A lawyer with the right kind of experience will know how to evaluate your individual case and tell you what to expect.
Drug offenses are the most common crime in Texas and the biggest issue the state faces today. This includes the production and sale of drugs and drug possession. Depending on the circumstances of the case, those who are arrested for crimes involving drugs in Texas can face a sentence of as many as 99 years in prison and a fine of as much as $250,000.
These are some of the reasons you may be charged for drug offenses in Texas:
- You’ve been found in possession of illegal street drugs.
- You’ve been found with legal drugs that weren’t legally prescribed to you.
- You’ve been found with large qualities of an illegal substance.
- Law enforcement has found evidence you intend to sell illegal substances.
Your reasons, intentions, and relatively important or insignificant role in any larger drug operation may help your lawyer build a defense. Your attorney may be able to find irregularities in the way your case was handled that can help you avoid a conviction.
Drug offenses may be the most common crime in the Lone Star State, but they are far from the only reason people are arrested. Keep reading to learn more about the seven common crimes that lead to arrests.
7 Common Crimes in Texas
Here are seven of the most common crimes lawyers see in Texas. Each charge brings different consequences but provides different possible opportunities for defense.
Larceny, or non-violent property theft, is by far the most common non-drug-related crime in Texas, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. In 2017 there were 518,414 cases.
Lawyers defending against a larceny charge will try to find weaknesses in the case or compelling reasons for what you did. If you were pressured to do what you did or you weren’t fully aware of what you were doing, you may have a good defense.
Another of the few most common criminal violations in Texas is robbery, which is defined as theft that uses force or a threat of force. The penalties are naturally greater than those of regular larceny-theft.
In order to prove that you committed a robbery, the prosecution has to prove that you did threaten violence with the intent to permanently take something that didn’t belong to you.
Burglary is a common crime that involves theft while trespassing or breaking and entering someone else’s property. In 2017, there were 133,145 burglaries reported in Texas.
The prosecution’s burglary case against you can be weakened if you weren’t aware of what you were doing. It also may be weakened if law enforcement doesn’t have the objects you are accused of stealing to be able to demonstrate the crime to the court.
Driving While Intoxicated
DWIs are another common crime in Texas. While the evidence is more straightforward than in some other cases because the intention is not required, a lawyer can still make a big difference in your case and alter the consequences you face.
While most DWI charges will be misdemeanors with less serious penalties, the consequences will be much greater with repeat offenses or if you injure or kill someone while driving. You’ll also face fines and jail time if you have a passenger younger than 15 in the car when you’re arrested. The consequences may also be higher if you are operating a commercial vehicle while intoxicated, which in Dallas is punishable by law in various ways.
Assault, Domestic Violence & Child Abuse
The most frequent violent crime in Texas is assault, which can be as simple as an angry shouting match in a bar or as bad as a violent sexual assault or an attack on a child or spouse. These range from misdemeanors to first-degree felonies.
The consequences you may be facing if you’ve been charged with a violent crime will depend on precisely how your case is classified. A lawyer can help you understand what’s at stake and find the best options for your defense.
A lawyer can be incredibly helpful if you’ve been accused of a probation violation. In these cases, the judge is less likely to be lenient because you were already suffering the consequences of a previous crime.
Many offenders violate their probation without wanting or meaning to because of unavoidable circumstances in their life or career. An attorney can help you communicate that effectively to the court.
Manslaughter, Murder & Rape
Manslaughter refers to killing someone without the intent to do so. Manslaughter and other violent crimes like rape and murder are some of the worst crimes and therefore, some of the worst criminal charges a defendant can face.
Even with a plea bargain, pleading guilty in a high-stakes case will mark you for the rest of your life. If you’ve been accused of one of these crimes, high-quality legal representation is absolutely essential. Find a lawyer who will listen to you and take your case seriously and don’t settle for less.
What to Do if You’re Facing Criminal Charges
If you’re facing criminal charges in Texas, you are going to have to prepare and defend yourself in court like everyone else, whether you think you’re guilty or not. Due process laws mean that everyone gets a chance to make their case before a judge and jury and answer the charges that have been placed on them.
Look for an attorney that you can trust to work hard for your interests and to have the necessary experience to protect you. Different types of cases bring with them different evidence requirements and precedents for establishing a case.
A lawyer with the right kind of experience will know how to evaluate your individual case and tell you what to expect. They may be able to have your case dismissed or your charges lowered if they’re able to find any weaknesses in the claims against you.
If you can’t afford an attorney, the judge can appoint a public defender to help you with your case. If you have the resources, however, you’ll want to consult with multiple attorneys until you find the criminal defense attorney that’s right for you.