Texas Criminal Law
Criminal law in Texas outlines the behavior that the State of Texas finds punishable by fines, jail term, or both. Texas criminal law encompasses a wide variety of criminal behaviors, and provides great detail on the requirements for each offense. Below is a selection of common issues in Texas criminal law. If you have been arrested for a crime in Texas contact a Texas criminal defense attorney.
Drug Possession in Texas
An arrest for possession of drugs in Texas has varying consequences depending on the nature of the drug, the quantity of the drug, and the possessor’s intentions. The Texas code separates drugs into classifications, and delivers penalties for possession for each class. As the Texas law is very complex and circumstantial is it important to discuss any arrest or criminal charge with a Texas criminal defense lawyer. The following is a range or potential punishments for possession. These punishments may vary, and often dramatically increase, depending on a variety of factors including, but not limited to, exchange of money, delivery, and intent to distribute.
The examples above provide basic information about possession of drugs commonly exchanged. There are several more classifications of drugs, particularly narcotics, to be aware of. If arrested for drug possession in Texas, contact a Texas criminal defense attorney.
Assault in Texas
Assault in Texas covers a range of aggression towards another person. Depending on the nature of the assault, or the individual against whom it is committed, the offense can be classified as a more serious misdemeanor or a felony with an increase in punishment. If charged with assault, contact a Texas criminal defense attorney. Punishments for assault in Texas may include:
Texas Drunk Driving – DUI
In Texas, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated and a sever punishment may result a drunk driving conviction. Circumstances, such as multiple DUI convictions or causing a harmful accident while driving intoxicated, can further increase the level of punishment. A DUI in Texas is a serious affair; consult a Texas DUI attorney if arrested for DUI.
Right to a Jury in Texas
A criminal defendant in Texas has a right to a trial by jury. That right cannot be violated regardless of the crime the defendant is accused of. A defendant may choose to waive their right to a jury trial, but must do so in open court and with the approval of the court and the prosecuting attorney.
Trial Date in Texas
A defendant in Texas is entitled to the right of a speedy trial upon their arrest and indictment. After an arraignment a trial date is set, and may only be changed with a continuance. A continuance can be agreed upon by both parties and approved by the Court, or can be granted based on a motion from one party demonstrating good cause for the continuance arising from the need for more time to gather witnesses or evidence, or to otherwise prepare for trial. Upon receiving a motion for a continuance, the Court will determine whether or not to grant more time prior to trial. It is important to discuss any trial date concerns with your Texas criminal defense attorney.
Sentence Review / Appeals in Texas
If convicted of a crime in Texas, the State offers a process to appeal. An appellate court may review a Texas defendant’s conviction or sentence, or both, and reverse a lower court decision. The Criminal Court of Appeals in Texas may reverse a conviction based on the law or the facts, meaning a defendant can win an appeal based on the rulings of the judge or the findings of the jury. If a Texas conviction or a sentence is reversed, the appeals court may demand a new trial, or empanel a jury to determine a proper sentence.
Texas Criminal Law Statutes
Click here to see the following statutes: