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Criminal Defense and Appeals

Last updated on October 26, 2021

As a seasoned criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor, Marilee H. Brown has handled hundreds of criminal cases ranging from traffic fines to robberies to DWIs and sexual assaults.

If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, you have certain guaranteed constitutional rights when it comes to your defense. The best way to ensure that your rights are being protected is to hire experienced legal representation.

Also, an experienced attorney may be able to plea bargain with prosecutors to obtain a lesser charge or a more lenient punishment, if not dismissal. If you find yourself facing a jury trial, you need an attorney to closely analyze the facts and evidence to advocate your innocence. Texas law categorizes crimes with the varying ranges of punishment, discussed below.

Misdemeanor Charges

Misdemeanors include lower-level offenses such as traffic tickets, minor drug offenses, minor assaults, thefts of value under $1,500, criminal trespass, first and second DWI offenses, and other general minor misconduct. Misdemeanor classes include the following:

  • Class C misdemeanor: A fine of up to $500 (no jail)
  • Class B misdemeanor: Up to 180 days in jail and/or a $2,000 fine or up to two years of probation
  • Class A misdemeanor: Up to one year in jail and/or a $4,000 fine or up to two years of probation

Felony Charges

Felonies are more serious crimes that are punishable by prison time, higher fines and possibly longer probation terms. Some examples are offenses with the higher quantities of drugs, assaults with serious bodily injury, sexually related crimes, any kind of burglary of a building or habitation, robbery, theft of property over $1,500, fraud and offenses with deadly weapons.

  • State jail felony: 180 days to two years in state jail and/or a $10,000 fine and/or up to five years of probation
  • Third-degree felony: Two to 10 years in prison (TDC) and/or a $10,000 fine and/or up to 10 years of probation
  • Second-degree felony: Two to 20 years in prison (TDC) and/or a $10,000 fine and/or up to 10 years of probation
  • First-degree felony: Five to 99 years in prison or life in prison and/or up to a $10,000 fine and/or probation
  • Capital degree felony: Life or death

Do Not Underestimate Traffic Tickets

If you were given a ticket for any type of traffic offense, you should always fight it. Paying a ticket is an admission of guilt and goes on your record. This can result in the accrual of points and lead to increased insurance rates and the possibility of having your driver’s license suspended. If you get four moving violations in one 12-month period or seven violations over two years, your license will be suspended. It is better to fight any ticket that you get than to simply pay the fine and hope that you will not be facing moving violations again in the near future. At Hazel Brown Law Firm, PLLC, we can help you minimize the penalties and, in some cases, get the charges dropped.

What Is The Point System?

Once a conviction for a traffic violation has been added to a driver’s record, points will be assigned and will remain on the driver’s record for three years. Points are assigned as follows: two points for a moving violation conviction; three points for a moving violation that resulted in a crash. Once a driver’s record acquires six points, the driver will be required to pay an annual surcharge. The surcharge is $100 for six points and $25 for each additional point. The driver’s record is reviewed annually to assess surcharges.

The legal team at Hazel Brown Law Firm, PLLC, can assist with your traffic ticket as well. One or more traffic tickets can result in expensive fines and the suspension of your driving privileges. If you face a repeat offense, the penalties will be even more serious.

Get Experienced Legal Help Today

Effective legal representation can help you by identifying the strengths and weaknesses of a case and negotiating with prosecutors for a lesser charge, deferred adjudication, probation or even a dismissal. The team at Hazel Brown Law Firm, PLLC has the experience necessary to help you. Call 830-629-6955 or send the firm an email to schedule your initial consultation.