Killeen Misdemeanor & Felony Defense Lawyers
Strong criminal defense in Harker Heights, Copperas Cove, Waco, and throughout Central Texas
If you’ve been accused of or arrested for a crime, you could be facing a variety of charges and potential penalties. Our state breaks down criminal offenses into two general categories: misdemeanors and felonies. People generally believe that misdemeanors are less severe than felonies, and that’s mostly true, but a conviction for either leaves lasting consequences.
The Mary Beth Harrell Law Firm works to help people just like you fight the charges against them, working to avoid a criminal record and other negative outcomes.
Any type of criminal conviction, whether misdemeanor or felony offenses, can impact every area of your life. A criminal record can prevent you from finding (or keeping) a good job, housing and opportunities for an education. And, the stigma of a conviction can tarnish your reputation in the community and with friends and family. If you’re facing misdemeanor or felony charges here in Central Texas, get in touch with our criminal defense attorneys immediately. We’ll talk to you about your case and begin building a strong, strategic defense on your behalf.
The first part of your defense is understanding the charges against you.
What is a misdemeanor?
Like we said earlier, misdemeanors are generally less serious than felonies; non-violent types of crimes. However, never plead guilty just because you think it’s a minor crime that comes with minor penalties! Some misdemeanor convictions can result in jail time as well as monetary fines.
Some common types of misdemeanors we see here in Killeen include:
- Destruction of property
- Disorderly conduct
- First-time DUI
- Juvenile offenses
- Minor theft
- Certain drug crimes
Our misdemeanor defense lawyers can help you fight these charges to ensure your record stays clean.
Potential penalties for Texas misdemeanors
Texas state penal code classifies misdemeanors from A to C, with a Class A misdemeanor being the most serious charge. A conviction holds the following penalties:
- Class A misdemeanor – Fines up to $4,000 and up to one year in jail
- Class B misdemeanor – Fines up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail
- Class C misdemeanor – Fines up to $500
These penalties may be at the discretion of the judge, depending on the circumstances of the crime and whether or not it’s a first-time offense.
What is a felony?
Felonies are considered more serious crimes and therefore come along with more serious consequences. A felony conviction can lead to long prison sentences, loss of right to own a firearm and a lifelong criminal record. Common felony offenses include:
- Aggravated assault
- Burglary and robbery
- Domestic violence
- Drug trafficking
- Sexual assault
Certain misdemeanors may be elevated to felonies if a weapon is used while an individual is committing a criminal act.
Potential penalties for Texas felonies
There are five different classifications of felonies in Texas:
- Capital felony – Life in prison without possibility of parole or the death penalty
- First-degree felony – Fines up to $10,000 and between five to 99 years in prison
- Second-degree felony – Fines up to $10,000 and between two to 20 years in prison
- Third-degree felony – Fines up to $10,000 and between two to 10 years in prison
- State jail felony – Lowest level of felony offense; fines up to $10,000 and between 180 days to two years in state jail
A felony conviction on your record can restrict you from participating in many civic activities, as well as loss of many of your civil rights. Individuals convicted of a felony can’t hold public office or serve on a jury. You also can’t possess a firearm for a certain amount of time following release from prison or probation. A felony conviction can also prevent you from some employment opportunities.
No matter what the charges against you, however, you have rights – and we intend to protect them with every resource we have.
Misdemeanors and felonies in Texas – the facts
A recent report from Texas Appleseed analyzed statewide jail booking data and revealed some interesting numbers. The overwhelming majority of people booked into jail in our state were convicted of misdemeanors rather than felonies.
Top ten charges leading to jail bookings across TX counties
- Driving while intoxicated
- Possession of marijuana
- Possession of a controlled substance (felony)
- Traffic violations
- Probation violation
- Possession of a controlled substance
- Criminal trespass
- Theft (felony)
The report notes that some of the offenses on this list are intended to be punished by a fine and not jail time, yet people continue “pouring into the county jails for these offenses.” The criminal defense attorneys at the Mary Beth Harrell Law Firm work to protect your rights and ensure due process.
How a Killeen criminal defense attorney can help
As you can see, if you’ve been accused of or arrested for a felony or misdemeanor, you need experienced legal representation on your side. We not only stand up and defend your constitutional rights, but we work to have your charges dropped or for acquittal. Our job is the best possible outcome for your case, and as your local lawyers, that’s all we do.
We step in right at the beginning – we’ll be by your side from interrogation, negotiation, trial and the wrap-up of your case. And that’s because we understand that nobody should face the criminal justice system alone. Facing criminal charges is a confusing time for anyone and you have the right to thoroughly understand the charges against you and have strong attorney to negotiate with prosecutors on your behalf.
Our attorneys have a wide breadth of experience with both felonies and misdemeanors, in both local and federal courtrooms. We’ll help protect your rights, your record, your reputation and your freedom.
Strong defense for misdemeanors and felonies throughout the state
Put decades of criminal defense experience on your side when you need it most. The attorneys at the Mary Beth Harrell Law Firm can help when you’re facing criminal charges or an investigation. We provide tough, smart representation, protecting your rights and providing strategic defense. Contact us today at 254-680-4655 or by filling out our contact form. We have offices in Killeen, Copperas Cove, and Waco, and handle in-custody visits for clients who cannot come to us.