Federal Criminal Defense
In the state of Texas, felonies are crimes that are punishable by terms that must be served in state prison, state jail, or federal prison. Less serious crimes are called misdemeanors and are punishable by up to one year in a local or county jail. Felonies in Texas are separated into capital felonies, first, second, or third degree felonies, or state jail felonies. If you’ve been charged with a federal offense in Texas, contact a federal criminal defense attorney immediately.
In Texas, capital felonies are the most serious category of felony and are punishable by death or life in prison without parole. Murder, treason, and piracy are federal capital felonies. If the defendant was a juvenile at the time that the crime was committed and the prosecutor elects not to seek the death penalty, a capital felony is punishable by life imprisonment. Capital felonies are the most severe offense you can be charged with and require expert defense by an El Paso federal criminal defense attorney.
Texas First Degree Felonies
A conviction for a first degree felony is incredibly serious in Texas can result in life imprisonment along with a fine of up to $10,000. If you have been charged with a first degree felony or a federal felony offense in El Paso, it is imperative that you contact a federal criminal defense attorney. Sexual assault against a child is a first degree felony in Texas, along with:
- Aggravated assault of a public servant
- Aggravated robbery
- Aggravated kidnapping
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Attempted capital murder
- Arson of a habitation
- Burglary of a habitation with the intent to commit a felony
- Causing serious bodily injury to child, senior citizen, or disabled person
- Escape from custody causing serious bodily injury
- Solicitation of capital murder
- Trafficking of persons under the age of fourteen
Second Degree Felonies
Under Texas law, second degree felonies are punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Causing serious injury to a family member is a second degree felony. If you have been charged with a serious felony in Texas and are unsure of how to proceed, contact a federal criminal defense attorney. Other examples of second degree felonies in Texas include:
- Aggravated assault
- Evading arrest causing death
- Indecent contact with a child
- Intoxication manslaughter
- Possession of 50-2,000 pounds of marijuana
- Sexual assault
- Stalking, second offense
- Trafficking of persons
- Online solicitation of a minor under fourteen
- Improper relationship between an educator and a student
Third Degree Felonies
A third degree felony is punishable by two to ten years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000. Possession of five to 50 pounds of marijuana is a third degree felony, along with the following offenses:
- Deadly conduct with a firearm
- Escape from felony custody
- Indecent exposure to a child
- Intoxication assault
- Possession of a firearm by a felon
- DWI, third offense
- Tampering with evidence
- Violation of protective order, third offense
- Aggravated perjury
- Bail jumping on a felony arrest
State Jail Felony
In Texas, state jail felonies are punishable by up to two years in state jail and a fine of up to $10,000. If lawmakers identify a crime as a felony but they fail to designate it as any certain type of felony, then the felony is considered a state jail felony. The use of a weapon can escalate a state felony to a third degree felony.
- Coercing a minor to join a gang by threatening violence
- Credit card abuse
- Criminally negligent homicide
- Cruelty to animals
- DWI with child passenger
- Evading arrest in a vehicle
- False alarm or report
- Forgery of a check
- Fraudulent use or possession of identifying information
- White collar fraud
- Improper photography or visual recording
- Interference of child custody
- Possession of less than one gram of a controlled substance
- Unauthorized use of a vehicle
- Burglary of a building
- Theft of something valued between $1,500 and $20,000
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is the time limit during which the government must begin criminal prosecution. Otherwise, the defendant can have the case dismissed. The statute of limitations begins to run immediately when the crime is committed. Very serious felonies have rather long statutes of limitations and some federal offenses have no time limit at all. Consult with a federal criminal defense attorney in El Paso, TX to identity the statute of limitations on your particular charges.
Federal Legal Assistance
A felony conviction on your criminal record can have extremely serious consequences. In addition to time in prison and extremely costly fines, a felony conviction can result in loss of the right to vote or to hold public office. It can be difficult to get or keep a job or housing. If you are charged with a felony, the best way to avoid a conviction on your record in El Paso is to retain an experienced federal criminal defense attorney.
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Art Werge, Texas Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
Art Werge is a former FBI Special Agent turned El Paso federal criminal defense attorney. If there is anyone who knows what to expect from a federal criminal investigation, it’s Attorney Werge.
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