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Texas Criminal Defense LawyerSo if you're on probation, the thing you're trying to avoid at all costs is the motion to revoke your probation commonly referred to as an MTR. Now what happens in an MTR is your probation officer sends a letter or a violation report to the state's prosecutor, letting them know they believe you violated one of the terms of your probation. The prosecutor's office is, in turn, going to file that MTR, send it over to the judge for signature and then a warrant is going to be issued for your arrest.

What are common violations of probation?

Failing to appear, not completing court ordered classes, or failing a drug test are all common examples of probation violations we see but by far the worst violation you can possibly have is the allegation that you've committed an additional or a subsequent crime while on that probationary period. Now when a judge issues an MTR, they may or they may not set a bond when they do. Some judges wait till here physically arrested to set that bond, others wait until your attorney actually approaches them and ask for a bond. All of this can be avoided by working with a local criminal defense attorney and a bondsman to turn yourself in the jail and then immediately bond yourself right back out.

What is the process of an MTR court hearing?

So if you find yourself in court on one of these motions to revoke probation hearings, the judge is going to want to hear from your probation officer about the allegations surrounding your alleged violations of probation. Now if the judge finds it's true that you violated your probation, they're going to have a number of options available to them including extending your probation, adding in digital classes and fines or either revoking your probation and sending you either to the county jail, or to prison. So if you find yourself in a situation where you have an MTR against you or you think an MTR may be coming. It's important that you work with a local criminal defense attorney quickly so they can begin to devise a plan to keep you on probation and keep you out of jail.

Can You Get Arrested For Driving High?

Posted on July 24, 2020 in DWI

Karnes County Intoxicated Driving Defense LawyerAbsolutely. In Texas you can be charged with driving while intoxicated either by alcohol, drugs or pain medications prescribed to you by a doctor or a dentist. Now most people know that in Texas the legal limit for alcohol in your system is 0.08. What we don't know is that there's not really an equivalency for how much THC or other drugs you can have in your system before you're deemed to be intoxicated.

How can the state prove that I was high while driving?

So just because Texas doesn't have a legal limit, certainly doesn't mean that it's legal to smoke marijuana and then to drive. Prosecutors in the state of Texas can prove intoxication by marijuana in two ways. First, they can prove that you've lost the normal use of your mental faculties. Second, they can show that you lost the normal use of your physical faculties. Either one of those ways is going to be sufficient for the state to prove that you were driving while intoxicated by marijuana.

Is there a way to test someone to prove intoxication?

Now bear in mind, officers can still get a warrant for your blood for the purposes of testing for THC or other narcotics. Additionally, officers may ask you to submit to the standard field sobriety test or those tests on the side of the road looking for clues of intoxication. More agencies now are using what's called DREs or "Drug Recognition Experts." These are officers that are specially trained to recognize the signs of a drugged driver, and lastly, the most common way an officer figures out that somebody was driving while high is that the individual tells them that they were smoking marijuana or they have marijuana actually in the vehicle at the time of the arrest.


Wilson County Criminal defense attorneyWhat should I expect on my first day in court?

So people that don't have a lot of experience in the criminal justice system often wonder what's going to happen on my first court date. Now your first court date is generally called your arraignment and it's the first time the court has asked you to come to court and to address the criminal allegations against you. While most cases aren't and certainly shouldn't be resolved in one court setting, it's still an incredibly important part of your case.

What is the court process like?

Traffic, parking, and security all make getting to court take longer than expected. If you've ever been to the County Courthouse, you'll see these long lines in the morning, of people trying to get through security to get to their courtroom. Now what happens is eventually the judge will come out and he'll call all the names on the docket for that morning. We're gonna stand up with you, we're gonna let the judge know that we're there; we're your attorneys and that we're working on your case. Now judges don't like if you're late and will not hesitate to issue a warrant if you fail to appear.

Now security won't even let you in the courtroom if you're not appropriately dressed. So this means no flip-flops, no shorts, no tank tops and no hats. Our advice to the client is dress for court like you were dressing to go to church.


What Is Shoplifting?

Posted on July 24, 2020 in Criminal Defense

Karnes County Shoplifting AttorneySo a really common crime we see in Texas is shoplifting. Shoplifting is a variation of the theft statute. Theft in Texas law is defined simply as taking someone else's property without their permission. The idea in a shoplifting case is that you're taking retail stores’ items -- their products -- without permission from the store. Now the punishment range associated with shoplifting or other theft cases is directly correlated to the value of the items that are taken. Stealing gum is very different from stealing an iPhone. 

What are the penalties for shoplifting?

So a lot of the information on the Internet is actually incorrect and outdated. In September of 2015 the Texas Legislature updated the statute and the value ladder associated with it. Currently as it stands, any item less than $100 is going to be a Class C violation. Any item valued at $750 or less will be a Class B misdemeanor. Anything under $2,500, it's going to be a Class A misdemeanor. Above $2,500, and you end up looking at felony offenses and the possibility of prison and convictions. Now it is worth noting here that the cases stack as well. What that means is as you get further arrested and further convictions, the punishment ranges become more severe. The idea is that courts and prosecutors want to punish more severely someone who has multiple convictions for shoplifting as opposed to the individual that commits the offense just once in their life.

Are there other crimes related to shoplifting?

So we don't see these crimes often but they are out there. There is a separate offense for being in possession of booster bags or in being in possession of devices used to remove security tags. So if you're found with one of those in addition to the shoplifting charge, you'll get an additional case. We also see organized retail theft. The idea here being that if you're part of some sort of group that is stealing things are shoplifting from stores and then reselling them either on websites, out of your house, or at the flea market, you'll pick up an additional organized retail theft charge as well.


DWI & DUI Differences

Posted on July 24, 2020 in DWI

Karnes County dwi attorneySo people use these terms interchangeably but really in Texas, they're very different things. DWI is an acronym for "Driving while Intoxicated." While DUI stands for "Driving Under the Influence."

Which charge is worse?

DWI is much much worse than DUI. In the DWI case the state has to prove intoxication which is a high standard. They have to prove that you either had a blood-alcohol concentration above 0.08 or that you had lost the normal use of your mental or physical faculties. Conversely, in a DUI, all the state has to prove is that someone under the age of 21 had any detectable amount of alcohol in their system. The idea here being that people under the age of 21 aren't supposed to be drinking alcohol at all. So even a sip of alcohol and then getting behind the wheel can have you be found guilty for DUI.

What are the punishment differences?

So in Texas a DWI, even for a first-time offender can result in up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine. While in a DUI, the state is limited in their punishment options. The maximum punishment is a $500 fine, some community service hours, may be an alcohol awareness class, but certainly no jail time at all.


Wilson County Traffic Stop LawyerSo naturally, it is frustrating; it is upsetting to get pulled over by the police for a traffic violation. That's completely normal but the idea to remember here is that nowadays everything is being recorded -- audio and video -- and being polite is an easy way to improve your situation. It's an easy way to improve the outcome of your case. Those videos and those recordings are likely going to be reviewed by a court, by a judge, even possibly a jury, and you want to come across the right way. You want to come across professional and polite. Truth is officers have a lot of discretion in dealing with defendants and you can get on their good side by simply showing respect and following the rules. The opposite holds true as well. If you act like a jerk, if you are rude, really all you do is increase the odds that you're going to end up in handcuffs and end up at the local jail.

Should I get out of my vehicle?

So don't exit the vehicle unless specifically asked to by the officer. This can sometimes be misperceived as an act of aggression. Officer safety is always at the top of every officer's mind during a traffic stop. Now the PlayBook is pretty simple here. You're going to want to pull over on the side of the road, turn your engine off, turn your hazard lights on. If it's at night, put on the dome light, lower your window and keep your hands visible for the officer.

What do I do if I feel like it is not a real cop?

So Texas law requires that a driver pull over immediately if an officer is attempting to conduct a traffic stop, but sometimes you might not feel safe. The area might be unlit; it might be late at night; it might be a country road with no one else around you. Additionally, you may feel like this officer is not an actual police officer. Maybe they're not in uniform, maybe they're in an unmarked vehicle. The DPS website says that if you find yourself in this situation, do the following: slow down, turn on your hazard lights and call 911. Let the dispatch know who you are, where you're at and if possible the name of the officer that's attempting to pull you over. This is a good practice if you're just feeling like something's off about a traffic stop.

Can The Police Lie To Me?

Posted on July 24, 2020 in Criminal Defense

Atascosa County Criminal Defense AttorneySo people are sometimes surprised to learn that the Police can absolutely lie to you. During a detention, during an arrest, or just doing a normal conversation. The courts have said that police are allowed to be deceptive as they put it. Some common examples of times that we see Police officers acting deceptively would be when they tell you things like a witness has already told us everything so go ahead and tell us your side of the story. We hear them lie about evidence all the time, look at your fingerprints or DNA have already been found or look, I already know you've been drinking; go ahead and tell us your side of the story. Another common way we see police officers lie is about their future actions. So we hear things like tell me your side of the story and I'll talk to the DA or to the judge and make sure you don't get in any trouble. The truth is police officers are allowed to build rapport with you, build trust, lie to you, get a statement out of you and then use that statement against you in court.

Do I have to talk to the Police?

So you're certainly under no legal obligation to speak with the Police. The biggest mistake we've seen over time is people of the mindset of I can talk my way out of this when usually the opposite is true. Generally people give little pieces of information or facts that end up getting themselves arrested and eventually prosecuted. As a US citizen, we all have fundamental rights. We have the right to remain free from unreasonable searches and seizures; we have the right to freedom of speech; and we certainly have the right to remain silent. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees every citizen the right to remain silent when being questioned by Police or other government officials.

I don't have an attorney, should I talk to the Police?

So we know the Police can lie to you, combined with the idea that generally you're under no legal obligation whatsoever to be speaking with the Police in the first place, is how we get to that classic criminal defense attorney advice which is don't speak to the Police without your attorney present. Your best bet is to politely, but firmly, let the officers know you're not interested in answering questions right now. Now, when you do this, you're gonna want to do so unequivocally, you're going to want to be very clear. None of this wishy-washy, I don't know if I should say something; should I or should I not officer, just nodding or shaking your head. Tell them very upfront and very clearly, look I'm not comfortable, I'm not answering any questions until I consult with my attorney. Now people always worry -- isn't that going to make me look guilty, when in fact that could not be further from the truth. It's going to make you look smart and it's going to make you look like you're taking the situation seriously.


What is a Field Sobriety Test?

Posted on July 24, 2020 in DWI

Texas DWI attorneySure, so we've all seen this on TV and in movies. This is where an officer suspects somebody of driving while intoxicated. They pull them over, they're on the side of the road, they're gonna ask you to perform a series of tests to try to determine whether you're intoxicated, whether it'd be safe to be driving or not.

What are the three types of field tests?

So in Texas, officers use three basic field sobriety tests and as a former DWI prosecutor, I can tell you that these tests are designed for you to fail. The first test is going to be the one leg stand. In this test, the officer is going to ask you to lift one of your feet six inches off the ground and begin to count. The officer during this test we'll be watching you for swaying, watching you for losing your balance, watching really everything you do for any signs of intoxication. The second test is the walk and turn. In this test, the officer is going to ask you to imagine a line on the ground, follow that line nine steps, do a turn, do nine steps back. Same thing as the first test, he's looking for swaying, he's looking for using your hands for balance, he's looking for you taking the wrong amount of steps. The third test is the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test or the HGN. This is where an officer uses the pen and asks you to follow with your eye. The officer is looking for involuntary twitching of your eyeball. If your eye is twitching, he's going to count that as a clue, as a reason why he believes that you're intoxicated. All three of these tests are called Divided Attention Tests, meaning they're asking you to do one thing physically, while also giving you something to do mentally. It's the same as when you initially get pulled over. First thing the officer is gonna do is ask you to pull out your driver's license while simultaneously asking you where you're coming from. The idea here is to give you something to be thinking about while also physically asking you to do something, trying to come up with signs of intoxication, trying to make it appear as though you're confused or stumbling or intoxicated.

What happens if I don't do well on a test?

So a lot of people don't do well in these tests. Whether it's because of age, nervousness, or even an old injury. There's a thousand reasons why people don't do well on these tests. That being said, it's not the final word intoxication and a good lawyer can educate both the judge and a jury about the pitfalls and the problems in these tests and why your failure to do well might not necessarily be due to intoxication and might be due to one of many other reasons.


What Is DWI Really Mean?

Posted on July 24, 2020 in DWI

Wilson County Drunk Driving Attorney

What is the definition of "Driving While Intoxicated"?

So in Texas DWI is an acronym for "Driving While Intoxicated." Now we've all heard the phrase don't drink and drive. Believe it or not, that's not actually the law. There's a lot of phrases people use like being hammered, being drunk, being tipsy that actually have no legal meaning. In Texas, the key term is intoxication. The law says you cannot be intoxicated and drive a vehicle on a public roadway.

What are the definitions of intoxication in Texas?

So in Texas intoxication has three distinct definitions. The first is the loss of your mental faculties, the second is the loss of the normal use of your physical faculties, and the third is having a blood-alcohol concentration above 0.08.


Wilson County DWI AttorneySo, this is not the time to be looking at general practitioners or family law lawyers that do a little criminal defense on the side. DWI law is incredibly complicated and constantly changing. You're going to want to look at people who specialize in criminal offense and who specialize in DWI defense. You're going to want to look at reviews, awards, more specifically you're going to want to look for people who used to be DWI prosecutors. People who are used to working on the other side of the table, people who used to work with police officers and judges in prosecuting DWI cases.

How long do I have to get my DWI taken care of?

Expect to move quickly. You have 15 days following your DWI arrest to challenge your license suspension. What this practically means is that if you want to continue driving, you need to move quickly in hiring that DWI or criminal defense attorney. A good DWI lawyer will start working on your case immediately, both in crafting a defense as well as devising a plan to keep you driving.

I don't have a lot of time. How do I get through this charge?

So the truth is DWIs simply take a while. Crowded court system, over crowded dockets, lab results taking longer than they probably should -- all complicate and lengthen the DWI process. Now, look, DWIs are part of life. We've represented doctors, nurses, teachers, who've all had DWIs; and the truth is, you're going to get through it. People do get past a DWI arrest, but you need to have patience. Most DWIs should and aren't resolved quickly, but hiring an experienced criminal defense and a DWI attorney is a great first step in putting this problem behind you. DWIs happen, but if you act correctly and you hire the right representation, you can often minimize the penalties and the effect it will have on your life and your future.

Wilson County Felony DWI Attorney

What is the difference between DWI and DWI with a child passenger?

So the Texas Legislature has continually added additional and stricter DWI offenses. In 2003 they added DWI with a child passenger and they enhanced the punishment range on this offense from a traditional misdemeanor offense to a state jail facility offense. Now a state jail offense in the state of Texas is punishable by up to two years in the state jail facility, with a minimum confinement of 180 days and up to a ten thousand dollar fine. It's important to note with this offense that it doesn't matter if the child is a member of your family, it doesn't matter if anybody was hurt or injured, the allegation alone that you had a child under the age of 15 in your vehicle, and you were alleged to be intoxicated is enough to support this felony offense.

What are other complications involved with DWI with a child passenger?

So DWI with a child passenger is just a bad scene all around. We've certainly seen situations where somebody is drinking wine at lunch, there's a minor fender-bender, the police get called and all of a sudden you have a serious felony DWI charge. Even worse still depending on the jurisdiction, child endangerment charges may be filed against you; and even worse CPS or Child Protective Services may get involved. All these things could affect your future, your freedom, even your parental rights. DWI with a child pastor is such a serious charge that it's important to be aware of the issues in the law surrounding it.


What Is An Occupational Driver's License?

Posted on July 24, 2020 in DWI

Atascosa County DWI LawyerAn immediate concern for a lot of people following a DWI arrest is how am I going to continue to drive. I've got to go to work; I've got to take my kids to school; I need to run errands and go to the grocery store. For people who find themselves in this kind of situation, oftentimes, an occupational driver's license is the perfect solution. An Occupational driver's license is simply a court-ordered driver's license that allows you to drive during your suspension. These occupational drivers licenses aren't good for up to two years which is usually enough time to serve out your suspension as well as reobtain your regular Class-C Texas driver's license.

What are the benefits of an occupational license?

So the good news is that Texas has really loosened the restrictions regarding occupational driver's licenses. You can now quickly obtain one that will allow you to drive for work, school, run day to day errands like going to the grocery store. Additionally, these occupational driver's licenses can now be used in multiple counties. So if you need to travel for work, you can also use one of these for that.

What will happen if I get caught driving with a suspended license?

A lot of people after having their driver's licenses suspended continue to drive. They operate under the idea of look I'm going to risk it. I will drive very carefully and I will avoid police officers at all costs. We really don't recommend that and here's why. If you are caught driving on a suspended license, you risk being rearrested, going to the County Jail, having to repost your bond and even picking up additional charges. Even worse, when you finally do go to court for your driving while intoxicated case, it's going to look poorly upon you that the judge put imposition on your driver's license, and the first thing that you did was turn around and break that rule by continuing to drive.


Karnes County Criminal Defense LawyerAn order of nondisclosure is the legal mechanism we use to seal the records of an arrest and the court proceedings following a special kind of probation called "Deferred Adjudication." People sometimes are surprised to find out that they're arrested for a crime, they go to court, their attorney does a good job and they receive deferred adjudication. They successfully complete all the terms of their probation and they get their case dismissed. Then, later in life, during a routine background check for a job or for a house, the records of the arrest and the court proceedings still pop up, and this is because they have not taken the affirmative step of obtaining an order of nondisclosure to seal all those records from private background checks.

What does an order for nondisclosure do?

So what an order of nondisclosure does is, it's gonna seal the records of your arrest and court proceedings from all private background checks. So if you're in San Antonio and you're applying for a job at HEB or Valero and they run that background check on you, it's not going to pop up at all. This is much better than having to go into your job interview and explain that -- yes you were arrested, you completed your probation, and the case was dismissed. With an order of non-disclosure, you won't have to mention the arrest at all.

Who can still see my records even with nondisclosure?

So law enforcement agencies as well as professional licensing through the state of Texas will still have access to those records. So while it's not a complete destruction of all the records it will hide it from about 95% of the population. 


Two Types Of Felony DWI's

Posted on July 24, 2020 in DWI

Atascosa County DWI LawyerSo generally in Texas, we think of driving while intoxicated cases as misdemeanors, and they usually are. However, there are two circumstances in which a DWI may be filed as a felony offense. The first can happen to anyone, whether you've never been in trouble for, whether you have never been arrested, whether you've never had a DWI, and that is DWI with a child passenger. Now, this is a situation in which an individual is charged with DWI with the additional factor of having a child under the age of 15 in the vehicle at the time of the offense. This is going to be a state jail felony and in Texas, state jail felonies can carry up to two years in the state jail facility with a minimum confinement of 180 days, and up to a ten thousand dollar fine.

Additional Felony DWI offenses

So the second time we see driving while intoxicated cases filed as felonies is on a third offense or more. So this is a situation in which somebody has two prior DWI convictions at the time of the DWI third arrest. Now, in Texas, DWI thirds are treated as felonies and they're treated very seriously. A third degree felony punishable by between two and ten years in prison, and up to a $10,000 dollar fine. Now, the judge and the prosecutor are going to take a special interest in your case if you have a DWI third. They're going to see it not as a one-time mistake but signs that an individual has a habitual problem with alcohol.

I've been charged with a felony DWI. What should I do now?

So while Texas always takes DWI charges seriously, felony DWI is a special category and they need to be treated with extra care. You need to retain experienced defense counsel as soon as possible. Give us a call, we have former DWI prosecutors on our staff. We know how to handle these cases and we can certainly help you if you find yourself in a similar situation.

Wilson County Expunction AttorneyAn Expunction is a legal mechanism we use to completely destroy and erase any records of an arrest and a legal prosecution. We use it following a not guilty verdict or a complete dismissal of charges by the state of Texas. Simply put, with an expunction all records are completely destroyed and you are put back like the arrest simply had never occurred; not the FBI, not the government, not the police are gonna have access to the records of your arrest in court proceedings. 

If found not guilty, can professionals still see my case?

We've seen it so many times over the years where somebody is arrested for a crime. They go to court and the charges are dropped; the case is dismissed. They simply are not guilty. Years later, during a routine background check for a job or for a housing application, the arrest and the court proceedings pop up and cause them difficulties. The truth is unless you take that affirmative step of getting an order of expunction, it's still gonna pop up on criminal background checks. 

What are the qualifications for an order of expunction?

Expunctions are going to be available for a very selected group of people. It's going to be people who had their cases outright dismissed by the state of Texas without any kind of probation, people who completed a pretrial diversion, or people who obtained a "not guilty" at trial. Those people are all going to be eligible for a court-ordered expunction of all the arrest and court proceedings. 


Wilson County juvenile defense attorneyThe initial hearing in a juvenile case is called the detention hearing. It's the first time you'll see your child in court and the first time your judge will have an opportunity to speak with you, your attorney and your child.

What determines my child's release?

So the judge in the hearings can do two things. The first is they're gonna make a probable cause finding based on testimony from the probation office, police reports, videos, pictures to make that determination as to whether or not there's reason to believe your child committed a crime. If they do make that finding, they'll be on to the second part of the hearing which is the big part -- the release or detain determination. In that decision-making process, the judge willl look to the Texas Family Code which lays out a criteria in which children should be released and when they should be detained.

What are some aspects to keep in mind about my child's hearing?

A couple things to keep in mind -- the first is that juvenile detention hearings happen very quickly, usually within 48 hours of the arrest. So you're gonna get the terrible phone call that your child has been arrested and then very shortly after you're gonna get a second phone call letting you know they have court coming up. The second thing to keep in mind is that you do have a right to have your attorney present and arguing for your child's release at this hearing. The third thing to keep in mind is that if your child is detained they'll be detained in a local detention center, which is a lot like a jail with the exception that no adults are there. If your child is detained, they'll be detained for up to 10 working days before they'll be eligible for a subsequent detention hearing and another shot at convincing the judge to release your child.


3 Types of DWI

Posted on July 23, 2020 in DWI

Wilson County dwi attorneySo in Texas we have a few different variations of the DWI statute. We have a DWI 1st, we also have a DWI 2nd, and then a DWI 3rd statute if you've been previously convicted of a DWI. We have a DWI open container, which is the offense if you have a can of beer or other opened container of alcohol in the vehicle with you. We have a DWI with a child passenger under the age of 15, as well as a DWI reserved for if you have a blood-alcohol concentration that is double the legal limit.

Which DWI charge is considered to be worse?

So generally speaking, just like any other crimes, felonies are treated more seriously than misdemeanors. In DWI statutes felonies are going to be things like DWI 3rd or more as well as DWI with a child passenger, as well as anything involving a DWI and injury to another driver.

Should I plead guilty if charged with a DWI?

So if you're charged with DWI, it might feel like you've got no options -- like you have to go to court and you have to plead guilty. It couldn't be any further from the truth. DWI is unique in that it is an opinion crime, meaning that you can be arrested solely on the opinion of the arresting officer. But look, officers are just like all of us. They're human; they make mistakes; they have good days; they have bad days. If a good attorney can point out the difficulties or maybe some of the mistakes the officer was facing that day, that could make the whole difference in your case.


Wilson County criminal defense attorneySo running from the police in Texas is called "Evading Arrest," and you can absolutely get arrested for it. If an officer is attempting to lawfully detain or arrest you and you take off you can be subject to this crime. By way of a quick example, we sometimes see this charge when people are being pulled over for a minor traffic violation. Instead of pulling over they decide to gun it or take off. Now in addition to what would otherwise be a minor traffic violation, you'll pick up an evading arrest charge.

How much trouble can I get into if I run from the Police?

So it depends. If you run on foot, that's generally a misdemeanor charge. However, if you run in a vehicle or a car, you can pick up a felony charge. If you run on foot and then you decide to jump into a vehicle, you'll pick up a felony charge. Worst thing that can possibly happen is during the chase, whether on foot or whether in a vehicle, the officer hurts himself. We've definitely seen situations where an officer is chasing down an individual, sprains his ankle or hurts himself on a chain-link fence, all of a sudden you have a very serious felony charge on your hands.

If I feel like running what should I do?

Honestly -- don't run. You're just gonna make everything worse in the end. Look, if you're getting arrested for something, give us a call, we can take care of this for you and you're going to make our job a lot easier if we can tell the judge, tell the prosecutor that you're respectful, you listen to commands, and didn’t give the officer any trouble. It's much much more difficult when the officer says someone was angry, they were rude, they were disrespectful and even worse -- they ran.

Atascosa County criminal defense attorneyWhat is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

So in Texas we have two broad categories of crime. We have felonies and we have misdemeanors. Generally speaking felonies are considered more serious than misdemeanors. Felonies come in a few different levels from state jail felony all the way up to capital, whereas misdemeanors go from a Class A to a Class C.

Which charge is worse? A misdemeanor or a felony?

Again broadly speaking, felonies are considered more serious than misdemeanors.

What are the different classes of misdemeanors and felonies?

So misdemeanors come in three different varieties: Class A, Class B, and a Class C. It's worth noting that Class C is usually a traffic violation. So something like speeding or running a stop sign that is punishable by fine only. A Class-A misdemeanor is punishable by a maximum up to a year in the county jail. Compare this with felonies. Felonies go from a state jail felony all the way up to a capital felony. Felonies can obviously land you in prison for the rest of your life if convicted.


Karnes County criminal defense lawyerSo unfortunately missing court is one of the worst things you can do in your case. It's not like missing a dentist's appointment that you can simply reschedule. If the judge calls your name in the morning and you're not there -- two things are going to happen. The first thing is that you're going to get a warrant for failing to appear in the original case. The second thing that's going to happen is you're going to become subject to an additional charge under the Texas Penal Code for bail forfeiture and failure to appear. So unfortunately, if you missed court you have now compounded your problems.

What are the punishments for missing my court date?

You'll pick up a warrant in your original case- if that case was a misdemeanor, you'll pick up an additional misdemeanor charge and if the case that you missed is a felony, you'll pick up an additional felony charge.

What should I do if I miss my court hearing?

So if you miss court, that warrant is gonna be what's called a "Bench Warrant," and it allows any law-enforcement officer to pick you up during a traffic violation, pick you up at home, pick you up at work. So if you have a bench warrant issued on your behalf what you should do is immediately contact an attorney. We can go to the judge on your behalf, try to explain the circumstances surrounding your failure to appear in court, try to get the bail reinstated, try to get another bond set, try to do anything to keep you out of having to actually go to jail.

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