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Being accused of crime  is frightening and nerve-wracking. You’ve probably lost sleep worrying about how this arrest is going to impact your life, livelihood and liberty.

Don’t go it alone. Contact an experienced Grapevine attorney today to find out your legal options and how to navigate this difficult time. We can help. The attorneys at Varghese Summersett will thoroughly listen, meticulously prepare and aggressively defend your case.

We have handled every type of criminal case in Texas, ranging from shoplifting to capital murder. All of our senior attorneys are former prosecutors and we use that to our advantage. After all, knowing the offense is the best defense.

Texas Crime Classifications and Punishments

Texas divides crimes into two categories: felonies and misdemeanors. Obviously, misdemeanors are less serious than felonies. The most serious misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in the county jail, while the most serious felony is punishable by up to life in prison or, in the most egregious murders, the death penalty. Regardless of whether you have been changed with a misdemeanor or felony, we have the experience and expertise to achieve the most favorable outcome possible.

Misdemeanors

There are three classes of misdemeanors in Texas which carry very specific punishment ranges:

  • Class A: Up to one year in jail and a maximum $4,000 fine. Common crimes include assault bodily injury, theft of property $750 to $2500, and resisting arrest.
  • Class B: Up to 180 days in jail and a maximum $2,000 fine. Common crimes include DWI, criminal trespass, and prostitution.
  • Class C: Up to a $500 fine. Common crimes include disorderly conduct, public intoxication and assault by contact.

Certain factors can aggravate a misdemeanor to a higher-level crime, such as the presence of a child while under the influence or stealing a firearm.

Felonies

Felonies are serious crimes that can have a permanent impact on a person’s life. Penalties often include a period of incarceration and a hefty fine. They include:

  • Capital Felony: The penalty for a capital felony is life in prison without the possibility for parole or the death penalty. It is reserved for the offense of capital murder.
  • First Degree Felony: Punishment ranges from five years to life in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine. Examples include murder, aggravated sexual assault of a child and aggravated robbery of an elderly.
  • Second Degree Felony: Punishment ranges from 2 and 20 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine. Examples include aggravated assault and reckless injury to a child.
  • Third Degree Felony: Punishment ranges from 2 to 10 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine. Examples include tampering with evidence.
  • State Jail Felony: Punishment ranges from 80 days to two years in jail and a maximum $10,000 fine. Examples include theft of property worth more than $1,500 or credit card abuse.

If you have been accused of a crime, don’t delay contacting an attorney in your area as soon as possible. The sooner you contact a Grapevine criminal lawyer, the sooner we can get to work on your case.

Resolution of Criminal Cases

In any criminal case, there are several ways the case can be resolved. These can include a dismissal, a plea deal or a trial, among other dispositions.

Dismissed

After a case is brought by the prosecution, it can be dismissed either by the prosecutor’s office or, in rare cases, the judge hearing the case. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as new evidence coming to light, a violation of a defendant’s constitutional rights, or as a result of negotiating with prosecutors.

Plea Deals

In most cases, the prosecution will offer a defendant a deal to plead guilty in exchange for a lower sentence. This can have strategic benefits for both sides. Prosecutors save themselves the effort of taking a defendant to trial, and a defendant can get a reduced sentence.

Both sides must first agree to a plea deal, which is usually done informally. The deal is then presented to a judge, who must also approve of it. After that, a defendant will be sentenced according to the crime for which they have pleaded guilty.

Keep in mind, plea bargains may have consequences outside of criminal penalties. It could count as a conviction, meaning it will appear on background checks. It could also impact a person’s immigration status. Before accepting a plea deal, it is essential to speak with your Grapevine criminal attorney.

Trial

If a case goes to trial, a defendant could be convicted or acquitted or, in some cases, a decision cannot be reached. The prosecution bears the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant committed the crime. Failure to do so could result in a not guilty verdict. Many things can affect a trial’s outcome, including evidence being excluded or a skillful cross-examination by a defense attorney challenging witnesses’ credibility. For the best chance at success, it’s imperative to retain a reputable, experienced trial attorney.

Schedule a Consultation with a Grapevine Criminal Lawyer

Whether negotiating your case with prosecutors or zealously defending you in trial, you can count on our Grapevine lawyers to bring their A-game. We have a reputation for relentless, unwavering defense and our results speak for themselves. To learn how we can help you, schedule your free case consultation today.