Are you, or someone you love facing criminal charges in Plano, Dallas or anywhere else in Texas? If so, you will be interested in learning how criminal offenses are classified and what factors lead to penalty enhancements. In Texas, criminal offenses are classified into misdemeanors and felonies with felonies being the most serious of the two; the state’s criminal offenses can be found in the Texas Penal Code. However, drug offenses (misdemeanor and felony) can be found in the Texas Health and Safety Code. The penalties for drug offenses depend on the following factors:
- The type of drug,
- The amount of the drug, and
- Whether the defendant possessed, delivered or manufactured the drug.
For drug-related crimes, penalty enhancements apply when they occur in a drug-free zone, such as a school or when the defendant used a child (someone under 18) to commit the offense. For example, a parent sends their child to handle a drug transaction in order to prevent their own arrest.
Penalty Enhancements for Non-Drug Crimes
Under certain conditions, a defendant will face penalty enhancements: There are provisions for “enhanced penalties” for habitual offenders (people with prior convictions), defendants who intentionally select victims based on bias or prejudice (hate crimes), and for offenders who drug a victim in order to facilitate their crime. For example, a man administers a date rape drug to a woman so he can rape her. If you are facing criminal charges, it’s critical to speak to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Depending on the facts of your case, your options include fighting your charges and going to trial, working out a negotiated plea bargain with the prosecutor, or in the best-case scenario, a dismissal. Often, prosecutors will ask judges to drop a case when they determine there is insufficient evidence, or when critical evidence is suppressed. So, whenever possible, a dismissal is ideal for the accused.
Need a Plano criminal defense attorney? Contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC!