New Braunfels is a booming Texas success story. The San Antonio suburb, the third-fastest growing city in the United States in 2019, is bustling with energy, diversity, and culture. And it also boasts the largest gas station in the world! But if you’ve been arrested or accused of a crime in New Braunfels, it can lose its appeal quickly.
You need help to navigate the justice system and protect your rights.
Just because you have been arrested or accused of a crime does not necessarily mean you will be convicted. The State of Texas must prove the charges against you in court.
Our attorneys handle all types of criminal matters, including:
- Traffic citations (speeding, reckless driving, DUI/DWI)
- Drug and alcohol offenses (illegal possession, distribution, underage possession)
- Violent crimes (homicide, assault, sexual assault)
- Domestic incidents (homicide, assault, sexual assault)
- Property crimes (theft, burglary, larceny)
Arrest, Arraignment, and Trial: Understanding the Justice System
To arrest someone, a police officer must have “probable cause.” This standard is much lower than that needed to convict someone of a crime.
After a person is arrested, the State is responsible for collecting evidence and convincing a judge or jury that a defendant is guilty. The law requires the State to meet a much higher standard for a criminal conviction: it must prove guilt beyond and to the exclusion of all reasonable doubt. Every arrest does not lead to a conviction. You are presumed innocent until the State proves your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The State may offer you a “plea bargain” in exchange for pleading guilty rather than going through a trial. Usually, the sentence it proposes is less than a defendant would face if they lose at trial. Although this can seem like an attractive option to quickly, cheaply resolve a criminal matter, plea bargains can have significant collateral consequences. A guilty plea may affect your legal ability to pursue your trade, your custody rights, your immigration status, and more. You should not enter into a plea agreement without consulting with legal counsel.
If you have been arrested or accused of a crime, you have the right to consult with an attorney before answering any questions that may incriminate you. Before answering questions, speak to an attorney who can ensure your rights are protected.
Misdemeanors and Felonies
Misdemeanors in Texas are crimes and offenses that have possible penalties of up to one year in local or county jail. They may include monetary penalties, jail time, or both. Misdemeanors are categorized as Class A, B, or C under the Texas penal code.
- Class C misdemeanors are punishable by up to a $500 fine.
- Class B misdemeanors are punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine up to $2,000.
- Class A misdemeanors, which are the most serious, are punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000.
More serious crimes, or felonies, are those that carry sentences of longer terms in state jail or prison, high fines, and even the death penalty. Like misdemeanors, they are separated into categories of increasing severity.
- State jail felonies are punishable by 180 days to two years in state jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
- For a third-degree felony, defendants face two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- For a second-degree felony, defendants face two to 20 years in prison plus a fine of up to $10,000.
- For a first-degree felony, defendants face between five to 99 years in prison or life without the possibility of parole, plus a fine of up to $10,000.
- The murder of certain victims (like public safety officers) or victims in certain circumstances (like during the commission of a violent felony) can result in a sentence of death.
All types of misdemeanor and felony convictions usually result in the assessment of court fees and costs. An individual pleading guilty may also face professional consequences, loss of driving privileges, immigration consequences, reimbursement or restitution obligations, and more.
Need an Attorney in New Braunfels?
Whether it’s a misdemeanor or a felony charge, being arrested or accused of a crime can be terrifying and overwhelming. It can be a life-changing event that can profoundly affect your way of life, family, employment, and school opportunities. Remember you have rights, including the right to remain silent and the right to consult with an attorney. An attorney can help negotiate a reduced plea bargain, explore alternative sentencing options, minimize collateral consequences, or defend your case through trial and sentencing.
You don’t have to take your chances on your own, and you don’t have to go down without a fight! Let our experienced, knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys advocate for your rights.
The Law Office of Case J. Darwin Inc. defends both misdemeanor and felony crimes. Contact us immediately if you’ve been arrested, charged with a crime, or believe you may otherwise be involved in a criminal matter.