Misdemeanor charges are typically minor criminal offenses that won’t necessitate any hefty fines or time behind bars. However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t require prompt attention and legal assistance. Misdemeanors can snowball and spiral out of control if the defendant fails to promptly handle court dates, fines, or court-mandated community service.
Making sure you have the right defense for your misdemeanor charges is something you need to handle immediately. Failure to do so can result in your misdemeanor charges turning into warrants for your arrest or additional fines added onto what you were previously ordered to pay. Because of this, you need to make sure you have the right Collin County criminal defense lawyer on your side before your case winds up becoming much worse than before.
Misdemeanor Charges Defense Lawyer in Plano, Allen, Frisco, and McKinney, TX
If you have ever been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Plano, Allen, Frisco, McKinney, or surrounding areas Collin County, you may need to call a criminal defense attorney. As an experienced criminal defense attorney, Richard McConathy and his legal defense team have a proven track record of helping clients avoid convictions. Our law office is ready to start assisting you with your misdemeanors. Call us today at (469) 304-3422 to speak with a litigation expert.
Collin County Misdemeanor Offenses in Collin County
Examples of common misdemeanor offenses include, but are not limited to the following:
- Criminal Mischief
- Reckless Driving
- Driving While License Suspended
- Public Intoxication
- Violation of Protective Order
Please be aware that these are not all the possible misdemeanors you can be charged with. This list is meant to point out some of the most common misdemeanor charges and convictions in Collin County.
Differences Between Collin County Felony and Misdemeanor Offenses
In general, misdemeanors are considered to be far less severe than felonies. As a result, those who are convicted of misdemeanors rather than felonies tend to receive much less severe penalties than their counterparts.
Felony convictions are typically punishable by over a year of prison time, whereas misdemeanor jail sentences usually last less than a year. All jurisdictions in the United States classify criminal offenses by their degree of seriousness.
In theory, a crime is committed whenever an ordinance, rule, or law is disobeyed. Violations of rules and ordinances typically lead to infractions, which are not considered criminal offenses.
However, if you break the law in Texas, you may be arrested and charged with either a felony or a misdemeanor. Felonies are the most serious type of criminal offenses in Texas.
Misdemeanors are less serious than felonies. They are punishable by a jail sentence of up to one year. Examples of misdemeanors include theft, assault, and disorderly conduct.
The main difference between felonies and misdemeanors is the potential punishment. Felony convictions can result in a prison sentence of several years or even decades, while misdemeanor convictions are typically punished with a jail sentence of less than one year.
Felony convictions also carry other consequences, such as the loss of the right to vote, the right to own a firearm, and the right to hold certain jobs. Misdemeanor convictions can also result in these consequences, but they are less common.
If you have been charged with a felony or a misdemeanor in Texas, it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can help you understand your rights and options, and can represent you in court.
Types of Misdemeanors in Collin County
Texas law typically defines a misdemeanor offense as a criminal offense of a lower degree of severity than a felony offense. Misdemeanors are punishable by a prison sentence of less than one year, while felonies are typically entailing 1+ years behind bars.
According to the Texas Penal Code § 12.03, in the state of Texas, there are three different types of misdemeanors that you may be charged with.
- Class A Misdemeanor — Punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000.
- Class B Misdemeanor — Punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000.
- Class C Misdemeanor — Punishable by a fine of up to $500.
Class A is the most serious misdemeanor one can be charged with, while Class C is the least serious misdemeanor. A few examples of crimes in the different misdemeanor classifications include, but is not limited to:
- Class A Misdemeanor
- Assault with Bodily Injury
- Cruelty to Animals
- DWI (second offense)
- Evading Arrest on Foot
- Violation of Protective Order
- Class B Misdemeanor
- Criminal Trespass
- Indecent Exposure
- Possession of 2 ounces or less of marijuana
- Class C Misdemeanor
- Assault by Threat
- Disorderly Conduct
- Leaving Child in a Vehicle
- Minor in Possession of alcohol
- Public Intoxication
- Use of Laser Pointers
Texas Misdemeanor Charges Penalties
Texas Penal Code Code § 12.21 states that an individual who is convicted of a Class A misdemeanor can face fines not to exceed $4,000 and jail time of up to one year. Texas Penal Code § 12.22 includes information on Class B; citizens who are guilty of Class B misdemeanors can be punished by fines of up to $2,000 along with 180 days of jail time. Lastly, the least severe misdemeanor, Class C, is punishable by a fine of $500, according to Texas Penal Code § 12.23.
When a crime is committed in Texas, the state has a limited amount of time to bring charges against the offender. This period of time is called the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations for misdemeanors in Texas is two years. This means that the state must file charges within two years of the date the crime was committed, or it will be barred from prosecuting the case.
Habitual Misdemeanor Offenses
Misdemeanors typically carry small fines and consequences (compared to felony charges) but those who consistently commit misdemeanor crimes will find that the ensuing penalties will increase in severity. Texas Penal Code § 12.43 states that additional penalties may be brought upon individuals who repeatedly commit misdemeanors. A repeat or habitual offender is defined as someone who has previously been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor.
Habitual offenders who are charged with a Class C misdemeanor charge can be punished by fines up to $2,000 in addition to a jail sentence up to roughly 6 months (180 days). This is applicable if said offender has been convicted of disorderly conduct or public intoxication three (or more) times within the previous 24 months.
Individuals who are charged with Class B misdemeanors while already having a previous Class A misdemeanor, Class B misdemeanor, or felony conviction can be punished by a fine not to exceed $2,000 along with a jail sentence in the range of 30-180 days.
Lastly, the Class A misdemeanor will carry the most serious penalties and consequences. If an individual has a previous Class A misdemeanor or felony conviction on their record while being charged with a current Class A misdemeanor, they can face fines up to $4,000 along with a jail sentence ranging from 90 days to one year.
Collin County Resources For Misdemeanor Offenders
Collin County Court at Law Clerks: Criminal FAQ — This link takes you to the official Collin County website, where you can read more about frequently asked questions in regards to criminal cases that take place in Collin County and its surrounding areas.
Collin County Diversion Program — This link takes you to the official Collin County DA’s website, where you can learn about local diversion programs.
Penal Code Offenses By Punishment Range — Visit this website to learn more about punishment by offense classification, penalties for repeat and habitual offenders, and exceptional sentences. You can also find information about classification of title, inchoate offenses, and offenses against the person. There is also information about offenses against the family, offenses against property, offenses against public administration, offenses against public order & decency, offenses against public health, safety & morals, organized crime, classification and punishment, and classification of controlled substance offenses.
Find a Collin County Misdemeanor Charges Defense Attorney | Law Office of Richard C. McConathy
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy are here to help you with your misdemeanor charges when you feel as though your legal troubles are too much to handle on your own. For more information on how our team can help you get through your litigation struggles, call our Collin County law office today at (469) 304-3422 or contact us online to receive a free, confidential consultation from a legal expert on our team.
Led by experienced criminal defense attorney Richard McConathy, our office is able to serve clients located in Plano, Allen, Frisco, McKinney, and the other surrounding areas of Collin County. Our firm has a wealth of experience handling all kinds of misdemeanor cases, so we know how to help people fight these criminal charges and possibly get the charges reduced or completely dismissed.