Felony charge lawyer in San Antonio

If you have been charged with a felony in San Antonio, the gravity of the situation can feel overwhelming, with the potential for life-altering consequences hanging in the balance. But what exactly does it mean to be charged with a felony in Texas? In this blog post, we explore the complexities of felony charges in Texas, whether jail time is mandatory, and the critical role of a seasoned felony charge lawyer in San Antonio in shaping the outcome of your case.

What is a Felony in Texas?

In Texas, felonies are serious criminal offenses that carry severe penalties, including the possibility of imprisonment, fines, and more. Unlike misdemeanors, which are considered less serious, felonies are offenses that Texas law deems more grievous, reflecting their impact on victims and society at large. 

The state categorizes felonies into different degrees (Texas Penal Code § 12.02):

  • Capital felonies, the most severe (e.g. murder) 
  • First-degree Felonies (e.g. attempted murder, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated robbery) 
  • Second-degree Felonies (e.g. manslaughter, arson, sexual assault) 
  • Third-degree felonies (e.g. stalking, assault) 
  • State jail felonies, the least severe (e.g. theft of property worth $2,500 up to $30,000, check forgery, delivery or possession of drug paraphernalia) 

Each category comes with its own set of potential punishments, tailored to the nature and severity of the crime. Understanding these categories is the first step in grasping the full scope of what a felony charge in Texas entails.

What is the Most Common Felony Charge in San Antonio?

In San Antonio, as in much of Texas, drug-related offenses rank among the most common felony charges. This includes the possession, distribution, and manufacturing of controlled substances, with penalties varying widely based on the type and quantity of the drug involved. 

Property crimes, such as burglary and theft, also frequently land individuals in hot water, potentially leading to felony charges and underscoring the importance of a skilled felony charge lawyer in San Antonio when facing the serious consequences of a felony conviction. 

Can a Felony Be Reduced to a Misdemeanor in Texas?

In Texas, a felony charge can sometimes be reduced to a misdemeanor with the help of a skilled attorney. However, certain conditions must typically be met for such a reduction to be considered. These include factors related to the following circumstances:

  • The specifics of the crime
  • The defendant’s criminal history; and
  • The presence of mitigating circumstances that could sway a prosecutor to reduce the charges. 

While not a guaranteed outcome, the possibility of reducing a felony to a misdemeanor highlights the importance of having a skilled criminal defense lawyer in San Antonio in your corner.

Can Felony Charges Be Dropped?

Yes, felony charges can be dropped in Texas, though this outcome is the exception rather than the rule. Charges may be dismissed due to factors such as:

  • Insufficient evidence
  • Procedural errors; or 
  • New exculpatory evidence coming to light 

Additionally, felony charges may be dismissed under specific circumstances. For instance, engaging in a pre-trial diversion program or meeting certain conditions before trial can lead to dismissal in some cases. 

The key to getting a felony charge dismissed is a comprehensive understanding of the law, combined with strategic legal action that only a felony charge lawyer in San Antonio can deliver. 

Is Jail Time Mandatory for a Felony in Texas?

Whether jail time is a mandatory consequence of a felony conviction in Texas hinges on the nature of the crime and the degree of the felony. Texas law prescribes minimum sentences for certain felonies, but there’s often judicial discretion based on circumstances surrounding the case. 

For example, state jail felonies, which include certain drug offenses and property crimes, carry a potential jail term of 180 days to two years; however, alternatives like probation may be available for first-time offenders or under specific conditions. 

The mandatory nature of imprisonment becomes more pronounced with higher-degree felonies, especially where violent crimes are involved or when statutory mandatory sentences come into play.

What about a Reduction in Sentence?

The Texas legal system allows for the possibility of a reduction in sentence through various means, such as:

  • Good behavior while incarcerated
  • Parole; or
  • Judicial clemency

In addition, certain legal provisions enable the reduction of sentences for those who complete educational or rehabilitation programs while imprisoned.

What is the Minimum Sentencing for a Felony?

The minimum sentence for a felony in Texas varies significantly based on the felony’s classification. For state jail felonies, the law stipulates a minimum of 180 days in a state jail facility. 

For third-degree felonies, the minimum sentence starts at 2 years in prison, and this baseline increases with the severity of the felony class, reaching up to life imprisonment or the death penalty for capital felonies. 

It is important to understand that these minimums serve as starting points, with the actual sentences influenced by a range of factors, from the specifics of the crime to the defendant’s criminal history.

How Do I Determine the Right Approach for My Case?

Determining the best legal approach when facing a felony charge in Texas requires a deep understanding of both the law and your specific situation. This is where the expertise of a skilled felony charge criminal defense attorney in San Antonio becomes invaluable. 

An experienced attorney can assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case, explore all available legal strategies, and guide you through the complexities of the criminal justice system, specializes in defending felony charges, providing tailored advice and representation that consider both Texas law and the specifics of the San Antonio court system. 

From the initial stages of your case through to its resolution, a skilled attorney will work tirelessly to protect your rights, seeking an outcome that minimizes the negative consequences of a felony charge. Whether it is negotiating a plea deal, arguing for a reduction in the charges, or fighting for your rights at trial, the right defense team can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.  Schedule a free consultation with our Team today.

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