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Texas State Jails or Prisons: Know Where You’ll Go

Texas State Jails or Prisons: Know Where You’ll Go

The three main types of correctional facilities in Texas include county jails, state jails and prisons. You’ll often hear people using the terms jail and prison interchangeable, but, in fact, they are quite different. In Texas, correctional facilities differ in the type of offenders they house. County jails house most misdemeanor offenders, but we’ll focus on state jails and prisons in this post.

 

Texas State Jails and Texas Prisons

 

Texas state jails and prisons both house felony offenders. But those facing Texas felony charges might not know where they will go if convicted and sentenced to incarceration. Likewise, they may not know the difference between state jails and prisons. In reality, those differences can be significant depending on where you’re headed.

 

Where Do Felons Go?

 

Texas classifies felonies as state jail felonies, third-degree felonies, second-degree felonies, first-degree felonies or capital felonies. State jails house those with state jail felony convictions. Examples of state jail felonies include possession of a controlled substance under one gram and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. State prisons house those with higher degree felonies.

 

Felony designations determine where the offender will serve his or her sentence of incarceration. Unfortunately, they do not always correlate with the level of comfort the inmate will encounter. Put simply, neither sentences in state jails or state prisons are pleasant. State jails might offer more programs and amenities to inmates if resources are available. But when it comes to state prisons, those resources are increasingly scarce. These designations also segregate more serious felony offenders from minor felony offenders. This allows the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to better allocate funds to house inmates based on their offense category.

 

Fight Your Felony Charges Head on With an Experienced Attorney

 

If you are facing charges for a Texas felony, make sure you discuss your case in detail with a seasoned criminal defense attorney in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. An attorney can advise you on what type of felony charge you are facing. He or she may also be able to help you avoid a prison sentence by reducing your charge to a state jail felony or (better still) a misdemeanor. Every case is different, however, so consult with an attorney for personalized legal advice.

 

 

If you’re facing felony 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 to protect your rights. 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.

 

Punishment for Drug Possession: Why Quantity and Penalty Group Matter

Punishment for Drug Possession: Why Quantity and Penalty Group Matter

Simple Drug Possession Isn’t Simple

 

The State of Texas maintains some of this nation’s strictest drug possession laws. In Texas, you can face long periods of incarceration and steep fines for even simple drug possession charges. Drug possession offenses vary by the drug type—also called the penalty group or “schedule”—and the quantity, or the amount you had. These factors provide guidelines for how to charge and sentence offenders.

 

Quantity and Type

 

The law divides controlled substances into types or “schedules” that classify drugs based on numerous factors, such as the potential for misuse and dependency. Under the Texas Health and Safety Code, possession of a controlled substance is punishable by:

 

  • A minimum of confinement in jail for no more than 180 days, a fine of up to $2,000 or both.
  • A maximum of confinement under the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for no less than ten years and no more than 99 years or life and a fine of up to $100,000.

 

As you can see, the punishment range is vast. The type (i.e. penalty group) and the quantity of the drug are the two factors that determine whether you will get just a fine or up to life in prison. There are four main drug penalty groups. For example, penalty group one contains substances like opiates (synthetic and natural) and penalty group 4 contains substances like over the counter cough remedies. The quantity factor is measured in grams, ounces, pounds, tons or “abuse units,” depending on the specific drug type. For example, drugs in penalty group one are measured in grams.

 

Most forms of simple possession of controlled substances in small amounts (again, relative to the type) are state jail felonies. Possession of more significant amounts in type-specific units of measurement is punishable by much longer sentences in addition to exorbitant fines.

 

Penalties for Possession of a Controlled Substance

 

 

The penalties for drug possession in Texas are nothing to laugh about. For this reason, you need to speak with a Dallas-Fort Worth drug charge defense attorney experienced in handling drug cases if you are facing possession charges or any drug-related charge. An attorney can evaluate the facts and circumstances of your offense and walk you through the potential penalties you could face. A conviction for drug possession can result in a long incarceration period in addition to huge fines, so it’s well worth your time to consult with a knowledgeable attorney to learn about what you can do to fight your charges.

 

If you are facing charges for possession of a controlled substance 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 given your circumstances. 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.

 

Are All Texas Felonies Created Equal? A Look at Crime Degrees

Are All Texas Felonies Created Equal? A Look at Crime Degrees

Types of Texas Felonies

 

In Texas, felonies are crimes that are punishable by a term in a state jail or prison. Felonies are considered more serious than misdemeanor offenses. But not all felonies are created equal. They will typically fall within one of the following categories.

 

State Jail Felony

 

As the name suggests, state jail felonies are those that are punishable by six months to two years in a state jail and a fine up to $10,000. State jails are an answer to the overcrowding in Texas state prisons and typically house nonviolent felons. But, unlike in terms in county jails or state prisons, felons in state jails are not eligible for early release due to good behavior. Examples of Texas state jail felonies include possession of a controlled substance under 1 gram and unauthorized use of a vehicle.

 

Third Degree Felony

 

Third degree felonies are punishable by a prison term of between two and 10 years, and the judge may also impose a fine of up to $10,000. Examples of third degree felonies include intoxication assault and third offense DWI.

 

Second Degree Felony

 

Second degree felonies are punishable by a prison term of between two and 20 years and potentially a fine of up to $10,000. Examples of second degree felonies include aggravated assault and robbery.

 

First Degree Felony

 

First degree felonies are punishable by a prison term of between five and 99 years or life in prison and potentially a fine of up to $10,000. Examples of first degree felonies include aggravated kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault.

 

Capital Felony

 

Capital felonies are punishable by a prison term of life without parole or the death penalty. Examples of capital felonies include murder of a peace officer on duty or murder of multiple people during the same criminal episode.

 

Felony Charges? Get Serious About Your Defense

 

Any felony charge should be taken seriously. With potentially long terms of incarceration and steep fines, no one can afford to plead guilty to a Texas felony. Whenever facing felony charges, it’s absolutely essential you work with a skilled Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney. Involve an attorney in your case as soon as you can. An attorney can explain the penalties you could face and the important elements in your case the prosecution must prove to convict you. From there, you can develop a plan of action to fight your charges. Naturally, any person will want any criminal charge dismissed, but you really have to assess the evidence against you along with the plea bargain being offered by the State. Being that the sentences for some types of felonies can result in a punishment that can cost the better part of your life, it is imperative that you select an experienced attorney who can weigh all the options when deciding how best to fight and/or resolve the case.

 

 

If you need help fighting your felony 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 to fight your charges. 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.

Top Tips for Facing Felony Charges in Texas

Top Tips for Facing Felony Charges in Texas

Facing a Felony? Here’s What You Need to Know

 

The State of Texas defines felonies as crimes that are punishable by terms in state prisons or Texas Department of Correction. Felonies are typically considered more serious than misdemeanor crimes because of the potential of prison time. Felony convictions also carry the possibility of steep fines. Federal law prohibits felons from owning or possessing firearms. In addition to these consequences, you could lose your professional license or even your job.

 

When the stakes are this high, it’s normal to feel anxious about what your future holds. You are right to be worried, but do not give up hope. Our experienced attorneys who’ve helped many Texans face and overcome felony charges compiled this list of tips to guide you in your time of need.

 

Stay Quiet

 

The most important piece of advice for anyone facing felony charges is to remain silent. Do not speak with police officers, detectives or anyone from the district attorney’s office. You have a Constitutional right to freedom from self-incrimination. Simply put, this means you do not have to give the courts the information they need to convict you. You hold the cards when it comes to information about the allegations you face. Keep that information to yourself and for your attorney.

 

Learn About the Penalties

 

The best thing you can do when facing felony charges is to consult with a Texas criminal defense attorney. Ask about the court-imposed penalties you could face and what those mean. Educating yourself on the consequences of a conviction should be one of the first things you do in your case. Knowing what is at stake will help guide your decision-making.

 

Explore Your Options

 

Learning about your options may give you peace of mind. Facing felony charges does not mean a conviction is imminent. A good attorney will be able to evaluate the facts and circumstances of your offense and advise you on what you can do to fight your charges, negotiate a plea bargain or receive a reduced sentence.

 

Be Patient

 

Resolving your case almost certainly will not happen overnight, especially if you want a good deal or even a dismissal. Some people plead guilty or no contest as a knee-jerk reaction. They want to be done with the whole ordeal. But pleading guilty only means the criminal courts will be involved in your life for longer. Not only will you face sentencing, but you could also be subject to probation for up to 10 years. Also, you will carry your criminal record with you for years to come. Use this time to explore all your options and learn about your rights.

 

As a last word of caution, don’t face your charges alone. Work closely with an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney. Do not take any chances when facing felony charges. You need savvy legal representation to avoid the worst outcome.

 

If you are facing felony charges in Dallas-Fort Worth, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb Criminal Defense Attorneys can aggressively protect your rights. 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.