In the state of Texas, criminal offenses are divided into two categories: felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are the most serious crimes and commonly involve physical harm, large-scale theft, or fraud. A misdemeanor is less serious than a felony and can result in a fine or short time in jail.
Within both categories of criminal offenses, each is divided up into different levels of severity. Among the misdemeanor crimes there are Class A, B, and C offenses. A “Class C” Misdemeanor is the lowest level of crime and can result in a fine of up to $500.
Crimes defined as Class C Misdemeanors include:
- Most Traffic Tickets
- Disorderly conduct
- Public intoxication
- Bad Checks of less than $20
- Simple assault
- Criminal trespassing
- Bail jumping
- Leaving a child in a vehicle
- Petty theft including shoplifting of an item under $50
- Possession of alcoholic beverages in a motor vehicle
- Minor driving under the influence of alcohol
- Minor in possession of alcohol
- Minor in possession of tobacco
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
Although a Class C Misdemeanor is not considered a serious crime, it still can negatively affect your life in ways that you may not expect. For example, receiving a traffic ticket can lead to the suspension of your driver’s license, higher insurance rates, and fines that hurt your pocket book. A Class C Misdemeanor violation may also affect your ability to find a job.
People charged with a Class C Misdemeanor are required to appear in a Municipal Court or before a Justice of the Peace. Just as in the case of a felony crime, a prosecutor represents the state in court proceedings. You have the right to hire an attorney. However, the court will not appoint one for cases such as these.
The court can impose sanctions or conditions for a specified period of time when criminal proceedings are deferred without a finding of guilt and can sentence or suspend a fine.
In addition, the court could offer a deferred adjudication. This does not mean that you have been found not guilty, but it is also not a conviction. Considered a plea bargain agreement, it defers judgment pending the outcome of a probation period. If you successfully complete the conditions of the probation that the court assigns, the charges can be dropped. You must plead guilty or no contest to receive a deferred adjudication.
A Class C Misdemeanor could be expunged from one’s record under certain circumstances if the defendant meets certain requirements including community supervision and deferred disposition. This allows a defendant not to state the offense on paper, but he or she still must do so under oath.
While Class C Misdemeanors are not the most serious crimes, you still may want to have the services of an experienced attorney who will be able to help you either get the charges dropped or ultimately expunged from your record entirely.
Not only can they help advise you about your legal rights and responsibilities, but they can ensure that you know the full range of collateral consequences before you take a plea, plead guilty, or No Contest. An attorney will also be able to ensure that the manner is resolved in a way that allows for an expunction so that the conviction no longer appears in your records.
The attorneys at Fears Nachawati are experienced in representing all manner of criminal defense cases, ranging from serious felonies to Class C misdemeanors. You can be assured that we will fight for you and your legal rights, and that no case is too big or too small for us to take on.
Don’t delay in reaching out to the experienced drug attorneys at Fears Nachawati for your free, no obligation legal consultation to discuss the specifics of your case. Please call (866) 705-7584 or visit the offices of Fears Nachawati located throughout the great state of Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.