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What to Expect at Your First Meeting With Your Criminal Defense Attorney

Coffee Meeting with Criminal Defense Attorney

It’s common to feel a bit nervous or anxious before meeting with your attorney for the first time. You should know that your attorney is here for you, and wants you to feel comfortable talking to them about the sensitive information in your case. The more information they have, and the more comfortable you feel talking to them, the better they will be able to represent you. 

The first meeting is an opportunity for you to get to know each other and for you to tell your story. This is also when your attorney will ask f for the information they need to begin crafting your defense.

Regardless of why you’ve hired a criminal defense attorney, there are a few things you can anticipate will happen during this initial meeting. 

Come prepared with necessary information

During this meeting, your attorney will ask you for all of the essential information about yourself. This information can include, but is not limited to: 

  • Contact information including name, address, date of birth, email and social security number 
  • Your current Immigration status
  • Education history and status
  • Your arrest record including what happened with the case and if you served any jail time, probation, or fines you paid. 
  • Past and present employment status and work history
  • Marital status
  • If you have any illnesses or recent hospitalization 

Having this information ready for your attorney will save time during the meeting and allow you to spend more time discussing the case and asking questions. 

Come ready with specific questions 

To make the most out of your time on this first meeting, begin thinking of questions, you want to ask your attorney before you arrive at their office. Ask questions about how frequently you will meet with or hear from your attorney, and what you can expect moving forward. 

Listen to your lawyer and ask clarifying questions

It’s important to ask questions you have about your case and trial, but remember to listen to what your lawyer has to say. They will likely have done a bit of their own research. Now is the time to listen to their findings and ask any clarifying questions about things that may be confusing or new to you. Lastly, make a note of important dates or events you need to prepare for that will affect your trial. During this meeting, take note of the timeline of your case and any other proceedings. You will need this information to know how to prepare for what’s to come.  

Depending on your situation, what happens during your first meeting could vary. 

It’s smart to research what to expect, but always remember that what you read on the internet is not to be confused with actual legal advice. A qualified Houston criminal defense attorney knows the latest Texas state laws and is there to support you throughout your trial. 

If you are facing a criminal offense in Houston, call the offices of Christoper T. Gore and learn more about how he can represent your case. 

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Dealing with Felony Charges in Houston, Texas

Houston Texas Hearing Courtroom

Being convicted of a felony is a consequential event that should be taken seriously. A felony charge can come with severe consequences that can follow you for the rest of your life. In Texas, felonies can come with hefty punishments including prison time, costly fines, and in more severe cases, the death penalty. Felonies can also make it more challenging to secure employment and could affect your record for your entire life. 

In Texas, being charged with a felony usually comes after committing a crime that involves inflicting substantial or grave harm onto another person. Additionally, some white-collar crimes such as fraud or embezzlement are also classified as felonies. 

In Texas, felonies are classified into five categories: Capital Felony, First Degree Felony, Second Degree Felony, Third Degree Felony, and State Jail Felony.

Let’s go over how different crimes fall under each classification and the potential punishment for each. 

Capital Felonies

The most serious felonies are labeled as capital offenses, and they come with the most severe punishment, including life in prison without parole or possibly the death penalty. Murder of a public servant is one example of a capital felony offense. 

First Degree Felony

First Degree felony offenses are the next most serious classification following Capital Felonies. Examples of First Degree Felonies include aggravated sexual assault, aggravated robbery, and murder. 

First Degree Felonies may be punished with Punishments for a first-degree felony may include life in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. 

Second Degree Felony

Second Degree felonies include certain domestic violence offenses, including causing serious injury to a family member. Under Texas law, a second-degree felony could be punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000

Third Degree Felony

Third-degree felonies, while less grave than the first two, still carry serious punishment and can result in up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. A common third-degree felony is the possession of marijuana with intent to distribute in an amount of 5-50 pounds. 

State Jail Felony

State Jail Felonies don’t carry a particular designation or have specific sentences. They are often viewed on a case-by-case basis. State Jail Felonies can be punishable with 180 days to two years of jail time and a monetary fine of up to $10,000. 

What to do if you’re charged with a felony

If you’ve been charged with a felony, don’t take the situation lightly. It’s time to find an attorney who understands the severity of the situation and can help you know what it means for your life moving forward. 

Even though felony crimes carry serious weight, the right Houston felony attorney can help you manage the outcome of your situation and know what to expect moving forward. 

The right felony defense attorney will be able to understand your situation and offer you the best options available for your unique situation. 

Remember that the internet is not the right place to find legal advice specific to your case. Every case is different, and you need a personalized plan that will apply to your unique situation. If you are facing a misdemeanor offense in Houston, call  Christoper T. Gore. Learn more about how he can best represent your case and help you move forward. 

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What is considered a Misdemeanor in Texas

Houston Texas Misdemeanor Legal System

In Texas, crimes are categorized based on the seriousness of the offense. How aggressively you are punished for a crime defends on how that crime is classified under Texas law. While misdemeanors may be considered “lesser” criminal acts under some systems, the punishment for these crimes depends on how it is classified. Misdemeanors can fall under one of three categories: Class A misdemeanor, a Class B misdemeanor, or a Class C misdemeanor. 

Depending on the crime and how it is classified, you may be facing severe fines, jail time, or a combination of the two. 

What is a Class A misdemeanor?

A Class A misdemeanor is the most serious of the three classifications. Penalties for crimes that fall under Class A include a mandatory jail sentence of up to one year, and you may be required to pay a fine of up to $4,000. 

Crimes that fall under Class A misdemeanors in Texas include: 

  • Assault with bodily injury
  • Perjury
  • Carrying a weapon unlawfully 
  • Second offense DWI (driving while intoxicated) 
  • Possession of 2-4 ounces of marijuana

What is a Class B misdemeanor?

Class B misdemeanors are less severe than Class A offenses but still, carry significant consequences. If found guilty of a Class B misdemeanor, you could face a mandatory sentence of 180 days in jail and pay up to $2,000 in fines. 

Common class B misdemeanors include:

  • Prostitution
  • Failure to pay child support
  • Possession of certain drugs 
  • First offense DWI
  • Indecent exposure 

What is a Class C misdemeanor?

Class C misdemeanors carry the least significant punishment, but the consequences can still bring long-term effects. With crimes that fall under class C, there aren’t specific overarching punishments for the entire classification. Each crime has an appropriate punishment, and the classification does not carry any mandatory jail time for offenses. However, under Texas law, you will be required to pay a fine of up to $500. 

Class C misdemeanors in Texas include:

  • Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol as a minor 
  • Petty theft 
  • DIsorderly conduct 
  • Possession of tobacco or alcohol as a minor
  • Simple assault 

What to do if you’re charged with a misdemeanor

Have you been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Houston? Having a misdemeanor on your record can make things more difficult for you in the future when it comes to finding a job and in other areas of your life. 

After the arrest, remember to stay calm and take the necessary steps to find an attorney who can help. Regardless of the crime, it’s vital to hire a trusted Houston Misdemeanor attorney to represent your case. The right attorney will understand the most up to date state laws and can provide advice that keeps your best interests in mind. 

Remember that the internet is not the right place to find legal advice specific to your case. Every case is different, and you need a personalized plan that will apply to your unique situation. If you are facing a misdemeanor offense in Houston, call  Christoper T. Gore. Learn more about how he can best represent your case and help you move forward.