judge looking down at defendantThis is the next article in my discussion on the handling of felony cases in Laredo and other parts of south Texas. My last post discussed first-degree Texas felony charges. It is important to understand that such charges are often brought in conjunction with additional counts. This means that an accused individual can face multiple counts for one course of conduct. Retaining an attorney to protect yourself against such charges can be vital. In this article I will address what one should expect when facing second or third-degree felony charges. If you or a family member have been arrested then contact my office today to speak with a criminal defense lawyer.

Texas defendants can face substantial prison sentences for second or third-degree felony charges

Texas takes a harsh stance against those who are charged with a felony. Second-degree charges can result in two to twenty years in prison. Third-degree charges can result in two to ten years in prison. Also, a defendant’s charges can be elevated up one degree if they have a prior conviction. This would mean, for example, that a second-degree charge could become a first-degree charge and a third-degree charge could become a second-degree charge. Furthermore, charges may be elevated if the conduct constitutes a hate crime. This would occur if the offense were targeted against someone due to their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.

Common examples of second-degree felonies include committing acts of arson, assaulting someone sexually, committing bribery, human trafficking, and other acts. Examples of third-degree felonies can include forgery, stealing someone’s identity, certain instances of financial fraud, soliciting a minor online for sexual services, and more. Someone who is arrested on any such charges will appear before a judge within forty-eight hours. The Judge will set the terms of their release (including the required amount for any bond). A preliminary hearing will then be held within fourteen days. The purpose of this hearing is to determine whether or not the prosecution has probable cause to move forward. Assuming that the case does go forward, a trial date will be set.

Laredo defendants should retain a criminal defense lawyer if they are facing felony charges

If you or a loved one are facing felony charges then it is suggested that you retain a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Counsel will conduct a full investigation and file any Motions which may aid in your case. These Motions may include requests that evidence be excluded from trial, that eyewitnesses be prevented from identifying you in open court, and that statements taken in violation of your Miranda rights should be inadmissible. A lawyer will also attempt to reach a favorable outcome with the prosecution and, if such a resolution is not possible, they will defend you at trial.

I am a Laredo attorney who is devoted to protecting the rights of the accused. I understand that you and your family are facing a serious situation. My office will give your case the attention it deserves. Contact us online or by telephone today to schedule an initial consultation. We look forward to speaking with you.