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Class C Misdemeanors

JBABB Criminal Defense Attorneys > Class C Misdemeanors

Are Traffic Tickets Just Revenue Producers?

Are Traffic Tickets Just Revenue Producers?

Anyone who has faced an expensive Texas traffic citation has wondered just where does that money go? And how do all the extra fines, fees and penalties add up so quickly? Are traffic tickets simply revenue producers? For anyone who has had to break the bank for a traffic offense, understanding the breakdown of the true cost of a traffic ticket can shed light on the best method of dealing with tickets when they arise.

 

The Cost of Traffic Violations in Texas

 

Texas traffic tickets can be expensive, both in direct and indirect costs. A ticket for not having insurance could incur penalties, charges for late payment and contribute to increased insurance rates. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will also issue surcharges for driving record points and driving convictions. Under the Driver Responsibility Program, the DPS assesses the surcharges annually until the points drop off your record or for three years for a conviction. You must pay the surcharges to keep your license valid.

 

For example, you could have to pay a ticket of between $175 and $350 if the court convicts you of not having insurance. Add on another $260 per year for three years in DPS surcharges ($780), and that simple ticket will end up costing you $955 to $1,130 in fines alone, not to mention the increase in insurance rates you’ll face.

 

You’re Not Done Yet

 

Paying a traffic ticket doesn’t mean you’re done covering costs. By paying a traffic ticket, you are admitting guilt. The offense will go on your driving record and could count against you the next time you find yourself in traffic court. The same applies if you want to “sit out” your ticket by serving jail time instead of paying the fine.

 

When you consider these numerous factors, it’s easy to see why fighting your traffic ticket is often the most cost-effective way to deal with it.

 

Pay or Fight?

 

In reality, municipalities don’t profit as much as you’d think from traffic tickets. A lot of that money leaves the court’s hands as soon as you pay your ticket, headed directly to State government. Recent controversy over the use of highly lucrative red light cameras highlights this fact. For example, the city of Denton’s red light camera program netted only $668,000 from ticket revenues of $2.2 million after paying the State of Texas and the manufacturer of the red light camera technology, Redflex.

 

With only a fraction of your ticket cost going to funding for transportation improvements, fighting your ticket makes even more sense. You just have 20 business days after being issued the ticket to decide whether to pay (and admit guilt) or fight it. The good news is reviewing your case with a seasoned Dallas traffic ticket attorney can help alleviate some of your concerns. An attorney can go over the facts and circumstances of your offense and advise you on whether paying the ticket is wise. In many cases, it is a better investment of your time and money to contest the ticket. A clean driving record is worth protecting, especially in the State of Texas.

 

If you want to fight your ticket and protect your license in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action to protect your license and keep your driving record clear. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

Texas Zero Tolerance Policy: 5 Tips for Minors Facing Texas DUI Charges

Texas Zero Tolerance Policy: 5 Tips for Minors Facing Texas DUI Charges

What Is the Texas Zero Tolerance Policy?

 

The Texas zero tolerance policy for minors driving under the influence is strict. A minor caught with any detectable amount of alcohol in his or her blood can face charges for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUIA). Unfortunately, this is the fate of many Texas minors, defined as those less than 21 years of age, who make the mistake of getting behind the wheel after drinking. If you find yourself making the same error, here are five tips that can make or break your case.

 

  1. Think Before You Speak

Minors and adults alike have a right to remain silent when arrested and interrogated. Don’t think because you are a minor no one will take advantage of you. It’s best to limit what you say until you can speak with an attorney. Even better, hire a criminal defense attorney to do the speaking for you.

 

  1. Find Legal Help

Some minors mistakenly plead guilty to DUI/DUIA because they assume it’s a less serious charge and carries minimal penalties. But the specific penalties you face, such as fines and a license suspension, aren’t the only negative consequences of a conviction. You will also have a criminal record that can hold you back for the rest of your life. That said, find an experienced attorney who can help you keep your record clean.

 

  1. Learn About the Consequences

Speaking with an attorney about the potential consequences of a conviction is an excellent first step. You’ll want to thoroughly understand the ramifications of a plea before you appear in court. Likewise, learning about all the costs you may face can give you a better idea of what is at stake. These costs can be hard to assess, especially if you are unfamiliar with the criminal justice system.

 

  1. Stay Sober

You may be ordered to abstain from drugs and alcohol if put on deferred adjudication. Likewise, staying sober while your case is pending can help demonstrate to the judge you are responsible.

 

  1. Don’t Drive on a Suspended License

Minors under 17 years of age will have their license suspended for 60 days for a first DUI offense. That suspension shoots up to 180 days if you refuse to submit to a blood alcohol content (BAC) breath or blood test. Minors between 17 and 20 years of age will face a one-year license suspension, although it might be reduced if you meet certain requirements. If you don’t have a license, you will be ineligible to obtain one for the duration of your suspension. Do not drive on a suspended license. Rather, speak with a DUI attorney about what you can do to save your license or have it reinstated as soon as possible.

 

Every Texan deserves to have a bright future ahead. To preserve that future, you should absolutely fight your charges. The Texas zero tolerance policy is self-explanatory. Expect no tolerance and no leniency. Find a Texas DUI attorney who has helped minors navigate the DUI process. With an experienced attorney assisting you, you will have a much better chance at obtaining a favorable outcome.

 

 

If you’ve been arrested for DUI/DUIA and need a legal advocate in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action to minimize the consequences of your charge. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

 

Texas Misdemeanor Classes and What They Mean

Texas Misdemeanor Classes and What They Mean

A Range of Misdemeanors

 

Texas misdemeanors are punishable by a term of up to one year in a local or county jail. There are many types of misdemeanors that are divided into three classes of varying gravity. These classes influence the penalties the court can impose. For example, Class C misdemeanors carry less severe penalties than Class A misdemeanors. Learning about the different classes of Texas misdemeanors is step one if you’re facing misdemeanor charges.

 

Class A Misdemeanors

 

Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both. This is the most serious of the misdemeanor classes. Second DWI offense and resisting arrest are examples of common Class A Texas misdemeanors.

 

Class B Misdemeanors

 

Class B misdemeanors are punishable by up to 180 days in jail, a fine of up to $2,000 or both. First-offense DWI and theft of between $100 and $750 are examples of Class B misdemeanors.

 

Class C Misdemeanors

 

Class C misdemeanors are punishable by a fine of up to $500 and no jail time. Many traffic tickets, public intoxication and minor DUI are examples of Class C misdemeanors. Though they come with no jail time, Class C misdemeanors are still well worth fighting.

 

Take Your Texas Misdemeanor Charges Seriously

 

Misdemeanors may be less serious than felonies, but don’t let that fool you. You should always take a misdemeanor charge seriously. A Texas misdemeanor will show up on your criminal record, a record that will follow you the rest of your life. Also, remember that not all misdemeanors are created equal. Some are more serious than others because they can result in longer jail terms or higher fines. That said, never enter a plea—even to a Class C misdemeanor—without first consulting with an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney. You have a right to and should fight any misdemeanor, no matter the class or potential penalty. An attorney can explain what could happen in your case and advise you on how to best proceed forward.

 

If you’re facing misdemeanor charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

The Problem With Ticket Surcharges in Texas

The Problem With Ticket Surcharges in Texas

How Much Will It Cost?

 

Fines for traffic tickets are an unexpected cost no one likes to pay. Unfortunately, the true cost of a traffic ticket in Texas doesn’t stop at the imposed fine. In addition to the court-imposed fine and court costs you will receive for a traffic ticket, the Texas Department of Public Safety may also impose a surcharge under the Driver Responsibility Program.

 

Ticket surcharges are fees you have to pay to keep your license valid. They are in addition to the initial fine for the offense. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) assesses surcharges for points on your driving record and certain convictions. DPS surcharges are assessed annually for three years. On top of the assessed surcharges, you may have to pay additional service fees, and fees for payment plans (you only get one chance at a payment plan with DPS so make sure it is one that you can live with, otherwise a default will leave you with the option of paying the entire amount in full) or specific payment methods.

 

For Some, the Cost Is Too High

 

Texas ticket surcharges have been under intense scrutiny in recent years. Many argue they disproportionately affect the poor, who often rely on their licenses to get to work and make a living. Failing to pay your surcharges in full or arrange for a payment plan will result in a license suspension. So, if you can’t afford to pay your surcharges, you lose your license and potentially your livelihood. You’ll also face continued surcharges if you drive on your suspended license after that point. In this light, the surcharges perpetuate a cycle, one that is extremely hard to break without significant costs.

 

Can You Afford Ticket Surcharges in Texas?

 

The Texas Driver Responsibility Program can turn an ordinary traffic ticket into a financial burden. But for Texans working hard to make ends meet, one missed surcharge payment can put their very livelihood at risk.

Now that you know how Texas ticket surcharges work, you can easily see how one traffic ticket can end up being a costly mistake. The original fine, annual surcharges and associated fees and increased insurance rates add up quickly. The good news is you can fight your ticket in court. Speak with an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney who handles traffic ticket cases to determine whether you want to risk paying costly surcharges for years and potentially lose your license or fight your ticket. An attorney can fight your ticket in court to save your license and help you avoid ticket surcharges, in some cases for less than what your original fine was.

 

If you have a traffic ticket and need a legal advocate in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action to minimize the consequences of your ticket. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

Class A and Class B Texas Misdemeanors: Potential Penalties

Class A and Class B Texas Misdemeanors: Potential Penalties

Crime Classes

 

Many people think of misdemeanors as less serious than felony crimes. But misdemeanors still have the potential to carry harsh sentences including incarceration and steep fines. Texas misdemeanors are divided into classes or offense categories. These classes represent the seriousness of the crime, and, accordingly, carry different ranges of punishments. Let’s take a look at Class A and Class B Texas misdemeanors and the potential penalties they hold.

 

Statutory Punishments for Texas Misdemeanors

 

Class A Texas misdemeanors are punishable by:

  • Up to one year in a local or county jail, and/or
  • A fine of up to $4,000

 

Class B Texas misdemeanors are punishable by:

  • Up to 180 days in a local or county jail, and/or
  • A fine of up to $2,000

 

Not Set in Stone

 

These are the maximum allowable punishments according to Texas law. Note, however, these are not necessarily mandatory or minimum punishments. It is not uncommon for a first-time offender to receive less jail time, a lower fine or one or the other. In some cases, you may be able to get community supervision (i.e. probation) in lieu of incarceration. But misdemeanor probation in Texas involves a host of strict terms and conditions. Probation is also expensive due to numerous fines and fees the defendant must pay. Many defendants who take probation later regret their choice. For this reason, you should always work closely with an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney when facing Class A or Class B Texas misdemeanors so that you can make the best decision about how you want to handle your case.

 

A Third Class

 

Texas also has Class C misdemeanors, which are punishable by a fine of up to $500 but no jail time. These include lesser offenses such as traffic violations and some types of theft. Because these are less serious, sometimes people make the mistake of not taking them seriously. But to avoid the negative consequences of a conviction, you should take every Texas misdemeanor charge seriously.

 

Making Informed Decisions

 

Facing misdemeanor charges can be overwhelming. It’s normal to feel apprehensive about the fines and incarceration the court can impose. These are all very real concerns because the criminal court system is rarely lenient or easy to navigate. To face your charges with confidence, you should speak with a Texas criminal defense attorney with experience handling misdemeanor cases. A seasoned attorney can immediately set to work to minimize the consequences of your charges.

 

If you’re facing misdemeanor charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.