A misdemeanor is a criminal charge in the state of Texas. While it is less severe than a felony, being charged with a misdemeanor can result in a sentence of up to one year in a local county jail. If you’re facing a misdemeanor criminal charge, a criminal defense attorney can help.
Anytime you are charged with a crime you have the right to an attorney. If you can’t afford your own, the court system will appoint you one. But there are definite advantages to hiring your own lawyer. If you want someone who will give your case their best effort and fight for your rights, a private attorney would be a better choice than a public defender the court system assigns to you who will most likely be overloaded with too many cases and won’t be able to give your case the attention it deserves.
Classes of Misdemeanors
Misdemeanors are classified by the severity of the offense. Each class has a range of fines and jail times that are typical for crimes in that class.
- Class A. This is the most severe category of misdemeanors. Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in jail, $4,000 in fines, or any combination of these. Burglary of a vehicle and carrying a gun without a permit are examples of Class A misdemeanors.
- Class B. The next class of misdemeanors is punishable by up to 180 days in jail, up to $2,000 in fines, or any combination of these. An example of a class B misdemeanor is possession of up to two ounces of marijuana.
- Class C. The least severe class of misdemeanors is punishable by up to $500 in fines. Jail time is not even a consideration. Any crime not covered by Class A or B automatically falls into Class C. For example, theft of property worth less than $100.
Statute of Limitations for a Criminal Misdemeanor
According to Texas state law, prosecution for a criminal misdemeanor must begin within 2 years of the date the crime was committed.
How Can I Get a Misdemeanor Off My Record?
Do you have a misdemeanor charge on your record that is affecting your ability to get a job, an apartment, or a professional license? Whatever the reason you would like to have it removed, it may be possible to have it expunged or sealed under certain circumstances.
- Expunged. Your misdemeanor is eligible for expungement if it did not result in a guilty verdict, if you were convicted but later found innocent, if you were arrested but never charged, or if your charges were dismissed or dropped. If you were found guilty the charge is not eligible for expungement.
- Sealed. Sealing of a criminal charge means the public will not have access to it. Law enforcement will have access to the information and will only disclose it when required, such as a background check for employment at a school. Most misdemeanor convictions are eligible for sealing right away, but severe misdemeanors may have a 2 year waiting period before you can apply for a non-disclosure to have a charge sealed.
Need Help with a Misdemeanor Charge? Call Jason Katims Attorney at Law
Have you been charged with a misdemeanor? Are you looking to get a previous conviction expunged or sealed from your record? Jason Katims is an experienced criminal defense attorney serving central Texas. When you need a strong advocate in your corner, Jason is ready to fight for you.
Call (512) 900-9769 today or contact us for a consultation. A misdemeanor may sound minor, but it is nothing to be taken lightly, as a conviction can result in fines or jail time. It is always in your best interest to seek legal representation.