Class C misdemeanors are the least serious crimes in Texas. Misdemeanors are lesser crimes than felonies, and Class C misdemeanors are lesser offenses than Class A and B misdemeanors. Sometimes, Class C misdemeanors in Texas are referred to as “fine-only offenses.”
In Texas, Class C misdemeanors include, for instance, ABC Title 4 §106 (minor in possession of alcohol), PC §46.13 (making a firearm accessible to a child), PC §49.02 (public Intoxication), HSC §481.125 (possession of drug paraphernalia), PC §42.01 (disorderly conduct), and PC §21.17 (voyeurism).
Even misdemeanors can go on your record, so always seek representation from a San Marcos criminal defense lawyer.
Generally, the penalty for committing a Class C misdemeanor is a fine of up to $500. Jail time is not mandated. However, if you fail to appear in court or pay the fine, a warrant could be issued for you. A judge can also order you to spend time in jail if you willfully refuse to pay the fine. Likewise, if there are aggravating circumstances, you can also wind up in jail.
Here are some examples of when Class C misdemeanors will be handled like Class B misdemeanors:
If your Class C misdemeanor gets treated like a Class B, you can be fined up to $2,000 and serve up to 180 days in the county jail. Class C misdemeanors can be removed (“expunged”) from your criminal record; otherwise, they will show up on your criminal record and on background checks.
Generally, for Class C misdemeanors, the person cited can handle paying the fine without appearing in court (online or through the mail). Sometimes, people wish to dispute their Class C misdemeanor tickets. In that case, the citation you receive in the mail will indicate a date, time, and location for you to appear in court if you choose to do so. The court must receive your check or online payment by the due date. Be sure to follow the instructions on the citation carefully (mail to the address indicated, make the check payable to the specified entity, write your citation number down, and so on).
If you committed an assault on a family member, falling under the domestic violence umbrella, appearing in court is not optional. These Class C misdemeanors are an exception to the rule. The judge will require you to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. If the charges stick, the Texas Department of Public Safety will be informed of your conviction.
You have the right to an attorney if you were cited for a Class C misdemeanor. The friendly but fierce San Marcos, TX, criminal defense lawyers at Mendoza Law Firm are here to help. Contact our office now to schedule a free consultation.
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