Bedford Misdemeanor Crimes Lawyer
If you were arrested for a misdemeanor in Bedford, you are likely concerned about how the situation can impact your future. Although misdemeanor charges aren’t typically as serious as felony charges, you can still face considerable fines and even jail time if convicted. Therefore, you need to do all you can to respond to the charges properly and mount an effective defense.
A Bedford misdemeanor crimes lawyer from Fulgham Law Firm can be a great asset to you during this challenging time. We can review your case for free and advise you of your rights and options for developing a solid defense. You can also rely on us to represent you throughout the process to help you get the most favorable outcome possible.
Contact us today to receive a free case review and learn how we can help.
How a Bedford Misdemeanor Defense Attorney from Fulgham Law Firm Can Help
If you face misdemeanor charges in Bedford, it’s imperative you hire a misdemeanor defense attorney as soon as possible. However, you want to ensure the attorney you choose is the right lawyer for your case.
At Fulgham Law Firm, our Bedford criminal defense lawyers can offer many benefits, including:
- Legal Knowledge and Experience: Our misdemeanor defense attorneys have more than 70 years of collective criminal law experience. We have a deep understanding of Texas criminal laws, court procedures, and legal strategies, and we can provide you with knowledgeable guidance based on our experience in handling cases similar to yours.
- Case Evaluation: As stated previously, our attorneys can review the details of your case for free and advise you of your best course of action. We will review evidence, witness statements, police reports, and other pertinent information to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution’s case against you.
- Protection of Rights: A lawyer from our Bedford law office will ensure that your constitutional rights are protected throughout the legal process. This includes your right to remain silent, the right to legal counsel, and protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.
- Negotiation with Prosecutors: Our misdemeanor defense lawyers can negotiate with prosecutors to potentially reduce charges or seek alternative resolutions, such as diversion programs or deferred adjudication.
- Preparation for Trial: If your case goes to trial, your attorney will prepare a strong defense strategy based on evidence and the facts and circumstances of your case.
- Court Representation: Your attorney will represent you in court, presenting arguments, cross-examining witnesses, and advocating on your behalf. They will work to poke holes in the prosecution’s case and present a compelling defense to try and sway the judge’s or jury’s decision in your favor.
- Sentencing Advocacy: If you are convicted, an attorney from our firm can advocate for a fair and reasonable sentence. They may present mitigating factors that could influence the severity of the penalties imposed.
- Knowledge of Local Courts: Our attorneys are familiar with the local court system in Bedford, and we may have insights into how specific judges and prosecutors operate. This knowledge can be valuable in tailoring defense strategies to the particulars of the jurisdiction.
- Alternative Resolutions: In some cases, our attorneys may explore alternative resolutions, such as plea bargains or diversion programs, which can result in reduced charges or opportunities to have the charges dismissed upon completion of certain requirements.
- Legal Advice and Support: Your attorney will provide you with legal advice, answer your questions, and offer support throughout the legal process. They will be your advocate, working in your best interest.
Contact Fulgham Hampton Criminal Defense Attorneys today for a complimentary consultation concerning your situation. We deliver personalized attention and will keep you regularly updated as to the status of your case. We also promise to fight hard to help you obtain the positive results you seek and mitigate the potential impact on your life and future.
What Are the Classes and Penalties of Misdemeanors in Bedford?
The classification and penalties for misdemeanors in Texas, including Bedford, are outlined in the Texas Penal Code.
Misdemeanors are divided into three classes: Class A, Class B, and Class C. The classification is based on the severity of the offense, with Class A being the most serious and Class C being the least serious. Here’s an overview of the classes and penalties:
Class A Misdemeanor
- Examples: Assault causing bodily injury, theft between $750 and $2,500, first-offense DWI (Driving While Intoxicated).
- Penalties: Up to one year in county jail, a fine of up to $4,000, or both.
Class B Misdemeanor
- Examples: Criminal trespass, possession of less than 2 ounces of marijuana, driving with an open container of alcohol.
- Penalties: Up to 180 days in county jail, a fine of up to $2,000, or both.
Class C Misdemeanor
- Examples: Disorderly conduct, public intoxication, simple assault (no bodily injury), speeding violations.
- Penalties: A fine of up to $500. There is generally no jail time associated with Class C misdemeanors, but other consequences, such as community service, may apply.
Keep in mind that additional penalties or consequences may apply based on the specific circumstances of the offense. For example, certain misdemeanors may result in the suspension of a driver’s license or other collateral consequences.
In addition to fines and jail time, individuals convicted of misdemeanors may also face other consequences such as probation, community service, mandatory classes or counseling, and restitution to victims.
It’s crucial to consult with a qualified criminal defense attorney if you are facing misdemeanor charges in Bedford. An attorney from Fulgham Law Firm can provide guidance based on the specifics of your case, explain your rights, and help you navigate the legal process.
How Does the Criminal Justice Process Work for Misdemeanors in Bedford?
The criminal justice process for misdemeanors in Bedford, Texas, follows a series of stages, similar to the process for felonies but with some differences.
Here is an overview of the typical process:
- Arrest: The process usually begins with an arrest by law enforcement officers. This can occur if an officer witnesses the misdemeanor, obtains a warrant, or makes an arrest based on probable cause.
- Booking: After the arrest, the individual is taken to the police station for booking. This involves recording personal information, taking fingerprints and photographs, and conducting a background check.
- Citation or Release: For some misdemeanors, the individual may be issued a citation (ticket) and released with a promise to appear in court at a later date. In other cases, the person may be released on bail or bond.
- Initial Appearance: The accused is brought before a magistrate or judge for an initial appearance. During this stage, the charges are read, and the accused is informed of their rights. The judge may also decide on bail.
- Arraignment: The accused is formally presented with the charges during the arraignment. They enter a plea, which can be “guilty,” “not guilty,” or “no contest.” The court may set additional hearings and deadlines.
- Pretrial Hearings: There may be pretrial hearings to address motions, discovery, and other legal matters. These hearings provide an opportunity for the defense and prosecution to prepare their cases.
- Negotiations and Plea Bargaining: The prosecution and defense may engage in plea negotiations to resolve the case without going to trial. This could result in a plea agreement with reduced charges or penalties.
- Trial (if necessary): If a plea agreement is not reached, the case proceeds to trial. Misdemeanor trials are often bench trials, meaning a judge decides the case rather than a jury. The prosecution presents evidence, and the defense has the opportunity to present its case.
- Sentencing: If the accused is found guilty, a separate sentencing hearing is conducted. The judge considers various factors before imposing a sentence, which may include fines, probation, community service, or other penalties.
- Appeals: If there are legal grounds, such as judicial errors or procedural mistakes, the convicted individual may request to appeal the verdict or sentence.
The specifics of the criminal justice process can vary based on the nature of the misdemeanor and other factors. You must contact a Bedford misdemeanor crimes lawyer in Bedford as soon as possible after your arrest for guidance, counsel, and representation during the process.
Can I Get a Misdemeanor Expunged from My Criminal Record in Texas?
In Texas, expunction (or expungement) is generally available for certain misdemeanor charges, but you must meet specific eligibility criteria. Expunction allows an individual to have their criminal record erased or sealed, essentially treating the arrest or charge as if it never occurred. However, not all misdemeanors are eligible for expunction.
Here are common scenarios where expunction may be possible for a misdemeanor in Texas:
- Case Dismissal: If your misdemeanor case was dismissed, you may be eligible for expunction. This can apply to cases dismissed by the prosecutor, a grand jury, or the court.
- Acquittal (Not Guilty Verdict): If you were acquitted at trial and found not guilty, you may be eligible for expunction.
- Pardon or Deferred Adjudication: If you were convicted but later received a pardon or successfully completed deferred adjudication probation, you might be eligible for expunction. Deferred adjudication is a form of probation where a conviction is not entered if the probation is successfully completed.
- Identity Theft: If you were a victim of identity theft, and someone committed a crime using your identity, you may be eligible for expunction.
However, not all misdemeanors are eligible for expunction. Certain offenses, such as driving under the influence (DUI) convictions, are generally not eligible for expunction in Texas.
Also, there are waiting periods associated with expunction eligibility, and these periods can vary depending on the outcome of the case. For example, if your case was dismissed, you might be eligible for expunction immediately. If you were acquitted at trial, there may be a waiting period before you can apply.
To pursue expunction, you typically need to file a petition with the court, and the process can be complex. You must consult an experienced criminal defense attorney to determine your eligibility for an expunction and guide you through the process.
Contact a Fort Worth Misdemeanor Crimes Attorney Today
Even though you likely won’t face as harsh of a sentence with a misdemeanor as you would with a felony, that does not mean you should take your misdemeanor charges lightly.
Dealing with misdemeanor charges is still a serious matter and can result in consequences that will have profound impacts on your life. You need to do all you can to protect your rights and your future.
The best step you can take after being arrested on a misdemeanor charge in Bedford is to contact the Fulgham Law Firm. Several of our attorneys once served as criminal prosecutors, and we have invaluable knowledge of local courts and procedures.
We will review your case at no cost and advise you of the actions you should take. We can also advocate for you each step of the way to improve your odds of obtaining a favorable result.