JUST BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T PLAN ON GETTING ARRESTED, doesn't mean you can't plan your defense
McKinney Misdemeanor Defense Attorney
An Analytical and Assertive Trial Lawyer with Over a Decade of Prosecution Experience
Attorney Chris Fredericks has been helping clients navigate the criminal justice system in Texas for more than 16 years. Before that, he served as a former prosecutor at the Collin County District Attorney’s Office for more than 10 years. As a result, you can trust that Attorney Fredericks has the experience, litigation skills, and professional knowledge to strategize an effective defense against your misdemeanor charges. He will work one-on-one with you to discuss your defense options and provide a thorough legal analysis of your case. You can expect direct, personalized, and dedicated legal advocacy with the Law Office of Chris Fredericks.
Schedule a free consultation with our firm online to learn more.
Three Classes of Misdemeanors
A misdemeanor is a criminal charge that involves offenses less serious than felonies, and misdemeanor sentences will not require imprisonment in state prison. Texas categorizes misdemeanor crimes into 3 different classes – Class A, Class B, and Class C.
Class A misdemeanors are the most serious misdemeanor charges. Conviction for a Class A misdemeanor will result in up to 1 year in county jail and up to $4,000 in fines. Class B misdemeanors are punishable by up to 180 days in county jail and up to $2,000 in fines. The lowest level of misdemeanor, Class C misdemeanors, is punishable by a $500 fine and no jail time.
- Burglary of a vehicle (Class A)
- Carrying a gun without a permit (Class A)
- Possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana (Class B)
- Theft of property worth less than $100 (Class C)
If a crime is designated as a misdemeanor but no specific class, it will likely be charged as a Class C misdemeanor.
Special and Enhanced Sentencing
Certain factors may elevate a misdemeanor to a higher class level or even to the felony level. For instance, repeat offenders who have been convicted of a Class A misdemeanor before will incur a mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days in county jail, and repeat offenders convicted of a Class B misdemeanor before will face a 30-day mandatory minimum sentence.
Additionally, criminal offenses involving the use of drugs or controlled substances charged as Class A misdemeanors will have a 180-day mandatory minimum jail sentence, and Class A misdemeanors motivated by bias or prejudice will also incur a 180-day mandatory minimum sentence.
If a defendant charged with a Class A misdemeanor has a serious criminal history, they may face a possible sentence enhancement up to the state jail felony level.
Individuals who have pled guilty or no contest to an offense and have successfully completed the terms of their deferred adjudication may petition for non-disclosure. A court order for non-disclosure seals certain misdemeanor convictions on a person’s criminal record. Most misdemeanors are eligible for sealing, though the following are not eligible for sealing:
- any offense requiring sex offender registration;
- aggravated kidnapping;
- human trafficking;
- injury to a child, a disabled person, or an elderly person;
- family violence;
Note that individuals seeking non-disclosure must wait 2 years for serious misdemeanors before filing. If the punishment for the misdemeanor consists only of a fine, there is no required waiting period.
If you have been accused of a misdemeanor in Texas, you may face hundreds to thousands in fines and possible time in county jail. Fortunately, misdemeanors are on the less severe side of criminal charges, so an effective defense could very well lead to a significantly reduced sentence of a fine of a couple hundred dollars. The Law Office of Chris Fredericks has handled hundreds of jury trials and even more bench trials; Attorney Chris Fredericks is the board-certified defense lawyer you need and deserve to combat your criminal charges.
Contact the Law Office of Chris Fredericks online for a free consultation to discuss your defense today.