The criminal justice system is not easy to navigate alone, especially when harsh charges weigh on your shoulders. If you have been accused of a crime in Fort Worth, Denton, and Collin Counties, reach out to our professional and dedicated attorneys at Cohen Villegas Patel, PLLC. We have over 40 years of combined experience practicing law, and we also bring a multilingual perspective to ease the legal process for clients who need legal support in different languages, including Spanish, Gujarati, and German. While clients benefit from the combined knowledge and talents of all of our lawyers, Attorney Jerry Villegas focuses in this area, helping clients who have been arrested for DWI, possession of a controlled substances, and domestic violence, among other crimes. He also has significant immigration law experience, which can come in handy for clients who are immigrants facing criminal charges.
Schedule a consultation online or at (214) 643-8844 to get started.
One important criminal offense is driving under the influence. Under Texas law, a person commits a driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense when the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle. In the context of DWI law, “intoxicated” means not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties due to the consumption of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of those substances, or having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 BAC.
DWI is a Class B misdemeanor, and is punishable depending on the severity of the offense and whether the defendant has prior offenses:
- First offense – fines of up to $2,000; 6-180 days in jail; license suspension of 90 days to 1 year
- Second offense – fines of up to $4,000; 1 month to 1 year in jail; license suspension for at least 1 year
- Third offense – fines of up to $10,000; 2-10 years in prison; license suspension for 1-2 years
Penalties may also include community service, DWI education and treatment programs, mandatory use of an ignition interlock device (IID) for those with 2 or more convictions within 5 years, and increased auto insurance premiums. A driver may also face an additional period of license suspension if they refuse to submit to a sobriety test, lasting 180 days for a first refusal and 2 years for a second refusal.
Possession of Controlled Substances
The unlawful possession of drugs is criminalized based on the type of drug, from Schedule I (heroin, cannabis) to Schedule V (certain amounts of codeine). Note that to bring forward a conviction for drug possession, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knowingly and intentionally possessed or had control over the controlled drug which they do not have a valid prescription for from a doctor for medical purposes.
In most cases, the penalty for drug possession is, at the very least, a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or some amount in fines or a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of up to 1 year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000. However, depending on the amount of the illicit drug in possession, the penalty could increase to a third degree felony or even a first degree felony. The most severe penalty in Texas for drug possession is life or 99 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000.
Possession of marijuana carries its own category of penalties, though it is generally charged as a Class B misdemeanor for possession of two ounces or less. Possession of over 2,000 pounds of marijuana, however, could result in life in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.
International & Multicultural
CVP is comprised of multicultural partners, thus offering a variety of language translation and interpretation: Spanish, Gujarati, Italian, German, French, Nepalese, Hebrew, Russian and Portuguese.
While providing outstanding service and legal representation is our paramount concern, CVP maintains great vigilance in controlling costs by ensuring that matters are dealt with efficiently and cost-effectively.
Decades of Experience
All clients meet with only CVP partners for legal counsel. Our partners come from a variety of jurisdictions and hold degrees and concentrations in various fields of Law. Together we offer decades of experience and vast insight translating directly into exceptional advice and service to our clients.
Another important category of crime are violent crimes, such as assault and domestic violence. A person commits assault if they:
- intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause bodily injury to another;
- intentionally or knowingly threaten another with imminent bodily injury; 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 rises to the aggravated level if it results in serious injury or involved use of a weapon.
In general, offenses of assault are charged as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the circumstances of the crime:
- Class C misdemeanor ($500 fine) – the defendant threatens another with bodily harm or causes physical contact in a provocative or offensive way, and no other aggravating factors are present
- Class B misdemeanor (up to 180 days in jail and up to $2,000 in fines) – the defendant commits assault against someone who is a sports participant during a performance or in retaliation for a performance
- Class A misdemeanor (up to 1 year in jail and up to $4,000 in fines) – the defendant causes bodily injury to another, and no other aggravating factors are present, or they cause physical contact in a provocative or offensive way against an elderly individual
- 3rd degree felony (up to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines) – the defendant assaulted a special victim of the state or a family or household member
- 2nd degree felony (2-20 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines) – the defendant has prior convictions, committed aggravated assault, or assaulted a family or household member
- 1st degree felony (5 years to life in prison) – the defendant committed aggravated assault against a domestic partner or special victim
Note that instances of assault that are committed against family, household, or romantic partners (domestic assault) are punished severely as aggravated assault.
Criminal charges can be tough to navigate, and the consequences are too serious to risk without an experienced legal hand. Whether you have been charged with DWI, illicit drug possession, or domestic violence in Fort Worth, Denton, and Collin Counties, our firm can defend you tenaciously.
Schedule a free initial consultation with Attorney Jerry Villegas of Cohen Villegas Patel, PLLC today. Call (214) 643-8844 or contact us online.