Temple Misdemeanor Criminal Defense Attorney
Make no mistake; a misdemeanor crime is a serious offense. If convicted, you could be fined thousands of dollars and serve up to a year in jail. You could lose your driver’s license, your occupational license, or your job. And you’ll have a criminal record that can follow you for years, which can affect your ability to get a job, get a loan, or rent an apartment. If you get charged with a misdemeanor, thinking you’ll just pay a small fine and move on with your life can be a big mistake. Thankfully, it’s a mistake you can avoid by bringing your case to a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney at the earliest opportunity.
The Law Office of Katie L. Gomez, PLLC, excels in misdemeanor defense representation in Temple, Bell County and throughout Central Texas. If you’ve been arrested and charged with a Class A, Class B or Class C misdemeanor, call The Law Office of Katie L. Gomez, PLLC, to find out what your options are and how our law firm can help.
Comprehensive Texas Misdemeanor Defense in Temple
Our Temple law office represents people charged with a wide range of misdemeanor offenses in Bell County and surrounding areas. Some of the main areas we help with include:
- Criminal Trespass
- Criminal Mischief
- Disorderly Conduct
- Domestic Violence
- Marijuana and other drug possession offenses
- Open Carry/Concealed Carry Violations
- Violations of Protective Orders
Call our office as soon as possible after an arrest to see if we can help you. The sooner you call, the better able we will be to get you the best outcome in your case.
Misdemeanors in Texas
Misdemeanors in Texas are criminal offenses punishable by up to a year in jail. Texas criminal law places misdemeanors into one of three different classes, with different levels of punishment for each.
- Class A misdemeanors are punishable either by a fine up to $4,000, up to a year in jail, or both.
- Class B misdemeanors are punishable either by a fine up to $2,000, up to 180 days in jail, or both.
- Class C misdemeanors are punishable with up to $500 in fines, but they are not punished with any jail time.
The only way to know what class a particular misdemeanor offense falls into is to look at how the crime is defined in the Texas Penal Code. By way of example, burglary of a vehicle, carrying a gun without a permit, or violating a protective order are Class A misdemeanors; criminal trespass and minor drug possession are Class B misdemeanors; and simple assault, disorderly conduct, and possession of alcohol in a motor vehicle are Class C misdemeanors. If a misdemeanor offense is not specifically classified in statute, it is considered to be a Class C misdemeanor.
Class C misdemeanors are a step above infractions. Most traffic violations are considered infractions instead of criminal offenses. A conviction for a Class C misdemeanor isn’t supposed to result in any kind of legal disability or disadvantage like other misdemeanors or felonies can, but even having a Class C misdemeanor on your record can come back to bite you if get arrested for a subsequent offense. Before you pay that fine or make that guilty plea, it’s worthwhile to visit with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to make sure you understand the consequences and are making the best decision.
Repeat and Habitual Misdemeanor Offenders
In Texas, having a record of previous convictions can result in enhanced sentences if you get convicted of a subsequent offense. Some of these enhancements include:
- If convicted of a Class A misdemeanor with a previous conviction for a Class A misdemeanor or a felony, a minimum of 90 days in jail if sentenced to jail;
- If convicted of a Class B misdemeanor with a previous conviction for a Class A or B misdemeanor or a felony, a minimum of 30 days in jail if sentenced to jail;
- If on trial for Class C disorderly conduct or public intoxication and you have three convictions for disorderly conduct or public intoxication in the last 24 months, you can be sentenced to up to 180 days in jail.
Considering the effect a prior conviction can have on a subsequent offense is one of the many reasons why it is so important to fight a misdemeanor charge, even if it is your first arrest for what seems like a minor offense. Having that criminal conviction on your record can return to haunt you if you are arrested again in the future.
Get Help With Misdemeanor Defense in Temple, Texas
The choice to plead guilty to a misdemeanor offense or fight the charges in court is yours to make, but it is a decision you should make only after you have all the facts and information in hand. A skilled and knowledgeable misdemeanor defense attorney can help you understand what is at stake and can also work to get charges dropped or reduced, negotiate a favorable plea, or fight for you in court. For help after a misdemeanor arrest in Temple, Bell County or Central Texas, call The Law Office of Katie L. Gomez, PLLC, at 254-330-3214 for a free consultation.