When it comes to criminal defense, Stephen Bowling and the criminal defense lawyers in our practice stand among Texas’ leading law firms. Although our firm is known for successfully representing DWI offenders, our team of lawyers, headed by Stephen Bowling, a former police officer, defends people facing all forms of criminal offense prosecution in Texas. Our team has law enforcement veterans well versed in every stage of the legal system and the types of crimes criminal defense lawyers defend.
Arson Charge Defense
Arson is intentionally setting fire to buildings, schools, churches, jails, vehicles, documents, aircraft, or forests. Arsonists commit the crime intent on revenge, crime concealment, intimidation, or sabotage.
Texas law categorizes arson into four classifications — the first, second, third degrees; and state felony. First-degree arson, the most serious form of arson, can mean a life sentence, while state jail felony, the most basic form of arson, can lead to a sentence of 180 days to two years.
More Serious Degrees of Arson
First-degree felony arson entails intentionally setting fire to a building, causing harm or death to occupants.
Third-degree felony arson include fires recklessly started in the manufacture of controlled substances which result in bodily injury or death.
In “state jail” felony arson, the offender starts a fire recklessly or unintentionally, leading to property damage.
Burglary and Theft Charges
Burglary is an attempt to break into someone’s property to steal, rape, murder, or commit any other offense. By law, breaking in encompasses threats, force, or deception to gain entry into premises.
Theft is taking another person’s valuables without consent, and it encompasses crimes like shoplifting, extortion, embezzlement, issuing a bad check, armed robbery, and receiving stolen property.
In Texas, the court charges burglary according to the crime the offender wanted to commit and the property’s habitation status. For instance, the law classifies breaking into an occupied home as a second-degree felony punishable by a jail term of up to 20 years.
The theft penalty depends on the price of the valuables stolen. For example, the court classifies stealing valuables under $50 as a class C misdemeanor with a penalty of a fine of less than $500.
Criminal Traffic Violations
Other types of crimes criminal defense lawyers defend in Texas, criminal traffic violations include reckless driving, hit and run, speeding, driving with an invalid license, invalid inspection stickers, and fleeing an officer. Moreover, criminal traffic violations include driving under the influence or an open alcoholic container.
The penalty for criminal traffic offenses depends on the incident’s intensity. For instance, reckless drivers who disregard their safety and other road users are guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable with a 30-day jail term or a fine.
Hit and run is the most serious traffic offense in Texas, charged as a third-degree felony. The traffic offenders can get up to five years of imprisonment in county jail and two to 10 years in state prison.
Domestic Violence Charges
For many Texans, domestic violence entails a person abusing another who has a domestic or close relationship physically by kicking, punching, or choking. However, according to Texas law, domestic violence entails other forms of abuse like sexual, emotional, financial, and psychological abuse.
Domestic violence does not just involve married people; it includes violence directed at someone related or sometimes not related to the offender by blood. The people include parents, grandparents, foster children, siblings, aunts, cousins, and uncles.
The Texan law regards simple domestic violence as a misdemeanor that carries a jail term of up to one year or a fine of $4,000. However, the law treats repeated violence characterized by strangulation and choking as a second-degree felony, which means a minimum of two years imprisonment.
DUI means driving under the influence of intoxicating substances like alcohol, marijuana, and other controlled substances. For alcohol, driving while intoxicated means having a blood alcohol level above 0.08 percent.
Texas’ courts regard DWI-charged offenders with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 to 0.15 percent as a class B misdemeanor and those with a blood alcohol level above 0.15 percent as a class A misdemeanor.
A first-time DWI offender can spend at least 72 hours in jail and have their driver’s license suspended for 90 days to one year. For second-time offenders, the court judges the offender guilty of a class A misdemeanor, and the driver can get jail time of up to one year and a fine of $4,000.
Drug Possession Charges
Criminal defense lawyers defend possession types of crimes. Possessing drugs like codeine, ketamine, cocaine, oxycodone, crystal meth, and hydrocodone is an offense punishable by a fine, jail term, or both. Depending on the type of drug, the court system can indict people found in possession of drugs for a misdemeanor or felony.
For instance, possessing group two drugs like hashish and ecstasy is a state felony that carries a jail term of at least 180 days and a fine of $10,000. The jail term can extend to 99 years and a fine of $250,000.
Murder is an offense when one person takes away another individual’s life intentionally or unintentionally. The offense also includes bodily injuries and other acts that are dangerous to life.
In Texas, this offense can draw a sentence of up to 99 years. However, with proper defense, the court can charge murder as a second-degree felony, which has a more lenient sentence of around 20 years.
How Do Criminal Defense Lawyers Help Offenders?
Experienced criminal defense lawyers understand that the defense offered to clients determines the penalty and jail term. To fight for the offender’s best interests, criminal lawyers defend all types of crime by using four types of defense, which prove to work effectively much of the time.
Actual Innocence Defense
Our lawyers build their defense around an offender’s innocence in this defense. They find strong alibi witnesses to testify and evidence that there is no way the offender could have committed the offense.
In self-defense, our defense attorneys argue the offenders’ case because they committed a crime to defend themselves from assault, murder, battery, and other forms of violent action. Our lawyers will find enough reasons to demonstrate that the offender had no intention of killing.
In this type of defense, our defense lawyer will find evidence to demonstrate the offender could not differentiate between wrong and right at the time of committing an offense. Since this type of defense is akin to pleading guilty, offenders need a seasoned attorney to acquit them from a crime.
Every Texan, offenders included, has certain constitutional rights that cannot be violated when collecting evidence and making arrests. The prosecution can drop charges or settle for a plea bargain with a strong defense built around constitutional violations.
Our experienced criminal defense lawyers defend all types of crimes by using alibi witnesses, solid evidence, and the correct type of defense to help acquit the offender or fight for a fair outcome. We have helped thousands of Texans drop their criminal offense charges or get lenient penalties and sentences although every case is different.