handcuffs with gavelThis is the next post in my series on the handling of misdemeanor cases in Austin, Texas. My last article discussed dealing with Class “A” charges. It is important to remember that one can receive a term of incarceration even if they are not charged with a felony. Class “A” misdemeanor charges, for example, can result in a jail sentence of up to one year. If you have been charged with a crime it is, therefore, important that you contact an attorney to protect your interests. In this article I will be addressing what to expect when defending against Class “B” charges. If you are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a criminal defense lawyer.

Class “B” Misdemeanors Can Carry A Maximum Sentence Of 180 Days In Texas

Class “B” misdemeanors are the second-most serious non-felony charge in the state of Texas. If convicted, a defendant faces a maximum of 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. A conviction will also result in a criminal record which will appear on background checks. This may lead landlords, employers, and other such parties to reject an individual. Common offenses which fall within this class of charges include prostitution, stealing money or property with a value between $100 and $750 , enticing a child, harassment, as well as other crimes. It is important to note that the charges and penalties can be enhanced if the defendant is a repeat offender or if other criminal conduct is involved.

The process of handling such charges will begin with a defendant either being arrested, cited, or otherwise summoned to Court. If the individual is placed under an arrest, then they will be taken before a magistrate who will set the terms of their release. An arraignment date will be set and the accused individual will enter a plea of “guilty” or “not guilty” at that hearing. A trial date will be set. In between the arraignment and trial, the defendant’s lawyer will receive all discovery required to be disclosed under Brady v. Maryland. Counsel will also conduct any necessary investigations and will file any necessary Motions with the Court. If the matter is not resolved or dismissed by the time of trial then the issue of guilt or innocence will be decided by a jury made up of six jurors. If the defendant is convicted then sentencing will be decided by the Judge.

Austin residents should contact an attorney if they are facing Class “B” misdemeanor charges

If you or a family member have been charged with a crime then it is important that you speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. It is not uncommon for people to think that a first-time misdemeanor charge is “not serious.” This is especially true when someone was not taken into custody at the time of the offense. You must realize, however, that the current situation will have a serious impact on your future. The sooner you contact counsel then the sooner they can begin taking steps to protect your rights.

I am an Austin criminal defense lawyer who devotes his practice to protecting the rights of the accused. I have been practicing law since 1995 and I am Board Certified in Criminal Defense by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Contact us online or by telephone to speak with an Austin criminal defense attorney. My office also serves the cities of Rollingwood, Round Rock, Elgin, Jonestown, Manor, Bee Cave, Lago Vista, Sunset Valley, Lakeway, Creedmoor, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Leander, and San Marcos, Texas.