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Arrested for a DWI in Texas and facing criminal charges? The implications of a DWI, drug possession charge, or other criminal arrest are serious. They may potentially compromise your reputation, financial position, and even your career and future opportunities. By doing research about a potential dispute and searching for a Texas criminal defense lawyer, you are moving in the right direction. Your lawyer will assist you and help guard your legal rights and privileges. They will ensure you get fair treatment in Texas courts for any alleged wrongdoing, offense, or criminal allegation through a criminal defense case.

What Constitutes A Criminal Violation in Texas?

A criminal violation in Texas is any offense that leads to a personal injury to a victim as specified by Texas penal code or federal law. Alternatively, it could include conduct not punishable under the penal code but involving the operation of a vehicle, airplane, or watercraft that causes harm or eventual death to victims of a crash.  

What Kind of Penalties Do Criminal Violators Receive?

In Texas, levels of criminal offense and the scope of discipline are stated under section 12 of the penal code.

The code classifies the offenses as either felonies or misdemeanors. It then classifies misdemeanors into three classes: Class A, Class B, and Class C offenses. Felony offenses are grouped into five classes: Capital, First Degree, Second Degree, Third Degree, and State Jail crimes.

Below are the details of each class and the maximum penalties it attracts.


  • Capital felony; execution
  • First degree; 5-99 years or life; $10,000 fine
  • Second-degree; 2-20 years; $10,000 fine
  • Third-degree; 2-10 years; $10,000 fine
  • State prison; 180 days to 2 years; $10,000 fine


  • Class A; 1 year; $4,000 fine
  • Class B; 180 days; $2,000 fine
  • Class C; $500 fine

How Long Does A Criminal Case Take to Go to Trial in Texas?

You deserve the right to a fast preliminary hearing under the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution. This amendment expects that the preliminary will be within a specific time period after the allegation.

Under Texas regulation (with restricted exemptions), a criminal respondent ought to be brought to a preliminary hearing within the following time periods:

  • 180 days if the litigant carries the blame for the crime
  • 90 days if the respondent carries the blame for a misdeed deserving a detainment of over 180 days
  • 60 days if the litigant carries the blame for a violation deserving a detainment of 180 days or fewer, or a fine in particular

Can Your Charges Be Expunged?

The answer to a potential expungement is yes. However, the capacity to have your criminal record erased is a legal right, not a constitutional right. In this manner, to be qualified for a Texas expunction, an individual should meet each of the necessities recorded in the Code of Criminal Procedure Article 55.01.

And, while there are several ways to qualify for expungement in Texas, the law requires an individual to have their case dismissed or to have their name cleared (found “Not Guilty”). 

Furthermore, when the court declares an expungement, it frequently takes as long as 180 days for local, state, and government offices to clear their records.

How Long Does A Pending Case Take in Texas?

In 2011, legislators passed a regulation giving individuals caught in this brief delay some reprieve. Assuming that no charges were filed against you, you can look for an expunction before the legal time limit lapses, depending on how grievous the charges are.

The ongoing waiting period is 180 days for a Class C misdemeanor, one year for Class A and B offenses, and three years for felonies. When the specified waiting period passes, your lawyer can request an expunction.

Does A Judge Have The Power to Dismiss A Criminal Case in Texas?

A judge does have that power. Additionally, not all criminal cases go to trial. In many cases, the court can drop or excuse criminal allegations, particularly when you have a criminal defense lawyer who understands case law. Judges can dismiss charges even when the state presents adequate proof. 

The court—and not the prosecution—when that prosecutor makes a legal mistake, can likewise dismiss charges.

Facing Arrest for A Crime in Texas?

When arrested for a DWI offense or other criminal violation in Texas, you want a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer to survey your specific case and determine whether the court, judge, or the prosecution can drop the charges against you. Your criminal defense lawyer will then address your concerns, first by persuading the prosecution to drop the criminal charges. Even when they do not, your criminal defense attorney will battle for you to get a sentence reduced and to do everything possible to safeguard your rights.

At Stephen T. Bowling, our criminal defense lawyers will assess your case and work hard to ensure you get a fair trial. Contact our legal team for a free case assessment.

Austin Office
816 Congress Ave, Suite 950
Austin, Texas 78701

San Antonio Office
700 N St Mary’s St, Suite 1457
San Antonio, Texas 78205