  • Criminal trespassing;
  • Writing bad checks; and
  • Simple Assault

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Consequences Of A Misdemeanor

In Texas, individuals may have to pay fines or go to jail if they are convicted of a misdemeanor. Although the consequences for a misdemeanor conviction are not as severe as those for felonies, they could still significantly impact one’s life. Many people are unaware of how misdemeanors can affect daily life. A simple misdemeanor can affect issues such as child custody, employment, and even the ability to rent an apartment.


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Expunging A Misdemeanor

A Class C misdemeanor in Texas may be “expunged” or removed from a person’s record 180 days after the date of the arrest. After a year has passed since the date of the arrest, Class A and Class B misdemeanors may be expunged.

The person arrested must also be cleared of all charges, have those charges dropped, or receive a pardon from the governor after a conviction. However, a lot of people who have been arrested and have successfully completed one of these criminal proceedings find it advantageous to have their records expunged, particularly when trying to rent an apartment, apply for a job, or obtain credit.

Even if they were found guilty of the crime, minors who were arrested may apply to have their record expunged once they turn 18 years old.


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Additional Resources

Texas Penal Code: Misdemeanor – Access the Texas Penal Code which defines misdemeanor crimes and outlines punishments for convictions. Sec. 12.03 is the classification of misdemeanors.

Texas Attorney General – Access the official website for the Texas Attorney General which provides a PDF of the Texas Penal Code Offenses by punishment Range, which includes all felonies and misdemeanors.


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Austin Misdemeanor Lawyer | Travis County, TX

If you have been arrested for a crime that is categorized as a misdemeanor, consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Jackson F. Gorski at [firm] has years of experience in criminal law and can be your guide through the judicial system to reduced or dismissed charges.

The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski has offices in Austin and Georgetown, TX. Call [phone] to arrange a free, confidential consultation with [firm] today.


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