Facing any type of criminal charge in Texas can be stressful and overwhelming. As your future becomes uncertain, it’s natural to worry about how these events will affect you in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead. However, before you picture the worst-case scenario, contact a skilled Pearland criminal defense lawyer to understand what to expect from the process and the possible outcomes you may receive. In some instances, a state felony drug charge may be punished as a Class A misdemeanor charge, meaning less severe penalties. Here’s how.
How Texas Defines State Jail Felonies
There are many types of criminal offenses that qualify as state jail felonies. Some common examples include burglary of a building, forgery, and possession of less than one gram of a Penalty Group 1 or 2 controlled substance (i.e., methamphetamine, ecstasy, or heroin). If convicted, you could face a sentence of 180 days to 2 years in a Texas State Jail Facility, as well as a fine of up to $10,000. However, if the defendant used a deadly weapon during the offense or had been previously convicted of any felony, the charge would elevate to a third-degree felony offense.
Understanding Section 12.44 of the Texas Penal Code
Texas laws clarify that there are certain circumstances in which a state jail felony may be downgraded to a misdemeanor charge. Section 12.44 of the Texas Penal Code states, “A court may punish a defendant who is convicted of a state jail felony by imposing the confinement permissible as punishment for a Class A misdemeanor if, after considering the gravity and circumstances of the felony committed and the history, character, and rehabilitation needs of the defendant, the court finds that such punishment would best serve the ends of justice.” Additionally, the prosecuting attorney may request that the court authorize the prosecution of a Class A misdemeanor instead of a state jail felony.
How a Qualified Brazoria County Attorney Can Help
If you are facing drug-related state jail felony charges in the Pearland or South Houston area, contact a skilled criminal defense lawyer right away to discuss your situation. Your attorney will examine every aspect of the case to determine whether you qualify for a 12.44 reduction or a similar strategy for reducing felony charges to misdemeanor charges. Now is the time to take control of your future, so reach out to a trusted attorney today to get started.
If you are facing state jail felony drug charges in Pearland, call the Law Offices of Keith G. Allen, PLLC, today at (832) 230-0075 to schedule a free consultation with a skilled criminal defense attorney.