Video: What are the felony punishment ranges in Texas?

Partner Anna Summersett, a Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist, explains the felony punishment ranges in Texas for first, second and third-degree crimes in this short video.

Video Transcript:

A third-degree felony in Texas is punishable by 2 years to 10 years in the penitentiary and up to a $10,000 fine. We then move up to what’s called a second-degree felony, which is punishable by 2 years to 20 years in the penitentiary and also up to a $10,000 fine. Finally, with a first-degree felony, we’re looking at 5 years to 99 years or life in the penitentiary. Again, a $10,000 fine.

We hope you found this information about felony punishment ranges in Texas helpful. If you want to learn more, check out this page about about felony offenses in Texas. We also address a number of important issues in our Versus Texas blog and video page including:

What should you do if you are accused of a violent crime in Texas?

What should I do if a detective wants a statement from me?

What is a presentence investigation report?

How long are criminal statute of limitation in Texas?

Eight surprising facts about the Texas prison system

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about criminal bail bonds



Video: What should you do if a detective wants a statement from you?

detective wants a statement

If a detective wants a statement from you, it may be in your best interest to immediately contact an attorney. Attorney Benson Varghese explains why.

When a detective contacts you, it is generally because he believes you are a suspect in an offense. What is really important to remember here is the detective has very likely formed an opinion about your guilt, and he is contacting you to verify his suspicions. Sometimes all he’s looking for is corroboration that puts you at the location at the time of the alleged offense. He’s not necessarily looking for a confession.

What detectives will commonly do is ask you to come down to the police department, or simply have a conversation with them over the phone. They do not tell you that you are under arrest, and very often they will tell you the opposite. They will tell you they just want your side of the story, that they do not expect to place you under arrest, that they really don’t have any evidence of an offense even occurring.

Detectives are allowed to lie to you. They’re allowed to say whatever it takes to illicit a favorable response for them.

The reason they ask you to come down on your own terms, without placing you under arrest is because they know, if you are not under arrest, or in custody, they don’t have to provide you with Miranda warnings. They don’t have to tell you that you have a right to an attorney because at that point, you don’t.

It is important to contact an attorney as soon as a detective contacts you to determine whether or not you want to give a statement, and what parameters are going to be placed on that conversation.

Want to learn more? Check out other informational blogs and videos by Managing Partner Benson Varghese and other experienced criminal defense attorneys at Varghese Summersett. We address a number of important issues that may come into play when a detective wants a statement from you, including:

Should you take a polygraph?

What happens the first time you are arrested?

What should you do if you are accused of a violent crime in Texas?

Criminal Law 101: Your Rights During and after a Police Encounter

Video: What constitutes federal conspiracy?

federal conspiracy defense

What constitutes as a federal conspiracy? Attorney Steve Jumes explains in this video.

A conspiracy, when you’re in law school, is taught as any enterprise where two or more people agree to break the law. State jurisdictions all have conspiracy statutes, but the federal system, really, their bread and butter is conspiracy offenses.

Take a securities fraud. Me and a group of folks are going to go out and sell fake gas leases that don’t exist…If I need someone who can create papers and documents and marketing materials to make it look like there’s an actual gas lease, me and that person may agree, “Okay, I’ll get the customer to buy off and you go and make these cool marketing materials.”

The law could just charge us for one discreet deception of one investor or they could say, “Well, Steve and this other person were in a conspiracy over a period of time and, pursuant to that agreement, every action can be prosecuted.” Under the guidelines that I was referring to before, the amount of money taken can all be aggregated and using a longer time frame and adding in the actions of more than one person really, really racks up the sentence and really drives the guidelines up.

A conspiracy charge is a favorite tool of federal prosecutors because it allows them to include and present evidence they otherwise would not be able to. A federal conspiracy occurs when two or more people collude to commit a criminal offense. The statute of limitations for a conspiracy is generally five years from the last bad act. Corporations can become criminally liable for a conspiracy if two of its officers, employees, or agents are part of the conspiracy.

Video: Attorney Letty Martinez is a ‘Brilliant Lawyer’

Attorney Christy Jack talks about her trial partner and colleague, Letty Martinez, in this short video.

Attorney Letty Martinez is one of the best trial lawyers I’ve ever seen. She is a brilliant lawyer. She has an attention to detail like none other, and she has an ability to hone in and legally analyze all sorts of issues that can come up in very complicated trials.

Her expertise is in Crimes Against Children — there is no trial with greater stakes. There are no more complicated trials than those particular trials. She was the former head of the Crimes Against Children Unit.

There is no one more compassionate than Attorney Letty Martinez. If I or a loved one were ever accused of a crime involving a child, Letty Martinez would be the only person I would go to.

Want to learn more about Letty Martinez? Check out Letty’s webpage. Interested in seeing more information videos about our attorneys or criminal justice issues? Check out our video page, where you will find information that includes:

What should you do if a detective wants a statement from you?

What should you do if you are falsely accused of rape?

What are the felony punishment ranges in Texas?

What should you do if you are accused of a violent crime in Texas?


Video: How important is a proactive criminal defense?

Partner Christy Jack discusses why a proactive criminal defense is your best defense in this short video:

Time is of the essence. It’s much like going to see a doctor. If you have a medical issue, if you have a medical crisis, the earlier and the more aggressive a doctor can be, the better chance you have of a positive outcome.

The same is true as a defense attorney. The earlier we can become involved, the more engaged that we can become involved, the better chance that we have of gathering all of the information, and getting to the truth, and providing it to either the police department in the investigative stages, the district attorney’s office when they take over the case, and potentially to the grand jury down the line.

Video: Can you be arrested for DWI if you haven’t been drinking?

Can you be arrested for a DWI if you have not been drinking? The answer may surprise you. Criminal Defense Attorney Benson Varghese talks about DWI arrests with no alcohol in this video.

The definition for intoxication in Texas includes intoxicants such as alcohol, drugs, dangerous drugs and controlled substances — or any combination thereof. An officer might stop you for a traffic violation and observe some things that he can’t explain. For instance, if your speech is slurred, if you’re slow in reacting, or if you fumble with your wallet. Then, an officer may ask you to do field sobriety test to determine if you are intoxicated.

In a situation where you have not been drinking, but you might be or might appear to be intoxicated — based on the use of a prescription drug or a controlled substance —an officer can do those field sobriety tests and arrest you for suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

The state will then most likely get blood evidence from you and determine what exactly is in your system. They will send that blood report to an expert, generally an expert at the Medical Examiner’s office, who will give an opinion as to whether or not the expert believes you’re intoxicated. Unlike alcohol cases where there is a point .08 standard, when you’re looking at drugs or dangerous drugs, there is no threshold amount. Instead, they’re going to use the quantity and your behavior — both your mental and physical faculties will be used against you to try to prove that you were intoxicated.

Want to learn more? Check out more informational videos and blogs by Benson Varghese and other criminal defense attorneys at Varghese Summersett. We answer a number of common questions pertaining to DWI including:

Can police arrest me for DWI if they didn’t see me driving?

Should I take a field sobriety test if I am not intoxicated?

What constitutes a felony DWI in Texas?

When should you use an expert in a DWI case?



Video: What is Tarrant County’s Deferred Prosecution Program (DPP)?

Attorney Alex Boyd describes the Tarrant County Deferred Prosecution Program (DPP) in this short video.

DPP stands for the Deferred Prosecution Program. It’s a limited supervision pre-trial diversion program for first-time offenders who are 24 years of age or younger at the time of their offense. There are two separate tracks to the program depending on what you’ve been charged with. The range of the probationary period can be either four months or eight months, depending on whether you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, and the pricing for the program also varies based on what you’ve been charged with.

Want to know more about Tarrant County’s Deferred Prosecution Program? Check out our diversion programs webpage.

What’s the difference between an expunction and nondisclosure in Texas?

Criminal records can be expunged or nondisclosed in Texas in some situations. Attorney Benson Varghese explains the difference between an expunction and nondisclosure in this short video.

In Texas, an expunction means that the criminal record is actually destroyed. An order for an expunction is so powerful that the courts, the county clerks, the district clerks, the police officers, must all destroy evidence of your arrest. Additionally, anyone who receives that order must destroy any records they have of your arrest. This includes private parties that are commonly used to distribute criminal histories. Private websites where people commonly go to purchase criminal background checks, those records would be deleted. It’s a very powerful tool. In fact, under oath, with the exception of being under oath in a criminal case, so even in civil cases or family law cases, you are allowed to say you have never been arrested if an order of expunction has been granted. On the other hand, an order for non-disclosure simply means that the record cannot be released to most private individuals. It will still be available to state and licensing agencies and law enforcement agencies.

We hope you found this information helpful. To learn more about expunctions and nondisclosures, please visit this webpage. To find out if you are eligible contact us today.

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