This is the next post in my series on the handling of Texas felony charges. My last article discussed handling state jail felony cases. It is important to remember that, while a state jail felony might be the lowest level non-misdemeanor in Texas, it can still carry a sentence of up to two years. Retaining an experienced attorney to assist you can help to ensure that your rights remain protected throughout the process. In this article I will discuss defending against first-degree felony charges. If you or a family member are in need of assistance then contact us today to speak with a criminal defense lawyer. I am Board Certified in Criminal Defense by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. I look forward to speaking with you.
Texas first-degree felony charges can result in five to 99 years in prison
First-degree felonies are the most serious non-capital charges which a defendant can face in the state of Texas. One who is charged with a first-degree felony can receive a sentence of five to 99 years in prison. Additionally, the Court may impose fines of up to $10,000. Charges which are considered “aggravated” can result in high minimum sentences. Also, if a defendant has a prior felony conviction (other than state-jail charges) then they may face a potential minimum sentence of fifteen years. These penalties are in addition to the fact that a defendant will likely spend time on parole after they are released and that they will be barred from possessing a gun under state and federal law. Furthermore, those convicted of such offenses will find it highly difficult to secure housing or employment upon their release.
Examples of first-degree felonies include sexual assault, child trafficking, the manufacturing and distribution of certain drugs, illegally harvesting timber, some murder charges, causing injury to a child or disabled person, graffiti, aggravated robbery, organized retail theft, and more. Defendants facing such charges will often face additional counts as well. An example of this could include an individual who kidnaps a child, for the purposes of trafficking. They will likely face charges for kidnapping as well as trafficking. How the facts of a case will be charged is within the discretion of the prosecutor.
Austin defendants should retain a criminal defense lawyer if they are facing first-degree felony charges
Any defendant facing first-degree felony charges should retain an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Both the prosecutor and the judge will take such matters very seriously. If an individual is convicted then they can expect to spend a significant amount of time in prison. Counsel will decide the best course of action for defending against the charges. While the nature of the defense will depend on the specific facts of the case, there may be several options available. These can include filing Motions to exclude illegally seized statements or evidence, requesting the exclusion of eyewitness testimony, defending against the allegations at trial, etc. Regardless of the situation, your counsel will work to obtain the best possible outcome for your given case.
If you or a family member have been charged with a first-degree felony then contact my office today to speak with an Austin criminal lawyer. I understand that you are facing a serious situation and my office will give your case the attention it deserves. I practice no other area besides criminal law and I strive to provide the highest level of service. Contact us online or by telephone for an initial consultation. 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.