A common myth is that some types of crimes, most often misdemeanors, are “less serious” and can “fall off your record.” As these presumptions come with special conditions and caveats, it is the responsibility of community-focused Houston misdemeanor defense lawyers, such as those at the Law Office of David A. Breston to help clear up misconceptions and offer their services where needed.
When someone uses the words “crime” or “charge,” they often associate them with serious felonies that leave people behind bars for years. While misdemeanors by definition are less serious, it does not mean that they are not important enough to leave people in financial ruin and incarcerated for a considerable amount of time.
A misdemeanor is legally described as a charge below a felony, typically reserved for less-serious offenses. Misdemeanors may result in county jail imprisonment in lieu of a state penitentiary and can include fines of up to or including $4,000. Additional punishments used by Texas courts for misdemeanors include house arrest and probationary periods.
There are certain classifications for misdemeanors depending on how severe the state interprets the offense to be:
Despite this easy classification system, there are some special considerations to consider if charged with a misdemeanor, depending on the nature of the crime and offender. In the state of Texas, if someone has been convicted of a Class A misdemeanor previously, they must be sentenced to a minimum of 90 days in county jail after committing another Class A-level offense. If the charge is Class B, on the other hand, the mandatory minimum sentencing is 30 days.
More severely, if a drug was used to commit a Class A misdemeanor, a convicted individual will be subject to a 180-day mandatory minimum sentence in a county jail. The same time period will be assigned to an offender if their offense was motivated by prejudice or bias, such as on the basis of race or gender, for example.
Some skilled lawyers are able to not only defend someone charged with a misdemeanor – but petition for an order of nondisclosure. If someone has been convicted of a crime, they may be able to achieve non-disclosure with certain court-mandated programs under certain circumstances. Attorneys may also be able to help with the process of record expunction.
To learn more about how a Houston misdemeanor defense lawyer can help you or a loved one, please call the Law Office of David A. Breston at (713) 224-4040. Our firm offers free confidential consultations and a number of committed, passionate, and client-driven Texas-based attorneys.
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