Perhaps you hold the opinion that misdemeanor charges won’t negatively affect your reputation and occupation. After all, misdemeanors are deemed as minor crimes compared to felonies or federal crimes like murder. However, the truth is that Misdemeanor charges actually have serious consequences and lasting results.
If you are facing a Misdemeanor charge, it’s important that you seek legal help from an experienced criminal defense attorney in Houston.
Direct consequences of Misdemeanor crime charges
When it comes to direct consequences, these are basically the imposed penalties by a judge if you’re found guilty of a misdemeanor charge in a court of law in Texas.
If you’re convicted of a Class A misdemeanor charge, you may face up to 1-year sentence in a state prison. For Class B misdemeanor, you may face a maximum of 6 months behind bars.
If you’re found guilty of Class A misdemeanor, you may pay a fine of up to $4,000. For Class B, a fine of up to $2,000 while Class C Misdemeanor carries a fine of no more than $500.
- Community Supervision (probation)
Under Texas law, those who are convicted of Class A or Class B misdemeanor charge may face community supervision probation instead of a state jail time. The maximum duration is up to 2 years. For Class C misdemeanor, the convicted person is eligible for a maximum of 180 days of probation.
Indirect effects of Misdemeanor Charges
Indirect or collateral consequences of misdemeanor charges are prospective penalties different from the direct or imposed penalties by the court of law. These are generally civil penalties that cause your life to be hard and miserable afterwards.
- Criminal record
A criminal record will stay with you for the rest of your life unless you can have it expunged. Under Texas law, your record of misdemeanor conviction cannot be expunged unless you obtain pardon from the state governor. Nonetheless, if your misdemeanor charges didn’t end up in a conviction, expunging may be an option. While Texas law forbids the use of criminal records in the recruitment process, most employers typically run a criminal background check and discriminate against applicants on that basis.
- Suspension of your driving license
Misdemeanors involving drug and alcohol use violations may lead to suspension of your driving license.
- Disqualification from public housing
The Public Housing Authority may use your misdemeanor conviction not to give you housing especially if it’s related to drug and alcohol offenses. Other public services impacted by misdemeanor charges include student loans, work assistance as well as welfare benefits.
- Loss of the gun rights
Convicted felons in Texas lose their gun ownership rights. When it comes to buying a firearm, Texans must abide by federal and state gun regulations. These laws limit gun ownership rights based on the regulations by the Texas Department of Public Safety. Based on Government Code§411.172-a-3, only individuals without a felony conviction are allowed to possess a gun. Moreover, the law bars persons with Class A or Class B misdemeanors or corresponding offenses in the last 5 years before the date of the application.
Seek legal counsel
If you’re facing misdemeanor charges, contact a criminal defense attorney immediately to understand all the likely consequences of a guilty ruling or plea.