If you are charged with any criminal offense in Galveston, the penalties you could face may be serious. Criminal offenses in Texas are characterized as either misdemeanors or felonies. While misdemeanors are less serious, you should not take this as meaning the penalties for conviction will be minimal. A Galveston misdemeanor lawyer is an essential resource if you have been charged with any misdemeanor offense.
The Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC, has years of professional experience in criminal defense. Attorney Ruiz and his team will respond quickly to your request for legal representation and help you understand the most complex details of your case. Our goal for every client we represent in Galveston is to help them avoid conviction if possible or minimize their penalty if necessary.
We have successfully defended many past clients from a wide range of misdemeanor charges, including various drug offenses, violent crimes, sex crimes, and more. You have the constitutional right to legal representation when you have been accused of any crime, and it is crucial that you take full advantage of this right.
Once you are placed under arrest, you have the right to remain silent and are not required to answer any questions from the police. You should remain silent and comply with their instructions through arrest and booking until you have the ability to speak with an attorney. You have the right to legal counsel and a speedy trial, and the sooner you contact a Galveston misdemeanor defense attorney, the sooner you can begin building your defense.
Many crimes can be prosecuted as either misdemeanors or felonies, and the level of charge a defendant faces depends on the severity of the offense. For example, theft of property valued under $2,500 is typically a misdemeanor, and the defendant faces a Class A, B, or C misdemeanor based on the value of the property stolen. Any value over this amount would qualify as felony theft.
Drug-related offenses are some of the most commonly prosecuted crimes. While many drug offenses are felonies, it is possible to face a misdemeanor charge for possession of less than two ounces of marijuana. Any amount over two ounces would be felony possession, as would possession of more dangerous controlled substances such as fentanyl or heroin.
Throughout the United States, driving while intoxicated (DWI) by alcohol or drugs is one of the most commonly prosecuted crimes. Most first offenders will face misdemeanor charges, but it is possible for a defendant to face felony DWI if they cause serious bodily harm or death from DWI. It is also possible to face a felony DWI charge after a series of previous DWI convictions, and penalties will increase with each subsequent conviction.
Every American citizen has the right to legal representation when they are charged with any criminal offense. It is vital to take full advantage of this right and to recognize the value that an experienced private Galveston misdemeanor defense attorney can offer in your situation. After an arrest and booking for any misdemeanor offense, you will have the opportunity to call a defense attorney.
The sooner you contact your attorney, the sooner they can begin helping you build your defense. The defenses available to you will depend on the type of crime you are accused of committing and the unique details of the situation. Some potential defenses in your case may include:
An experienced Galveston misdemeanor defense attorney can be an invaluable asset, no matter what your case entails. The right attorney can help you look for any opportunities you may have to avoid conviction if possible or at least mitigate your penalties if you did break the law and the prosecution has a strong case against you.
Your Galveston misdemeanor defense attorney can be an invaluable asset through all stages of your criminal case. They will ensure the police and prosecution adhere to due process and respect your rights at all times. When it comes time for your criminal court proceedings, they will prepare you for each stage of your case so you approach the situation with confidence.
In some cases, prosecutors are willing to make plea deals with defendants when they believe their cases are strong enough to ensure conviction. In exchange for an immediate guilty plea that will conserve court resources, the prosecution may agree to reduce or drop charges or offer a lighter sentence. For some defendants, this could mean the difference between a misdemeanor or felony conviction.
When you hire the Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC, we can help determine whether a plea deal is a viable option in your situation. We’ll assist you in reviewing the evidence, help gather exculpatory evidence or establish an alibi, and provide ongoing support through all stages of the case. You have a very short time after arrest in which to secure legal counsel, so it is crucial that you connect with our team as soon as possible so we can start working on your case right away.
A: Do not assume that a misdemeanor means a minor criminal charge. The reality is that many misdemeanor convictions can lead to severe penalties, including jail time as well as a criminal record. It is vital that you exercise your right to legal counsel no matter what criminal charges have been filed against you.
A: It is possible in certain circumstances to have a misdemeanor charge dropped if the prosecution fails to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In some cases, defendants could be presented with plea deals that allow them to plead to a lesser infraction instead of facing prosecution for a misdemeanor.
A: Texas law divides misdemeanor offenses into three classes: A, B, and C. Class C misdemeanors are the least severe, typically only punished with a fine, and Class A misdemeanors are the most severe. Class A misdemeanors can be punished by up to one year in county jail, a maximum fine of $4,000, and other penalties assigned at the discretion of the judge handling the case.
A: It is possible for a Class A misdemeanor to be upgraded to a felony charge under certain conditions. This will typically only occur when a defendant has an extensive record of past convictions and/or has caused great bodily harm or death through an offense that typically qualifies for misdemeanor prosecution. Your Galveston misdemeanor defense attorney can help determine whether you face any such risk in your case.
A: Most private criminal defense attorneys charge their clients hourly for their representation. The attorney sets an hourly rate based on their experience and then charges the client for the time spent working on their case. Always take time to review a prospective attorney’s billing policy before agreeing to their representation so there are no surprises in terms of the cost of your representation.
The Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC, has years of professional experience handling a wide range of criminal cases on behalf of clients in Galveston, including all the most commonly prosecuted misdemeanor offenses. No matter what your case entails, you need legal counsel you can trust to guide you to a positive conclusion to your case. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with a Galveston misdemeanor defense attorney and learn how we can help.