Crime occurs all year in Texas, especially over the holidays. There are many reasons for this, from celebrating a little too much to being with family with whom you may not get along.
No matter the reason, what all holiday criminal charges have in common in Texas is that they can follow you into the new year. That’s why if you get accused of a crime, you need the help of an experienced attorney to ensure you have the best defense possible.
Here are some of the most common holiday crimes committed in Texas and the penalties that can result, which is why you need to defend yourself to the best of your ability.
Driving While Intoxicated
For many people, alcohol is a necessity in their holiday celebrations. However, this inevitably increases driving while intoxicated arrests in Texas and fatal drunk driving accidents on the roads. Texas law defines driving while intoxicated as operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher.
If it’s your first DWI crime in Texas, you face a penalty of up to six months behind bars, a $2,000 fine, and the revocation of your driving license for up to one year. The penalties only escalate if it’s your second, third, or subsequent offense, if you get caught driving with an open container, or if you had a child passenger in your car. That’s why it’s crucial to have an attorney to help guide you through the case.
Some people may see Vandalism as a prank, but it’s a crime with serious consequences in Texas. If you get charged with vandalism, then you can face a Class C misdemeanor, which can result in a penalty of fines of $500. You can also face Class B misdemeanor charges, resulting in jail for up to six months with penalties of up to $2,000. An attorney on your side is vital when facing even misdemeanor charges in the state.
There are many ways someone can perpetrate theft in Texas. Shoplifting in one way, but so is writing bad checks, accepting stolen property, or simply taking an item that belongs to someone else without their permission.
The penalties for theft in the state depend on the value of the stolen item. Penalties increase with the value of the item.
Class C Misdemeanor
The charge for items worth less than $50 is a Class C misdemeanor. If found guilty, you can be required to pay fines of as much as $500.
Class B Misdemeanor
For items valued between $50 and $500, you can face a Class B misdemeanor. A conviction can result in fines of as much as $2.000 and up to six months in jail.
Class A Misdemeanor
If the item with a value between $500 and $1.500, the charge is a Class A misdemeanor. If found guilty, you can face up to 12 months in jail and fines of up to $4,000.
State Jail Felony
A state jail felony gets frequently charged if the item’s value is between $1,500 and $20,000. If convicted, you can be required to pay up to $10,000 in fines and spend two years behind bars.
After a value of $20,000, you face felony charges that can send you to jail for up to 99 years and require you to pay fines of $10,000.