What you need to know if you've been convicted of a crime.
If you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime in Texas, it’s important to get a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer to fight for you. At Justinian and Associates, our team zealously represents individuals throughout Texas who have been charged in both State and Federal Court. Our area of criminal practice includes all misdemeanor offenses and most felonies. When we work for you, our team immediately starts investigating the circumstances surrounding your case to determine how we can best attack the State’s evidence. If we can’t get your case dismissed, we’ll negotiate the best deal by working with the prosecutor to get favorable outcomes, such as reduced charges or probation in exchange for jail time.
Factors your criminal defense attorney will investigate
Did the police have probable cause to suspect you of committing the crime you’re accused of?
Did the police have a legally obtained warrant or did a warrant exception apply for the search and seizure of your property? Did the police violate your legal rights at any point?
What evidence do the police have against you? Are the police officers and the information credible? How accurate is the police report?
Do you have a criminal record? What are your life circumstances?
Is there reasonable doubt that you committed the alleged charge?
Below are the various types of cases we handle and a breakdown of misdemeanor and felony penalties.
The criminal attorneys at Justinian & Associates handle serious offenses, often including drug crimes. Our job as your attorney is to present an effective defense while protecting your interests in court. After you’ve been arrested, it’s important to immediately start looking into what evidence the state has against you and investigating for your defense. Once we’ve collected the evidence, we’ll access whether there were any legal violations that would allow us to suppress the evidence or otherwise reduce your charges.
There are a few factors that determine the offense level for drug possession: the type of drug, the amount or weight of the drugs, your criminal history, and whether there were any aggravating factors (such as getting caught in a drug-free zone). For possession of certain drugs, the state will order mandatory probation and drug treatment programs. In Texas, there are jail alternatives like diversion and probation programs for people charged with small amounts of drugs.At Justinian & Associates, we handle a wide variety of drug charges, including:
- Possession of Marijuana
- Possession of a controlled substance
- Manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance
- Drug Trafficking
- Drug Distribution
- Prescription Drugs
Every year there are thousands of people charged with driving while intoxicated. Every DWI case is unique; your blood alcohol content (BAC) will highly effect what level offense you’ll be charged with and what penalties you’ll face. Even first-time offenders will have their driver’s license suspended if they fail the BAC test. Most sentences will also include community service hours, probation, mandatory attendance at a drunk driving course, and fines. If there’s additional variables, like a child in the vehicle, an injury, or you have multiple DWIs- the charges and penalties will get harsher.
As your attorney, we’ll review the state’s evidence to ensure the police officer had a valid reason to pull you over in the first place. Once we’ve determined that, we’ll determine if there was reason to believe you were intoxicated and whether the police legally obtained all evidence against you.At Justinian & Associates, we handle a wide variety of alcohol related charges, including:
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI), Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Boating while intoxicated
- Minor in possession, minor in consumption
- Public Intoxication
Property crimes covers everything from simple graffiti to violent burglaries. Essentially, it means you took someone else’s property by illegal means and without the owner’s consent. Most penalties will include hefty fines and potential imprisonment. Theft is the most commonly known type of property crime. Depending on the value of the stolen property, a theft charge can range from a Class C misdemeanor (less than $100) to a first-degree felony (more than $300,000). Property crimes cases can become very complex, making it important to hire an experienced lawyer who can fight for your rights.At Justinian & Associates, we handle a wide variety of property crimes, including:
- Criminal Trespass
- Dealing in Stolen Property
The penalties for violent crimes like assault and battery greatly vary depending on the facts of your case. When there’s an injury involved, a simple assault can turn into an aggravated assault charge. The court will look at a few factors in determining the level of your charge: was there a weapon used, how much harm was inflicted, who was the victim (were they vulnerable or a police officer), and was this a hate crime. A skillful lawyer will know how to best defend you by utilizing options like self-defense, defense of others, and consent.At Justinian & Associates, we handle a wide variety of violent crimes, including:
- Weapons Charges
Expungements & Non-Disclosures
No one wants a criminal history following them around. Criminal records can make it difficult to get job and find housing. A common misconception is if you get your case dismissed or complete your probation terms, your offense will automatically be erased from your record. In most situations, that is not the case. One needs to apply for either an expungement or order of non-disclosure to seal their records.
- Expungements: Expungements remove a persons’ criminal record from all databases (including police databases) and allow a person to deny the arrest ever occurred. Expungements are only granted in limited circumstances. If one of the following situations applies to you, you may be eligible: 1) your case was dismissed by the state, 2) you were arrested but never charged, 3) the grand jury did not indict you (“no bill”), 4) you are found not guilty by a judge or jury, and 5) certain Class C misdemeanors.
- Non-Disclosures: An order of non-disclosure is an alternative option for those ineligible for an expunction. If you have successfully completed a deferred adjudication program, are may be eligible for an order of non-disclosure. Misdemeanors can be filed immediately, however there is a waiting period for felonies. Certain felony offenses can never be sealed, for example: murder, indecency with a child, sexual assault, endangering a child. Once your record is sealed, the public will not be able to see it, however certain governmental agencies can still access the information. Also, even if your record is sealed, the state can use your prior arrest against you in subsequent prosecutions.
Misdemeanor & Felony Penalties
The maximum one could be punished for a misdemeanor is up to one year in the county jail. Misdemeanors are a less serious offense than a felony charge. Texas Penal Code §§ 12.21-12.23.
- Class A: Up to 1 year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
- Class B: Up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.
- Class C: Up to a $500 fine.
The maximum sentence for a felony is the death penalty for capital offenses. Texas Penal Code §§ 12.31-12.35.
- Capital Felony: life without parole or the death penalty
- 1st Degree: 5-99 years in prison & up to $10,000 fine.
- 2nd Degree: 2-20 years in prison & up to $10,000 fine.
- 3rd Degree: 2-10 years in prison & up to $10,000 fine.
- State Jail Felony: 6 months-2 years in state jail prison & $10,000 fine.
Important Note: Above are the punishment ranges for ordinary felonies. The punishment range can be enhanced depending on the person’s criminal history and the specific details of the case.
If you or a loved one has been arrested or have pending criminal charges against you, contact the diligent lawyers at Justinian & Associates today. All of our consultations are always free. Our attorneys will explain the law and lead you through the legal process. Court dates don’t wait, so it’s important to act fast and call a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney today!