Austin Felony Attorney
Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer | Felony Lawyer | ATX LegalThere’s no way around it: a felony charge can turn your life upside down. The criminal justice system has a way of amping up anxiety and stress. At ATX Legal, we understand what it is like for clients who are arrested and facing felony prosecution. Criminal defense lawyer Rob Chesnutt will take the time to explain the law, so you know what to expect. We will strive to get the best outcome in your criminal case and take it to trial by judge or jury when necessary. Felony charges have a profound impact on your life, and can have an equal impact on your future. If you or a family member is facing criminal charges, you can get in touch by filling out a contact form, or texting 512-677-5003 to schedule a free consultation.
Felonies compared to misdemeanors.Felony criminal cases are considerably more serious than misdemeanors due to the severity of the crimes involved and the accompanying penalties. Defending against misdemeanors involves smaller stakes for the defendant, ranging from minor traffic tickets to a year or less of maximum jail time. On the other hand, felonies can carry hefty fines, prolonged probation, and substantial prison time. Felonies can include crimes such as assault with a deadly weapon, grand theft, murder, or rape. In contrast, misdemeanors might include petty theft, disorderly conduct, or simple assault. A felony prosecutor will not be as lenient when negotiating for diversion programs or probation. Real jail time might be on the line. The social stigma associated with a felony conviction can be incredibly damaging and long-lasting. Society often views felons with a measure of distrust and fear, which can lead to discrimination in various aspects of the defendant’s life. This prejudice can mean difficulty securing future employment opportunities, as many employers are hesitant to hire individuals with a criminal record. Housing opportunities may also be limited, with many landlords unwilling to rent to felons. Furthermore, a felony conviction can strain personal relationships and often leads to social isolation. A good criminal defense lawyer will understand the gravity of these social implications for the individual.
Potential Penalties for Felony OffendersUnder Texas law, felonies are classified into four distinct categories based on their severity, each carrying different potential penalties.
State Jail FelonyState jail felonies are the least severe felony offenses, yet they still carry serious penalties. Convictions can result in a sentence ranging from 180 days to 2 years in a state jail, along with a potential fine of up to $10,000. An example of a state jail felony could include credit card abuse or unauthorized use of a vehicle.
Third Degree FelonyGreater in severity than state jail felonies, third degree felonies carry a prison sentence of 2 to 10 years, and a possible fine of up to $10,000. Offenses that fall into this category may include possession of certain controlled substances or driving while intoxicated (third offense).
Second Degree FelonySecond degree felonies are even more serious, with penalties ranging from 2 to 20 years in prison, along with a possible fine of up to $10,000. Examples of second degree felonies could include aggravated assault or arson.
First Degree FelonyFirst degree felonies represent the most severe class of felony under Texas law. Conviction can lead to a prison term of 5 to 99 years, or life imprisonment, in addition to a fine up to $10,000. Charges like murder, aggravated kidnapping, or aggravated sexual assault are classified as first degree felonies.
Collateral Consequences of a Felony ConvictionBeyond the penalties under black letter law such as fines and prison sentences, a felony conviction on your criminal record brings collateral consequences that can drastically affect a person’s life. These consequences are often not confined to the legal sphere but can also impact various aspects of social, economic, and personal life. Convicted felons may experience difficulties in finding employment due to employers’ reluctance to hire individuals with criminal records. They might also face restrictions on housing opportunities, as some landlords may not rent to individuals with a felony conviction. Additionally, convicted felons lose certain civil rights, like voting, serving on a jury, or possessing firearms. It can be more difficult to obtain a driver’s license. They may also face challenges in obtaining certain professional licenses, impacting their ability to pursue certain careers. Lastly, the social stigma attached to being a convicted felon can lead to personal and psychological stress, potentially straining family and community relationships. The cumulative impact of these collateral consequences can make the reintegration process into society challenging for felons after serving their sentence. When speaking to a criminal lawyers about your case, make sure they understand how a conviction will impact your life.
Can felony charges be reduced to misdemeanors?In certain circumstances, it is possible for criminal defense lawyers to have felony charges reduced to misdemeanors. This typically occurs during plea bargaining negotiations, where the prosecuting attorney has the discretion to reduce a charge in exchange for a guilty plea. Factors such as the nature of the crime, the harm caused to the victim, and the defendant’s criminal history can play a significant role in these decisions. The process could also involve a reduction in charges after the completion of certain requirements, such as probation or participation in treatment programs. The ability to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor is not available for all crimes and varies greatly by jurisdiction. As such, the prospects for reducing charges in this manner should be discussed with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.
Limited case load and no court-appointed casesATX Legal is committed to providing thorough, dedicated legal representation to each client. In alignment with this commitment, the firm does not accept court-appointed cases. This decision is driven by the desire to maintain a manageable caseload, ensuring that every felony case receives the requisite attention and resources. By keeping the caseload light, ATX Legal can focus on delivering high-quality legal defense, tailored to the unique circumstances and requirements of each client.
What Criminal Defense Cases Do We Handle in Austin, Texas?ATX Legal handles a wide range of felony criminal charges in Austin, including but not limited to:
- Drug crimes
- DUI/DWI (misdemeanor or felony charges)
- Theft and property crimes
- White collar crime
- Domestic violence
- Sex offenses
- Homicide/murder charges
How Long Does a Felony Case Take?The duration of a felony case can vary significantly, depending on a number of factors including the complexity of the case, the type of felony, and the specific legal processes involved. Generally, a felony offenses can take anywhere from a few months to more than two years to conclude. Initial proceedings such as bail hearings, arraignments, and pretrial conferences typically take place in the first few weeks/months following an arrest. After this, the discovery process begins, which can take several months as both the defense and the prosecutor gather evidence and formulate their case strategies. A Trial for a felony case can last a few days to a few weeks, and sometimes even longer for a particularly complex case, such as a first degree felony. Following the trial, there may be additional court proceedings for sentencing, appeals, or probation hearings. Given these variables, it becomes clear how important it is to have a criminal defense attorney who can navigate the intricacies of the criminal justice system, advocate for clients’ rights, and work to resolve your case as efficiently as possible.
Felonies under Federal Law
A federal felony is a serious crime that is prosecuted under federal law and can carry severe penalties. Unlike state felonies, these cases are handled by federal prosecutors and are heard in federal district courts. Examples of a federal crime include drug trafficking, mail fraud, immigration offenses, and white-collar crime, among others. The procedure for a federal felony case is similar to that of a state case, but it can be more complex due to the involvement of federal laws and regulations. Crucially, federal courts often carry stricter sentencing guidelines compared to state courts, making it all the more critical to seek out experienced criminal defense attorneys with federal court experience to defend your rights and fight for the best possible outcome. ATX Legal lawyer Rob Chesnutt handles state and federal crimes, and is barred in the Western District of Texas.
How Our Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Can HelpCriminal Defense Lawyers play a pivotal role in the criminal process, starting with the arrest. An attorney can help get your felony bond reduced so that you or your family member can be released. Of course, skilled criminal defense attorneys will also protect your rights, ensuring law enforcement agencies abide by the legal processes. Criminal attorneys guide you through the complex legal terrain, helping you to understand the charges and potential consequences. Felony lawyer Rob Chesnutt will always tailor the defense strategy to your case, because every case is unique. He can negotiate plea bargains, aiming to reduce potential sentencing or fines, and when necessary, they represent you in court, advocating for you in front of the judge or jury. He will be with you every step of the way, providing advice, support, and the best possible criminal defense.
Dedicated and Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers for a Reasonable FeeATX Legal believes that every defendant deserves high-quality legal defense. This is why we strive to offer an experienced criminal defense at a reasonable rate to our clients. Moreover, we understand that legal fees can be daunting, especially when dealing with the stress of a criminal offense. ATX Legal offers flexible payment plans tailored to accommodate the financial constraints of our clients. This way, you can focus on what’s most important – building a strong defense for your case.
Reasons You Need a Central Texas Criminal Law AttorneyA felony conviction can dramatically impact your life, leading to severe consequences that extend far beyond the courtroom. It’s crucial that you secure legal representation from an experienced criminal law attorney who can advocate for your rights, parse through the evidence, and help you navigate the complexities of the legal system. The prosecution has all the resources of the County and the state of Texas. Not all criminal defense attorneys are equal to the challenge. ATX Legal understands the criminal justice system. Felony lawyer Rob Chesnutt is committed to taking care and attention to mount a legal defense to defend against the repercussions of criminal charges for all our clients. We have your best interests at heart and strive to protect your legal rights and get the best possible outcome in every criminal case.
Felony Offense FAQs
- What constitutes a felony crime in Texas?
- What should I do if I am charged with a felony?
- Can a convicted felon ever possess a firearm?
- I’m under investigation, but not charged. Do I need to start seeking out criminal defense attorneys?
Contact us for a Free ConsultationDon’t hesitate to get in touch with us for a free consultation. We have been in criminal defense practice helping those facing charges since 2014 and we understand that facing criminal charges can be a daunting and stressful experience. If you or a family member is facing arrest or is charged with felony offenses, experienced criminal lawyer Rob Chesnutt is here to help. He can provide guidance and support, answer all your questions, and explain possible defense strategies for your situation. Get in touch with a contact form, or by texting 512-677-5003.
CONTACT ATX LEGAL
505 West 12th Street, Suite 200 Austin Texas 78701