Houston Felony Defense Attorney
Criminal Defense Against Felony Charges in Houston
When it comes to criminal activity, felony offenses are the most serious charges a person can face. The Martinez Law Firm offers aggressive defense for individuals charged with felonies. There are many differences between a felony charge and a misdemeanor charge, including both differences in sentencing and differences in collateral consequences. With a felony, you:
- Could face a mandatory minimum sentence regardless of the circumstances
- Could lose your ability to vote until end of parole/probation
- Could have your public assistance (welfare, food stamps, etc.) taken away
- Non-citizens could be deported, even with permanent residency status
- Could lose your right to serve on a federal jury
- Could lose professional licensing and face other occupational restrictions
Felony drug offenders could face the brunt of these collateral consequences upon conviction. According to the Department of Justice, collateral consequences such as removal of federal aid or limiting federal aid is a consequence for felony drug offenders (21 U.S.C. § 862)
Texas Felony Classification and Punishments
Felonies are classified in the Texas Penal Code Title 3 § 12.04:
- Capital felonies
- Felonies of the first degree
- Felonies of the second degree
- Felonies of the third degree
- State jail felonies
Capital felonies are punished the most severely. Possible consequences of a capital felony conviction include life without parole or the death penalty. In capital felony trials where the state does not seek the death penalty, a person can be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
First degree felony convictions can be punished with incarceration for a period of five to 99 years. Fines are also a part of sentencing, and for first degree felonies these fines can mount up to $10,000.
Second degree felony convictions can be punished with incarceration for a period of two to 20 years and fines not to exceed $10,000.
Third degree felony convictions can be punished with a term of incarceration of two to ten years in addition to fines not to exceed $10,000
State jail felony convictions are punished by a period of confinement in the state jail for no more than two years and no less than 180 days. Fines can also be imposed up to $10,000. In some instances, such as crimes involving the use of a deadly weapon, individuals convicted of state jail felonies can receive the punishment of a third degree felony.
Felony offenders facing charges in federal court may face what is known as a mandatory minimum sentence. Recently, Attorney General Eric Holder proposed the end of mandatory minimums for offenders convicted of low-level and nonviolent felonies. Certain jurisdictions in Texas already have some alternative sentencing options for felony offenders, including rehabilitation and community service programs.
Types of Felony Crimes
At the Martinez Law Firm, we offer defense representation against all types of felony crimes, some of which include:
Protect your future. Retain a Houston criminal defense lawyer!
If you or someone you love has been arrested or charged with a felony offense, time is of the essence. The sooner you have a Houston criminal defense attorney working on your case, the better. The Martinez Law Firm has more than 15 years of experience in the criminal justice system dealing with felony and misdemeanor cases. Mr. Martinez is licensed to practice in state and federal court.
If you would like to learn more about how this firm could protect your future and provide you with aggressive defense, call today and you will receive a free evaluation of your case!