Schedule a Consultation


Galveston Criminal Defense Lawyer

Galveston Criminal Defense Lawyer

Galveston Criminal Defense Lawyer

Galveston Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are accused of a criminal offense in Galveston, Texas, it’s critical that you take advantage of your right to choose your own legal counsel. By hiring an experienced private defense lawyer, you can help to ease the burden that a criminal case often holds. Whether you’re being charged with a misdemeanor or you are facing accusations of a violent felony, our Galveston defense firm has the experience needed to represent you properly.

Criminal Defense in the Lone Star State

No matter the crime, the penalties for a criminal offense can be intimidating for anyone facing them. Because of this, teaming up with a strategic defense attorney who has experience in the field can help give you a bit more confidence about your upcoming case. At the Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC, our dedication to our clients and their unique cases is unmatchable. With more than ten years of practice in the courtroom, our firm’s lead attorney consistently provides defense representation that fights for the greatest outcomes possible. If you or someone you love is facing criminal allegations in Galveston, seek assistance from our firm as soon as you can.

Understanding Criminal Law in Texas

While Texas generally has similar laws to other states regarding how crimes are handled, the state is also known for having incredibly strict punishments for certain offenses. For example, Texas still uses the death penalty as punishment more frequently than other states and for offenses that other states do not. Depending on a defendant’s offense, this can be an extremely frightening consequence. Luckily, with the help of our defense team and a strong understanding of Texas criminal law, we can work together to fight the allegations against you.

Criminal law in Texas outlines three categories of offenses, which are known as infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. Each category carries varying penalties and can also be classified by certain degrees. Felonies are divided into five different degrees, and misdemeanors are divided into classes labeled A-C. Most of these offenses carry “mandatory minimums,” which are mandated minimum jail and prison sentences for certain crimes.

Our Criminal Defense Services

Here at the Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC, criminal defense is our firm’s priority. Our services can accommodate individuals dealing with a variety of criminal offenses, including:


A DWI is a criminal offense known as “driving while intoxicated.” In Texas, it is illegal to operate a vehicle while you are intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. If you are found by an officer to be intoxicated while driving, you may ultimately be charged with a DWI. DWIs come with hefty penalties, including jail time, fines, license suspensions, and more. Our firm offers representation and support for individuals who are facing DWI charges in Galveston.


In Texas, assault is defined by state law as when an individual recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally injures another person or threatens to physically harm them. Assault can also occur if someone intentionally or knowingly uses physical contact against another person that would make them uncomfortable, offended, or provoked. When a person is charged with assault in Texas, it can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on how severely the victim was injured and how aggressive the defendant’s behavior was. To learn about your rights in an assault case, talk with our team today.

Drug Charges

Texas has very strict laws surrounding the possession of drugs in the state. This is because drug trafficking is a large problem that the government has been trying to combat for years. Common drug crimes include drug possession, drug manufacturing, and drug trafficking. Because of the intense penalties that a drug crime conviction can hold, it’s important that you see how our firm may be able to represent you.


From shoplifting to writing bad checks, the state of Texas has the power to arrest individuals on theft charges for a variety of reasons. No matter what kind of theft charges you’re facing, make sure that you discuss your options with our team. Texas law states that theft occurs when one individual takes another person’s property with the intent to permanently deprive them of their belongings. Theft is classified into two main categories, which are known as petty theft and grand theft. Unlike other states with limits of around $1,000, petty theft in Texas occurs when an individual steals property that is valued under $500. This means that, if an individual steals property that is valued over $500, they can be charged with grand theft.

Domestic Violence

When someone is accused of domestic violence, they can be bombarded with legal proceedings, potential restraining orders, and complex questions. Our firm offers assistance for those who are going through complicated domestic violence cases and can educate you on your rights during these situations. To be charged with a domestic violence offense, an individual must have abused, injured, or threatened someone with whom they share a domestic relationship. This can include spouses, romantic partners, children, and roommates. A domestic violence charge can impact your home and work life drastically, on top of strict penalties like the potential loss of child custody and jail time.

Probation Violations

Probation allows an individual to stay out of jail while being monitored by a probation officer. Because probation is a form of alternative sentencing, individuals who are on it must comply with the meticulous rules in place. This can include submitting to regular drug tests, meeting with an officer multiple times a week, and avoiding certain locations. If you ignore or fail to meet the terms of your probation in Texas, you can be charged with a probation violation and may ultimately end up back in jail. At the Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC, our experience with alternative sentencing aids us in defending individuals accused of violating their probation.


Texas Penal Code defines prostitution as an illegal offense where an individual offers to be paid or is paid for sexual conduct with another person. Most prostitution charges are considered Class B misdemeanors and can result in thousands of dollars of fines, jail time for anywhere from six months to two years, and more. Our team knows that being accused of prostitution can put you in a vulnerable place. We offer impartial representation that is dedicated to representing you against these claims.

License Suspensions

Having your license suspended is a penalty for a variety of criminal offenses in Texas. If you receive notice of a potential suspension, you will have to take part in an ALJ hearing. This is simply a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge, where the defendant has the chance to defend themselves against the suspension. In these hearings, you have the right to bring a criminal defense attorney, who can represent you and help you present evidence. If the judge ends up favoring the defendant and their evidence, the suspension may ultimately be dropped.

Misdemeanor vs. Felony Penalties in Texas

Misdemeanors are considered to be less severe in comparison to felonies. This means that, generally, the penalties for a misdemeanor are not as intense. However, this does not mean that the consequences for a misdemeanor are light. The following penalties are what you can expect if you are facing a misdemeanor or felony in Texas.

Misdemeanor Penalties

Misdemeanors are categorized into Classes A-C, with Class A being the most severe. Consequences for misdemeanors can range from:

  • Jail time ranging from a few days to one full year
  • Fines up to $4,000, with smaller maximums for Classes B and C
  • Possible alternative sentencing, such as community service or probation

Felony Penalties

Felonies are categorized in Degrees 1-3, in addition to using categories known as state jail felonies and capital felonies. A capital felony is the most severe kind of crime that you can commit in Texas. The penalties for the varying degrees of Texas felonies include:

  • State jail or prison time ranging from 180 days to life imprisonment, depending on the severity of your case
  • Fines of up to $10,000
  • Potential loss of child custody, driver’s license, and other basic opportunities
  • Alternative sentencing, like probation after a prison sentence

The Importance of a Defense Lawyer in Criminal Proceedings

A criminal conviction in Texas can transform your life. Whether you were arrested for a DWI or you were accused of violating your probation, all criminal offenses must go to court to be evaluated. This makes hiring a defense lawyer who is knowledgeable about Texas criminal law fundamental to your upcoming case. With assistance from our defense team, you can gain a better understanding of the proceedings that you will be a part of and receive consistent support throughout all of them. The Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC, has spent countless hours working to defend our clients against intimidating charges. Our experience, passion, and skills regarding criminal law help us provide our clients with some of the strongest defense representation in Texas.


Q: What Is the Felony Three-Strike Rule in Texas?

A: The felony three-strike rule implemented by Texas law was designed to deter repeat offenders from committing more crimes. Under this rule, any individual who is arrested for their third subsequent felony may face life in prison. This means that, even if the felony would not normally result in a life sentence, it can if the defendant already had two felony convictions. If the defendant does not receive a life sentence, they can receive anywhere from 25 to 99 years in state prison.

Q: When Should You Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney in Galveston?

A: In scenarios where you or a loved one have been arrested for a criminal charge, it’s recommended that you find legal counsel as soon as possible. This is because, after an arrest occurs, the defendant will then be questioned, and multiple hearings will begin to occur. Having a defense lawyer helping you during these proceedings and representing you is essential, especially when the potential criminal conviction is severe.

Q: What Is Expungement?

A: Expungement is a legal process that allows individuals with a criminal record to remove certain convictions from the document. However, not every person is eligible to have a charge expunged, on top of certain convictions being excluded. For example, most violent felonies, such as murder, aggravated sexual assault, and injury to a child, cannot be expunged and will stay on someone’s record indefinitely.

Q: How Does Alternative Sentencing Work?

A: Alternative sentencing options give convicted individuals the opportunity to avoid lengthy jail sentences or even stay out of incarceration completely. Common alternative sentencing methods include probation, community service, house arrest, and mandatory rehabilitation programs. When an individual receives a form of alternative sentencing, they have to abide by the specific terms in place and comply with consistent monitoring. If you fail to follow your alternative sentencing terms, you may be sent back to jail for your original sentence and for additional time.

Q: What Is a State Jail Felony in Texas?

A: While state jail felonies are still considered severe crimes, they are the least serious form of felony that a Texas resident can receive. State jail felonies include offenses such as driving under the influence with a child in the car, burglary in a building that was not a private home, attempted third-degree felonies, and more. Consequences, however, are often much less strict than those of other felonies and can result in jail time instead of prison time.

The Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC: Galveston’s Criminal Defense Firm

If you or someone you love was arrested for a criminal offense in Galveston, finding a defense team is the first step that you need to take. At the Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC, we work to accommodate clients in a wide range of criminal cases. With experience in hundreds of criminal trials, our head attorney is prepared to evaluate your case and work to find defense strategies that fit your needs. Contact our firm today if you’d like to schedule a consultation and learn more about our criminal defense services.

How can we help you

To get your free consultation started, please call
281-300-8695 or fill out the form below and
we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Schedule a Consultation

Schedule a Consultation