If you’ve been arrested on a Dallas County criminal case, you need serious legal help. Choosing the right Dallas criminal defense lawyer can make a world of difference in the outcome of your criminal case. Depending upon the offense, you could be facing anything from a small fine, or up to life in prison on your Dallas criminal charge. In Texas, there four types of felony offenses, and three types of misdemeanor charges.
Capital felonies are the most serious. These types of Dallas County criminal charges carry either
a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, or the death penalty. Examples of these types of offenses include murder during the commission of another felony (e.g., robbing a liquor store), or murder of a child under four years of age. First degree felonies have a penalty range of 5 to 99 years in prison, and up to a $100,000 fine. Premeditated murder is an example of a first degree felony. Second degree felonies can land you in prison for 2 to 20 years, and result in a fine of up to $10,000. Burglary of a habitation is one such offense. Third degree felonies have a punishment scheme that contemplates 2 to 10 years in the penitentiary, and a fine of up to $10,000. Unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon is charged as a felony of the third degree. Finally, state jail felonies are the least serious type of felony, and have a penalty scheme of between 180 days and 2 years in the state jail. Possession of less than 1 gram of cocaine, methamphetamine, or heroin is considered a state jail felony.
Misdemeanors are of three types: class A, class B, and class C. Class A misdmeanors carry a range of punishment of up to 1 year in the county jail, and up to a $4000 fine. Second offense DWI’s are charged as class A misdemeanors. Class B misdemeanors can get you up to 180 days in the county jail, and a fine of up to $2000. First offense DWI’s are charged as class B misdemeanors (unless the blood-alcohol content of the person arreseted is alleged to be greater than .015, in which case it will be charged as a class A misdemeanor). Finally, class C misdemeanors can only result in fines of up to $500. You cannot be sentenced to jail time if you are charged with a class C misdemeanor. However, you can be arrested for failure to appear in court on a class C misdemeanor, or for failure to pay a fine which the court has ordered you to pay. If you’ve ever received a traffic ticket, you’ve been charged with a class C misdemeanor. All Texas traffic ticket citations are class C misdemeanors. Also, public intoxication, simple assault, issuance of bad check, and possession of drug paraphernalia are also charged as class C misdemeanor crimes.