Although misdemeanor charges aren’t as serious as felony charges, they can still result in harsh consequences and greatly impact your life and future. If you were arrested for a misdemeanor in Fort Worth, you need to understand the charges you face and the potential penalties you could receive.
You also need to contact a Fort Worth misdemeanor crimes lawyer for a comprehensive review of your case and advice regarding your options for defense. A Fort Worth criminal defense attorney from Fulgham Law Firm can review your case at no cost, inform you of your rights and options for defending yourself, and help you prepare and present a compelling defense to increase your chances of getting a positive outcome.
Contact us today for a free consultation.
How a Fort Worth Misdemeanor Defense Lawyer from Fulgham Law Firm Can Help You
Facing misdemeanor charges is a serious matter, and you need to do all you can to challenge the prosecution’s evidence and defend yourself. The most important thing you can do immediately after your arrest is to contact one of our Fort Worth misdemeanor crime defense lawyers at Fulgham Law Firm.
Some of the ways we can help include:
- Legal Knowledge and Experience: Our attorneys have a deep understanding of criminal law, procedures, and the legal system. We have successfully handled hundreds of criminal trial and cases in Texas, and we can explain the charges against you, the potential consequences you could receive, and the available defenses you have.
- Case Evaluation: An attorney from our law firm can review the details of your case, assess the evidence against you, and identify any potential legal issues or defenses. We will consider factors that may lead to a reduction of charges or a dismissal.
- Rights and Options: Your attorney will ensure that you understand your rights throughout the legal process. We can explain the options available to you, including the possibility of negotiating a plea deal, entering diversion programs, or going to trial.
- Legal Strategy: Based on our analysis of your case, our attorneys can develop a strategic defense tailored to your specific circumstances. This may involve challenging evidence, questioning the legality of searches or arrests, or presenting mitigating factors.
- Negotiation with Prosecutors: Our attorneys are skilled negotiators. We can engage with prosecutors to seek reduced charges, plea deals, or alternative sentencing options that may minimize the impact on your record and life.
- Court Representation: If your case goes to trial, an attorney from our firm will represent you in court. We will present your defense, cross-examine witnesses, and make legal arguments on your behalf.
- Mitigation of Penalties: In case of a conviction, your attorney can advocate for the most lenient sentence possible, whether it’s a reduced fine, probation, community service, or alternative sentencing options.
- Record Expungement or Sealing: We can determine if you are eligible for expunction or a nondisclosure order and guide you through the process of expunging or sealing your criminal record after completing the required probation or sentence. This can help minimize the long-term impact of the charges.
- Court Procedures and Deadlines: Our attorneys are familiar with court procedures, filing deadlines, and legal requirements. They can ensure that all necessary paperwork is filed correctly and on time.
- Reducing Stress: Legal processes can be overwhelming and stressful. Having an attorney from our firm by your side can provide reassurance, guidance, and support throughout the legal proceedings.
Four of our attorneys once served as criminal prosecutors in Texas, so we can provide invaluable insight into the Texas criminal justice system from both sides. We understand how prosecutors think and the tactics they use to bring charges and obtain convictions, and we will use our knowledge and experience to your benefit.
If you’re facing misdemeanor charges in Fort Worth, don’t wait to consult and hire a criminal defense attorney in Fort Worth from the Fulgham Law Firm as soon as possible. We provide personalized advice based on the specifics of your case, protect your rights, and work towards achieving the best possible outcome.
What Are the Classes of Misdemeanors in Texas and Their Penalties?
In Texas, misdemeanors are classified into three categories: Class A, Class B, and Class C. Each class has different penalties associated with it. Here is an overview of the classes of misdemeanors in Texas and their respective penalties:
Class A Misdemeanors
- Up to one year in the county jail.
- Fines of up to $4,000.
Examples of Class A Misdemeanors:
- Assault causing bodily injury to a family member.
- Theft of property valued between $750 and $2,500.
- Possession of up to 4 ounces of marijuana.
Class B Misdemeanors
- Up to 180 days in the county jail.
- Fine of up to $2,000.
Examples of Class B Misdemeanors:
- Criminal trespass.
- Driving while intoxicated (first offense).
- Possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana.
Class C Misdemeanors
- Fine of up to $500.
Examples of Class C Misdemeanors:
- Disorderly conduct.
- Public intoxication.
- Simple assault (without bodily injury).
- Possession of drug paraphernalia.
Class C misdemeanors generally do not involve jail time but are punishable by fines. In some cases, individuals facing Class C misdemeanors may be eligible to participate in deferred disposition programs or take part in community service to resolve their cases without a conviction on their record.
Keep in mind that the penalties mentioned above are statutory maximums, and the actual sentence may depend on various factors, including the specific details of the offense, the defendant’s criminal history, and any mitigating or aggravating circumstances.
If you are facing misdemeanor charges in Texas, consult a criminal defense attorney from Fulgham Law Firm who can assess the details of your case, explain your legal options, and provide guidance on the best course of action. We can help protect your rights and work towards achieving the most favorable outcome for your situation.
What’s the Criminal Justice Process for Misdemeanors in Fort Worth?
The criminal justice process for misdemeanors in Fort Worth, Texas, generally follows a series of stages, from arrest to resolution.
Here’s an overview of the typical criminal justice process for misdemeanors in Fort Worth:
- Arrest: The process often begins with an arrest by law enforcement officers. The arrest can occur with or without a warrant, depending on the circumstances.
- Booking: After arrest, the individual is taken to a law enforcement facility for booking. This involves recording personal information, details of the alleged offense, and taking fingerprints and photographs.
- Initial Appearance: The arrested person is brought before a magistrate or judge for an initial appearance. During this appearance, the judge informs the individual of the charges, their rights, and the potential penalties.
- Bail Hearing: A bail hearing may take place to determine whether the accused can be released from custody before trial and under what conditions. Misdemeanors are often bailable offenses.
- Arraignment: The defendant is brought before the court for an arraignment. During this proceeding, they enter a plea (guilty, not guilty, or no contest). The court may also set additional hearings and deadlines.
- Pretrial Motions: Both the defense and prosecution may file pretrial motions, such as motions to suppress evidence or dismiss charges. These motions address legal issues before the trial.
- Discovery: The defense and prosecution exchange evidence and information through a process called discovery. This includes sharing documents, witness lists, and other relevant materials.
- Plea Bargaining: Before trial, there may be negotiations between the defense and prosecution for a plea bargain, where the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a more lenient sentence.
- Trial: If no plea agreement is reached, the case goes to trial. Misdemeanor trials may be heard by a judge or a jury, depending on the specific circumstances.
- Sentencing: If the defendant is found guilty, a separate sentencing hearing takes place. The judge considers factors such as the nature of the offense, the defendant’s criminal history, and any mitigating or aggravating circumstances.
- Appeals (If Applicable): If the defendant is convicted and wishes to challenge the decision, they may have the right to appeal based on legal errors that may have occurred during the trial.
The specific procedures and timelines can vary based on the unique circumstances of each case, and legal advice from a criminal defense attorney in Fort Worth is crucial to navigating the process effectively. If you are facing misdemeanor charges, consult an attorney from Fulgham Law Firm early in the process to help you explore the best possible defense strategy for your case.
What Should I Do if I’m Arrested for a Misdemeanor in Fort Worth?
Although getting arrested is often a highly emotional incident, you must remain calm and not argue with law enforcement officers or resist arrest. Doing so can only make things worse for you. You should also invoke your right to remain silent and not say anything that could later be used against you in court. You also want to request an attorney.
Do not consent to searches, even though the arresting officer may search you anyway. You should remember the details of the arrest and document all you can, especially if you sustained injuries during the arrest.
You should only provide basic information to law enforcement and not volunteer any information that could further implicate you in the crime. Don’t talk to other inmates at the jail or holding facility and cooperate with officers during the booking process.
You must request and speak to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. You will have to attend various court proceedings, and you need a lawyer there with you to address the court and advocate for you. If necessary, you may contact family or friends to inform them of the arrest and have them secure an attorney for you.
Can I Get My Criminal Record Expunged for a Misdemeanor in Texas?
In most cases, yes. Texas offers expunctions (or expungements) that allow individuals to have certain criminal records erased or “expunged” from their records. If your misdemeanor case resulted in an acquittal (not guilty verdict) or dismissal, you may be eligible for expunction. This means the charges were dropped, you were found not guilty at trial, or the case was dismissed.
There is typically a waiting period before you can apply for an expunction. The length of the waiting period varies based on the outcome of the case. If you received deferred adjudication for a misdemeanor and successfully completed the terms of probation, you may be eligible for non-disclosure rather than expunction. Non-disclosure seals the record from public view but does not completely erase it.
If you were convicted of a misdemeanor, you generally cannot get an expunction. However, you may be eligible for a petition for non-disclosure if you successfully completed deferred adjudication. However, some offenses, even if initially eligible for expunction, may have specific criteria or exceptions.
For example, certain offenses involving family violence or offenses requiring sex offender registration may have additional considerations.
You must consult a criminal defense attorney in Texas to determine your eligibility for expunction or non-disclosure. An attorney from Fulgham Law Firm can guide you through the process, explain the specific rules and requirements based on your case, and help you take the appropriate legal steps.
Contact a Fort Worth Misdemeanor Crimes Attorney Today
Do not take misdemeanor charges lightly. They can still result in severe consequences that can haunt you for the rest of your life.
Your best option after a misdemeanor charge in Fort Worth is to contact the Texas criminal defense attorneys at Fulgham Law Firm for help. We can review your case for free and advise you of your options. You can also count on us to be there for you at any stage of the process to fight for your rights and help you obtain the best possible outcome.
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