If you're facing charges for a Class A misdemeanor in Texas, you may wonder whether you need to hire a lawyer. While Texas law allows individuals to represent themselves in court, it's generally recommended that you seek legal representation in these cases. Class A misdemeanors carry serious consequences, and a conviction can have long-term effects on your life, such as difficulty finding employment or housing and the loss of certain rights, such as the right to own firearms or vote. So, the short answer is YES – You need a criminal defense lawyer to defend you against a Class A Misdemeanor allegation! In Texas, class A misdemeanors are the most serious charge in the category. Furthermore, a class A misdemeanor conviction has long-term consequences, such as jail time, firearm restrictions, and employment implications.
In this blog post, we'll explore specifically how a Texas class A misdemeanor attorney can help you in Texas.
Class A Misdemeanors: Legal Statutes and Consequences
Class A Misdemeanors are the most serious misdemeanor offense a person may be charged with in Texas. Class A Misdemeanor offenses are punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000 (Tex. Penal Code § 12.45). The minimum punishment range may be increased based on the alleged offense or on an individual’s criminal history. There may also be legislatively imposed collateral consequences, such as a driver's license suspension or a superfine.
Common examples of Class A Misdemeanor offenses include:
- DWI 2nd [49.04(d)]
- DWI BAC >0.15 [49.09(a)]
- Possession of Marijuana 2-4oz [481.121(b)(2)]
- Unlawful Carry of a Weapon [46.02(b)]
- Resisting Arrest [38.03]
- Evading Arrest [38.04(b)]
- Indecent Assault [22.012]
Individuals may be eligible for pre-trial diversion, deferred adjudication community supervision, or post-conviction probation. If placed on community probation, the supervision period will last six months to two years Tex. Code of Crim. Pro. Art. 42A.053).
How Can a Lawyer Help You in a Class A Misdemeanor Case?
You could face significant legal consequences if you have been charged with a class A misdemeanor in Texas. Class A misdemeanors in Texas range from offenses such as theft to driving while intoxicated. A conviction could leave you with a criminal record, negatively impacting your future job opportunities.
Here are a few reasons why you should consider hiring legal representation:
- Experience and Knowledge of the Legal System: An experienced lawyer knows how the legal system works and can guide you through the process. They know the law and can use this knowledge to develop the best possible defense strategy.
- Negotiate with the Prosecution: A skilled lawyer can negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf to try to get the charges reduced or dismissed. This may involve making a plea deal or agreeing on a sentence that's less severe than what you might receive if you're found guilty at trial.
- Protect Your Rights: One of the most important things a lawyer can do is protect your constitutional rights. This includes ensuring that you receive a fair trial, protecting you from self-incrimination, and ensuring that any evidence presented against you is admissible.
- Help You Understand Your Options: A good lawyer will explain your options and the potential consequences of those options so that you can make an informed decision about how to proceed with your case.
Hiring a lawyer who is familiar with Texas law and the local courts can be essential to your defense. A skilled and experienced attorney can help you navigate the Texas legal system, build a strong case on your behalf, and protect your rights throughout the legal process.
How Long Does a Class A Misdemeanor Stay on my Record?
Once arrested, the Class A Misdemeanor arrest record will stay in your profile forever unless and until you obtain an expunction or nondisclosure.
Class A Misdemeanors throughout the greater Dallas – Fort Worth Area, such as:
- Tarrant County
- Dallas County
- Parker County
- Denton County
- Wise County
- Johnson County
- Hood County
- Ellis County
- Collin County
Our Tarrant County class A misdemeanor criminal defense team has helped thousands of clients fight criminal charges. Eligibility for an expunction or nondisclosure has strict requirements, so if you believe you could be eligible, your criminal defense attorney can help you submit the correct paperwork and meet all necessary requirements.
Misdemeanor Criminal Defense Solutions Available at The Law Offices of David Sloane
Attorney Sloane is an experienced class A misdemeanor criminal defense attorney serving clients in Tarrant County, Dallas, and communities throughout the DFW Area. While it's possible to represent yourself in a Class A misdemeanor case, it's recommended that you seek legal representation. A lawyer can use their experience and knowledge to negotiate with the prosecution, protect your rights, and help you understand your options. This can result in a better outcome for your case, both in the short and long term. Contact us today at (817) 349-7118 for a FREE consultation.