San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you’ve been charged with a crime in Texas, it can be an immensely daunting and scary experience. You will have to deal with lots of questions from the police, jail time, and harsh restrictions even after getting released. But you need to remember that you have legal rights, and the police, courts, prosecutors, and judges have to follow all the rules set by state law and the U.S. constitution.
Our seasoned San Antonio criminal defense lawyers of Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda, PLLC, with their knowledge and experience of Texas court procedures and criminal law, will guide you through all the maze of legal processes, develop a solid defense strategy to fight the accusations against you, and ensure the best possible outcomes for your case.
Types of Criminal Cases Our San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyers Handle
There are various criminal offenses that can land people in court. From minor traffic violations to serious felonies, a conviction for any of these offenses can pose a serious threat to their livelihood, freedom, and legal rights. This is why every charge must be taken seriously and resolved efficiently. The San Antonio criminal defense lawyers of Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda, PLLC, regularly work with our clients to address various charges, including, but not limited to:
- Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
- White Collar Crimes
- Drug Crimes, including marijuana distribution and possession
- Sexual Assault
- Family Violence
- Internet Sex Crimes
- Aggravated Felonies
- Child Pornography Defense
- Federal Crimes
- Probations Violations
- Expunctions (Expungements)
Classification of Criminal Offenses in Texas
A criminal charge in Texas can be a misdemeanor or a felony. In Texas, misdemeanors come in three classes, each with its own degree of penalties:
- Class A Misdemeanor – Penalties include a fine not exceeding $4,000 and up to one year in county jail.
- Class B Misdemeanor – Punishments include a fine of not more than $2,000 and incarceration in county jail for 180 days maximum.
- Class C Misdemeanor – Punishable by a fine not exceeding $500.
It’s important to note that repeat misdemeanor convictions can lead to enhanced penalties. These penalties may raise the level of offense or impose a minimum jail sentence.
Felony crimes are more severe than misdemeanors, which means that they carry harsher penalties. They are classified into five different types, and each imposes different penalties:
- Capital Felony – Punishable by life in prison or the death penalty.
- First-Degree Felony – Penalties include a fine not exceeding $10,000 and five to 99 years of jail time.
- Second-Degree Felony – Punishments include a fine of not more than $10,000 and two to 20 years of imprisonment.
- Third-Degree Felony – Punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and two to 10 years in jail.
- State Jail Felony – Punishable by a fine not exceeding $10,000 and incarceration of 180 days to two years.
Collateral Consequences of Getting Convicted of a Crime in Texas
The collateral consequences of a criminal conviction are penalties that strip away certain rights, access to vital services and programs, or impose some kind of disadvantage that might not necessarily be a part of the convicted individual’s sentence. Among the most common collateral consequences you can face if you get convicted of a crime in Texas are:
- Inability to obtain gainful employment
- Issues with immigration, including deportation
- Inability to travel to certain countries
- Losing your professional license
- Losing your driving privileges
- Losing your right to vote
- Losing your right to use and own a gun
- Difficulty in taking out loans
- Difficulty securing proper housing
When properly administered, these collateral consequences can play a crucial role in attaining articulable objectives, such as reduced recidivism. The problem is that plenty of these restrictions are not directly related to an offender’s underlying crime and lead to undermining the goals they were meant to achieve. Likewise, while some of these privileges and rights can be restored, some can’t.
What Our San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Do For You
A criminal charge can easily jeopardize your future. Your job, reputation, rights, and freedom as a citizen can be significantly diminished or taken away entirely if you get convicted. When you work with the skilled and experienced San Antonio criminal defense lawyers of Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda, PLLC, they will:
- Protect, uphold, and defend your legal rights and freedom.
- Help you better understand the charges you’re facing, their potential penalties, and the best options for your specific case.
- Educate you on rules, procedures, and laws that apply to your case.
- Handle all the tedious paperwork.
- Speak to the prosecutors and police on your behalf to ensure that no one will use your words against you and take advantage of you.
- Collect and review the evidence the prosecutors have against you.
- Make sure that all pieces of evidence were obtained lawfully.
- Handle all communications, negotiate a plea bargain, and discuss alternative sentencing options with the prosecution.
- Fight for you in court if needed.
Criminal Defense FAQs
What should I do if I get arrested?
Keep as calm and composed as possible, and don’t make any unnecessary movements that may be misconstrued as aggressive. Remember also that you have the right to stay silent, and you’re not obligated to tell the police or prosecution anything. Call our San Antonio criminal defense lawyer right away before saying anything to the police.
You have the right to speak with your lawyer, and the police must uphold your right. No matter how nice and respectful they may seem, these people are not on your side. In most cases, when the police question a suspect, it means that they do not have sufficient evidence to charge them with something, and they’re hoping that the suspect will incriminate himself during questioning. The only thing you should tell the police is, “I would like to call my lawyer, please.”
Can I get arrested for domestic violence if my spouse calls the police during or after a fight?
The police take family violence allegations extremely seriously. So yes – you can be arrested if your spouse calls the police and accuses you of family violence. Take note, however, that an arrest doesn’t equal a family violence charge, which requires the decision of the prosecution to pursue a case against you.
In fact, some arrests for family violence are due to false reports, misunderstandings, and police bias. If this happens to you, your lawyer can review all the evidence and police reports to determine the best options for your case.
What will happen if I get convicted of a crime?
After you’ve been convicted of a crime, the judge will decide on the sentencing. Depending on the crime you’ve committed and the circumstances behind it, your sentence may include a fine, prison or jail time, and probation. A criminal conviction can likewise result in a criminal record and harsh collateral consequences. Certain sex crimes also lead to mandatory sex offender registration.
This is why you need to act right away if you get arrested or charged with a crime. Your San Antonio criminal defense lawyer will work to get the charges against you dropped, negotiate a plea bargain, or have your sentence reduced.
Can the police pull me over?
Yes, but only if they have reasonable suspicion, such as erratic driving behavior and traffic violations. In such cases, the cops are legally obligated to pull you over to confirm their suspicion and investigate further. But it’s crucial to keep in mind that you have legal rights, and unfortunately, the police will make all kinds of excuses and use various reasons to pull you over.
When does a misdemeanor become a felony?
In some cases, a defendant can face felony penalties, even if their offense is normally a misdemeanor, based on previous convictions, protected victim status, increased harm, or a combination of these. A good example of a misdemeanor crime that can turn into a felony crime is assault. Assault that involves injury is usually a misdemeanor. However, if the defendant assaults the following protected victim classes, the offense is raised to a third-degree felony:
- A pregnant woman
- A first responder, public servant, judge, process server, or law enforcement officer while doing their job duties
- A family member if the defendant has a previous family violence conviction.
If the assault resulted in severe bodily injuries, it would be considered a second-degree felony. The same enhancement will apply if the defendant assaults another person by suffocation or strangulation. Other crimes that carry similar felony penalties include burglary, theft, and elder abuse.
Learn What Our Seasoned San Antonio Defense Lawyers Can Do For Your Case
Innocent people get arrested, charged, and convicted of crimes every single day. Sadly, too many of them end up spending the remainder of their lives in and out of prison. Likewise, clearing their names after doing time in jail is no easy feat. Defendants are supposed to be considered innocent until proven guilty.
But the reality is that so many people needlessly suffer and will continue to suffer when the police, judges, prosecutors, and juries forget that all people have the right to a fair trial. The skilled San Antonio criminal defense lawyers of Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda, PLLC, know all too well how a criminal record can wreak havoc on your life. To ensure the most favorable results for your case, please call 210-222-9132 or reach us online to arrange your consultation.