Angleton Criminal Defense Attorney
An Aggressive and Confident Trial Lawyer
Attorney Mark B. Jones is a highly experienced and knowledgeable attorney defending clients throughout Angleton, Texas facing criminal accusations. Attorney Jones pays special attention to the continually changing law, staying up to date so he can develop contemporary solutions to his clients’ cases. He manages cases very well and is great in trial. Attorney Jones will fight aggressively for you in trial and will not back down from a fight when it comes to your defense – and your right to a future.
What is the Statute of Limitations in Texas?
One of the most important things to know regarding criminal law is the statute of limitations for certain crimes. The statute of limitations establishes a time limit for prosecuting a crime in Texas depending on the severity of the crime, ranging from 2 years to no time limit. Be aware that once the time limit has passed, it is unlikely the crime will be prosecuted by the court.
Note that the time limits serve to ensure that criminal charges are handled with more efficiency and urgency, as well as to help preserve the integrity of evidence, including eyewitness testimony that may become unreliable with the passage of time.
The statute of limitations for misdemeanors are 2 years from the date the crime was allegedly committed. Some time limits for felonies include the following:
- Murder and manslaughter – no time limit
- Thefts involving fiduciaries or officials – 10 years
- Injury to an elderly or disabled person –10 years
- Money laundering – 7 years
- Fraud and certain tax crimes – 7 years
- Certain sexual assaults (including sexual abuse of a child) – no time limit or 10 years
- Compelling prostitution – 10 years
- Exploitation of a child or elderly person – 7 years
- Abandoning or endangering a child – 5 years
For many of the crimes above, if the alleged victim is under the age of 17 when the crime is committed, the statute of limitations is typically extended from 10 to 20 years. Also note that the statute of limitations does not run when the accused is not in the state and while a criminal indictment, information, or complaint is pending.
Assault and Battery Offenses
A person commits an offense of assault and battery in Texas if they:
- intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause bodily injury to another, including the person's spouse;
- intentionally or knowingly threaten another with imminent bodily injury, including the person's spouse; or
- intentionally or knowingly cause physical contact with another when they know or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
An assault may be considered “aggravated” if the conduct results in serious injury or involved the use of a deadly weapon.
The conduct is considered a Class C misdemeanor if the person threatens another with bodily harm or causes physical contact in a provocative or offensive way, and a Class C misdemeanor is punishable by up to $500 in fines. A person may face a Class B misdemeanor if they commit assault against someone who is a sports participant during a performance or in retaliation for a performance, and this is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. If a person causes bodily injury to another or causes physical contact in a provocative or offensive way against an elderly individual, they will face Class A misdemeanor charges with up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.
When aggravating factors are present, a person may face enhanced charges at the third degree felony level, second degree felony level, or first degree felony level, which could entail up to life in prison and fines up to $10,000.
Texas Domestic Violence Laws
An individual accused of assault may face harsher sentencing if the alleged conduct involves a household member, in which case the person may face domestic violence charges.
In Texas, domestic violence is an assault against a family member, household member, or a current or past dating partner including:
- intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person;
- intentionally or knowingly threatening another person with imminent bodily injury; or
- intentionally or knowingly causing physical contact with another that the offender knows or reasonably should know that may be perceived as provocative or offensive.
Penalties for domestic violence accusations range from a Class C misdemeanor to a first degree felony, which carries a penalty of 5-99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
The primary factors that will determine which type of penalty is likely to be imposed could include:
- the alleged victim's relationship to the defendant;
- the defendant’s past convictions for domestic violence (or lack thereof);
- whether suffocation or strangulation was involved.
A person has committed a theft if they take property with the intent to deprive the owner of the property. Note that theft does not only have to be direct taking of another's property but may also be taking property that the defendant already knows to be stolen by someone else. Under Texas theft law, alleged offenders may receive charges varying from a Class C misdemeanor for the most minor of thefts up to a first degree felony for more serious cases.
Generally, individuals will face the following sentencing for a theft offense depending on the value of the goods stolen:
- Class C misdemeanor – $50 or less
- Class B misdemeanor – $50-$500
- Class A misdemeanor – $500-$1,500
- State jail felony – $1,500-$20,000
- Third degree felony – $20,000-$100,000
- Second degree felony – $100,000-$200,000
- First degree felony – $200,000 or more
Note that it is possible that depending on who the defendant is and in what capacity they stole the property, such as whether they are a public servant or are in contract with the government, the penalty may be bumped up to the next higher level.
Put a Fighter on Your Side in Trial
If you are facing criminal accusations, whether for domestic violence or theft, it is best to consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer about your case. Our firm has years of experience litigating for clients throughout Angleton, and Attorney Mark B. Jones is great in trial. He knows how to put up an aggressive fight in trial and will put the necessary pressure on the prosecutors, judge, and jury to champion your defense and right to a future.