Austin Felony Lawyer
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Being charged with a felony offense is often a scary and confusing experience. However, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you through the felony process and get the best outcome possible for your case. The Law Office of Channing Neary has successfully defended clients in the Austin area charged with felony offenses and can provide you with the dedicated and determined defense that your case needs.
Texas Felony Crimes
Texas law separates criminal charges into two areas: misdemeanor and felony crimes. Misdemeanor crimes are only punishable with a jail sentence up to one year and a small fine. However, felony offenses are much more serious and can have sentences that range up to life in prison or the death penalty, as well as multi-figure fines. Felony offenses in Texas can include the following:
- Aggravated assault;
- Child abuse;
- Major drug crimes including trafficking and possession;
- White collar crime including embezzlement, identity theft, and fraud;
…and other serious criminal acts that reach the level of felony charges.
Texas Felony Classifications and Sentencing
Texas Penal Code Sec. 12.04 separates felony charges into capital felonies, felonies of the first degree, felonies of the second degree, felonies of the third degree, and state jail felonies, based on the type of crime as well as its severity. The same section also defines the possible punishments for each type of felony charge.
Capital Felony: Life in prison without parole or the death penalty
Felony of the 1st Degree: Prison sentence between 5 and 99 years and/or fine up to $10,000
Felony of the 2nd Degree: Prison sentence between 2 and 20 years and/or fine up to $10,000
Felony of the 3rd Degree: Prison sentence between 2 and 10 years and/or fine up to $10,000
State Jail Felony: Jail sentence between 180 days and 2 years and/or fine up to $10,000
Texas Felony Crime Process
If you have been charged with a felony crime, request an attorney as soon as possible. An experienced felony defense attorney will be able to protect your rights through every step of the criminal felony process. The first step in the process is the arrest. At the time of an arrest a search will also be done of your person and any belongings that may be critical to the state’s felony charge. You have specific protections under the Constitution regarding your rights to search and seizure as well as what you do and do not have to say to investigating officers about the case.
The next step in the process is the arraignment. The felony charges against you are read in court, and you are able to give a plea to the charges at that time. Typically, the amount of bail in your case is also established during arraignment. You should discuss with your defense attorney before arraignment what your plea should be. The possible pleas for Texas felony charges are:
Guilty: admitting that you committed the crime charged;
Not Guilty: denying guilt for the crime of which you are accused; and
No Contest: not admitting guilt; however, you are also not disputing the charge.
The final step in the process is the trial, and it is required to occur within 180 days of your arrest, if you are not able to make bail and remain incarcerated. You will have the opportunity to craft your defense with your attorney or negotiate a plea with the state before the date of the trial. If you go to trial and are found guilty of the felony charge you have 30 days in which to file an appeal. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to help you along every step of the criminal felony process.
Let an Austin Felony Defense Attorney Help
The felony process is a complex and often overwhelming situation to try and navigate on your own. If you or someone that you know is being charged with a felony offense in Austin, call The Law Office of Channing Neary at 512-769-2371 or contact the office online today. Your reputation, job, and future are at stake when faced with these types of serious criminal charges, and our office promises to provide you with the diligent and hardworking defense that you deserve.
- Sexual assault
- Continuous violence against the family