With the wide range of legal terminology, it can be confusing to understand the criminal charges you’re facing. Misdemeanors are generally less severe crimes that can lead to jail time and fines.

However, multiple misdemeanors can bump up the charges into felony territory. Felonies can land a person in prison for a lengthy sentence with much higher fines.

If you are being charged with a misdemeanor in Texas, you should learn about the different levels of crimes and what sentence you could face if you are convicted. One of the best things you could do is contact a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney like those at our law firm. Our fifty-plus years of combined experience gives us the edge needed to find positive results in your case, whether that’s through negotiations or defending you in court. Contact Morgan Bourque Attorney at Law today at 713-766-3733 to see how we can help.

Class A Misdemeanors

Class A misdemeanors are the most serious violations in the misdemeanor category. They could get you up to a year in jail and $4,000 in fines. Higher penalties result from crimes that are more serious in nature.

Some examples of Class A misdemeanors in Texas are:

  • Second offense DWI
  • Evading arrest on foot
  • Violation of protective order
  • Cruelty to animals
  • Assault resulting in injury
  • Burglary of a vehicle
  • Perjury
  • Online impersonation

Class B Misdemeanors

These crimes are slightly less severe than Class A misdemeanors but could still result in jail time of up to 180 days and fines of up to $2,000.

Class B misdemeanors in Texas include:

  • Indecent exposure
  • Criminal mischief
  • Evading arrest
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Harassment
  • Possession of a controlled substance
  • Criminal trespass (not of someone’s home)
  • Theft of property under $100
  • Riot
  • Drunk driving
  • Possession of up to 2 oz of marijuana

Class C Misdemeanors

Class C misdemeanors are the least serious misdemeanors. An individual convicted of a class C misdemeanor will not receive any jail time but may be charged a fine of $500.

Some Class C misdemeanors are:

  • Public intoxication
  • Assault by contact
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Possession of paraphernalia
  • Petty theft
  • Gambling
  • Simple assault
  • Traffic tickets
  • Jumping bail
  • Trespassing on public property

What Are the Collateral Consequences of a Misdemeanor?

Unfortunately, fines and jail time are not the only consequences you might face as a result of a misdemeanor conviction. Because a misdemeanor stays on your public record for life, you may have to note it on applications moving forward. This can impact your ability to get a job, go to college, or obtain housing in the future.

Additionally, misdemeanor charges can cause you to lose certain professional licenses or have them revoked. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, nurses, and other professionals who need licenses to practice may have their credentials removed, which can upend a successful career. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor charge involving family violence, you may lose your right to own a firearm, even if your conviction is not a felony charge.

Can Misdemeanors be Used as Plea Bargains?

If you are charged with a felony crime, it’s possible that your attorney will negotiate with the prosecution to have you charged with a misdemeanor instead. However, you can also negotiate to be charged with a lower-level misdemeanor, especially if your original charge was for a Class A or Class B misdemeanor. Negotiating down to a Class C misdemeanor may allow you to avoid jail time and pay lesser fines. An experienced attorney on our team can assist you in using plea bargaining to avoid lengthy jail sentences and hefty fines.

Can Multiple Misdemeanors Impact Present Charges?

Although misdemeanors are considered lesser charges than felonies, being charged with multiple misdemeanors can still be a detriment to your case. Judges and prosecutors may look into your criminal history, and a prior history of crimes of the same type could enhance your misdemeanor class. If you are charged with a Class A misdemeanor originally, the charges could even be raised to the felony level. This could mean longer jail time and more expensive fines.

For instance, a first-time DWI charge is a Class B misdemeanor in Texas. However, a second DWI is automatically a Class A misdemeanor, which is the most severe class. A third DWI charge is automatically a third-degree felony, which increases the fines you must pay and the jail time you could face. Plus, if you are convicted, you will be labeled a convicted felon on your permanent record.

If you have had charges against you previously, it is extremely important to seek out a skilled defense lawyer to protect your rights and negotiate in your favor. Our team can assist you if you have been charged with multiple crimes in the past.

Should You Hire Our Attorneys?

In some cases, a crime that would typically be a misdemeanor could bring harsher punishments because of certain aggravating factors. Some examples include assaulting a pregnant woman, using a deadly weapon, or committing a repeat offense. If you are being charged with a misdemeanor or any crime in Texas, you need help from a legal professional with experience.

At our law firm, we have helped countless clients avoid the devastating consequences of a criminal conviction. We know how to investigate all the details to show that you do not deserve the harshest sentence for your charges. We promise to use our knowledge, skill, and talent to protect your constitutional rights as we fight aggressively for the best possible results in your case. Call Morgan Bourque Attorney at Law today at 713-766-3733 to schedule an appointment and see how our compassionate and capable legal team can help you!