Round Rock Criminal Defense FAQ
Answers From a Williamson County Criminal Attorney
What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
All of the crimes listed under the Texas Penal Code are divided into two
categories: misdemeanors and felonies. Felonies are the more-serious type
of offense, whereas misdemeanors are a less-serious classification of
crime. Both felonies and misdemeanors, however, are punishable with fines,
imprisonment, possible probation and the ramifications of having a conviction
on your criminal record.
What is the maximum penalty for a crime in Round Rock?
The sentence that you can receive if convicted of a crime depends on the
severity of the offense. There are five different categories of felony,
each with its own maximum sentence as follows:
- Capital felony — death or life in prison without possibility of parole
- First-degree felony — life in prison
- Second-degree felony — up to 20 years in prison
- Third-degree felony — up to 10 years in prison
- State jail felony — up to 2 years in prison
In addition to time in prison, a felony can be punished by a fine of up
to $10,000. It should also be noted that each of the different levels
of felonies carries a minimum sentence of imprisonment. If you are charged
with a misdemeanor, the maximum sentences that you can receive are as follows:
- Class A misdemeanor — up to 1 year in jail and fines of up to $4,000
- Class B misdemeanor — up to 180 days in jail and fines of up to $2,000
- Class C misdemeanor — fines of up to $500
In many cases, the defendant will not be ordered to serve the full term
of the maximum allowable sentence but will instead be placed on probation.
What is probation?
The word "probation" is derived from the Latin word for "test,
or prove," and that is essentially what it means in the context of
criminal law. When the judge places an individual on probation, that person
has been given a chance to prove himself or herself by abiding by certain
terms and avoiding a subsequent arrest. Unfortunately, the terms of probation
are often exceedingly strict, and they can be highly difficult for a probationer
to abide by for an extended period of time. A probation violation can
lead to an arrest and imposition of the full original sentence.
Will my case go to trial?
Whenever possible, we seek to resolve our clients' cases without going
to trial. This may be done by negotiating with the prosecutor for a favorable
plea bargain. In other cases, this goal may be achieved by uncovering
holes in the case and faults in the evidence that make it possible to
move to have the charges dismissed. If, however, your case cannot be resolved
in advance, we will not hesitate to go to a full jury trial to fight to
defend your rights and clear your name.
Should I speak with the investigators?
The only thing that you should ever say to a police officer or detective
who wants to speak with you about an alleged crime is, "I do not
wish to discuss the situation with you. Please call R. Scott Magee, Attorney
at Law with any questions about my case." You have a constitutional
right to remain silent in the face of questioning about criminal allegations,
and this right may be your most valuable protection against the possibility
of conviction. Anything you say to law enforcement can be used as evidence
No matter how friendly they may seem, you should not make the mistake of
telling them your side of the story. Their job is to solve crimes and
to have people convicted, and the reason they want to talk to you is to
get you to help them prove their assumption of your guilt to be correct.
Instead of talking to the police, consult your Williamson County criminal
Are you looking for an attorney for a criminal case in Round Rock? Contact us for a
free consultation so that you can speak with the Round Rock criminal lawyer from our team.