Out-of-County Offenders in Texas
As the capital of Texas, Austin is a popular destination for people from across the Lone Star state. Millions of tourists from all over the United States and other countries also come to Austin each year for a variety of reasons.
As the home of the University of Texas' sprawling main campus, Austin and surrounding communities in Travis County are popular party spots for college students, especially during spring break, when even more students arrive from other states. Music and film lovers descend on Austin for the huge South by Southwest festivals and conferences each March.
With so much going on, sometimes an incident occurs that results in the arrest of a person from out of town. Any arrest is unsettling enough, but being locked up in an unfamiliar county with few people to turn to and little or no knowledge of local laws can be frightening.
Navigating the judicial system is complicated enough, so it is important that an out-of-county offender arrested in Austin seriously consider contacting a qualified criminal defense attorney with experience in Austin and Travis County immediately after the arrest. A knowledgeable lawyer can assist in a release from jail and may be able to defer or eliminate court appearances.
Austin Lawyer for Out-of-County Offenders
If you have been arrested in Austin, Pflugerville, West Lake Hills , or any other community in Travis County while visiting the area from outside the county, state, or country, you need an experienced lawyer to explain the legal ramifications of your situation and help you learn about your options.
The Law Office of Kevin Bennett is equipped with the knowledge and resources necessary to defend you. Kevin Bennett is a dedicated criminal defense attorney in Travis County who will work tirelessly to minimize your court appearances so you may return to your home area while he achieves the most favorable outcome possible in your case.
The Law Office of Kevin Bennett will take a case to trial if necessary to fight against a conviction and will always uphold the most favorable interests of its clients. When representing you, Kevin Bennett believes in complete transparency so that you are aware of every single detail pertaining to your case. Call The Law Office of Kevin Bennett today at (512) 476-4626 to schedule your free consultation.
Travis County Out-of-County Offenders Information Center
- What kinds of criminal charges do tourists and visitors most frequently face?
- How are crimes classified?
- Where can I find more information about these types of arrests?
Many crimes committed in Austin and the surrounding areas of Travis County by out-of-county offenders are related to alcohol or drugs. A majority of cases are classified as misdemeanors.
However, certain misdemeanor convictions impose heavy fines and possible jail time, as well as other consequences, including possible effects on a person's ability to drive or his or her education or employment.
Police increase patrols in certain Austin neighborhoods and during certain times of year, making the likelihood of arrest more probable.
Common criminal offenses committed by out-of-county visitors in Travis County that result in arrest include, but are not limited to:
- Public intoxication;
- Possession of alcohol by an underage person;
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI, DUI, or drunk driving);
- Possession of marijuana;
- Possession of a controlled substance;
- Possession of drug paraphernalia;
- Disorderly conduct;
- Criminal trespassing;
- Criminal property damage; and
If you have been arrested for any crime in the greater Austin area, you should consult with an experienced local attorney who can guide you through the legal system and help you obtain the best possible outcome.
A first-time offender may be eligible for a court-ordered program that could eventually lead to a dismissal of charges and sealing or expunction of a public record, whereas a permanent record of conviction has the potential to adversely affect future educational or employment opportunities.
The Texas Penal Code Title 3, Chapter 12 details the punishments for various levels of misdemeanors and felonies committed in Texas.
Texas law defines three classes of misdemeanors and five classes of felonies.
Most crimes committed by tourists are classified as misdemeanor offenses, but certain crimes may be classified as felonies if there is a previous conviction for the same crime, if a weapon is used, if someone is injured, or for various other reasons. Offenses previously committed in other states may be considered at sentencing.
Classifications and penalties for misdemeanors in Texas, listed in order of severity, are:
- Class C Misdemeanor — Traffic offenses, petty theft and other minor crimes are charged as Class C misdemeanors, the lowest level of criminal offenses in Texas. The maximum penalty for a Class C misdemeanor conviction is a $500 fine with no jail time.
- Class B misdemeanor — A first-time DWI charge is among the offenses considered a Class B misdemeanor in Texas. Fines for a Class B misdemeanor conviction are a maximum of a $2,000 fine and up to 180 days in jail. (A DWI conviction also has administrative ramifications.)
- Class A misdemeanor — Possession of two to four ounces of marijuana is among the crimes considered a Class A misdemeanor in Texas. Penalties for a Class A misdemeanor conviction are a maximum of a $4,000 fine and up to one year in jail.
Certain misdemeanors may be upgraded to felony charges depending on the circumstances. The lowest level of felony in Texas is a state jail felony, with a maximum fine of up to $10,000 and between 180 days and two years in jail upon conviction.
A third-degree felony is more serious than a state jail felony and a conviction may result in a prison sentence of two to 10 years; a second-degree felony conviction may result in a prison sentence of two to 20 years; and a first-degree felony conviction may result in a prison sentence of five to 99 years. All three of these felonies can also be accompanied by a fine of up to $10,000.
A capital felony conviction, the state's most severe crime, will result in either a life sentence in prison or the death penalty.
It is also important to know that if you visit Austin from outside Travis County and you are arrested and convicted of a crime, the penalties imposed may be enforced in your home state under rules of reciprocity.
Certain crimes qualify for deferred adjudication, which is similar to probation, but deferred adjudication is not considered a conviction under Texas law. A person who received deferred adjudication may also be able to have the criminal records sealed or expunged and legally may say no arrest ever occurred.
Texas Penal Code — Title 3, Section 12 of the Texas Penal Code enumerates the punishments for all classes of misdemeanors and felonies in the state of Texas.
Travis County Courts — Travis County courts handle all types of criminal cases. The county courts web site contains tools to search court dockets and find self-help information related to criminal cases and provides links to other legal information.
Find an Attorney for Out-of-County Offenders in Austin , TX
If you are arrested for any crime while in the greater Austin area, you probably have many questions about what to do. The first thing to do is to consult with a qualified criminal defense attorney right away to schedule a consultation.
Kevin Bennett is a lawyer experienced in defending people who are arrested while in Austin. He will thoroughly review the facts surrounding your case, and use his knowledge of Texas law and criminal legal procedure to weaken the prosecution’s case.
Call The Law Office of Kevin Bennett today at (512) 476-4626 if you have been arrested while in Austin or Travis County, but you live outside the county. Your initial consultation is free, and it will begin the process of defending your freedom.