Criminal Defense FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

At the Peek & Toland, PLLC, our criminal defense team has the experience and resources necessary to protect our clients from criminal charges at the state and federal level. If you or someone you care about has been accused of a crime in Texas, the following questions and answers may provide valuable insight into your circumstances. For further information and guidance, please contact us online or call (512) 474-4445 for a free and confidential case evaluation.

What is the difference between assault and aggravated assault?

What are the penalties for an assault conviction in Texas?

What are the groups and penalties for drug possession in Texas?

What group is marijuana and what are the penalties for possession of marijuana in Texas?

What are the penalties for theft in Texas?

I was convicted of shoplifting, but now I am being sued civilly, how is that possible?

Why should I hire an attorney instead of a bail bond company for a jail release?


What is the difference between assault and aggravated assault?

Assault is defined as the act of intentionally placing the apprehension of harm in another person by threatening the use of force or actually using force, physically harming the individual involved or simply physically touching an individual with the intent to cause injury to the person. Aggravated assault, on the other hand, occurs when an individual uses a deadly or dangerous weapon to perform an assault.

In both cases, it is essential to prove that the alleged victim believed that he or she was in harm’s way. If you are currently facing assault or aggravated assault charges, the experienced and knowledgeable attorneys Peek & Toland, PLLC can help you with your case, please contact us.

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What are the penalties for an assault conviction in Texas?

The penalty for assault depends on the type of charge, such as a misdemeanor, felony, felony aggravated, or felony assault with a weapon.

Misdemeanor assault is punishable by no more than one year in prison and/or a maximum fine of $4,000 because it is a Class A crime. A third degree felony assault may be punishable by two to 10 years imprisonment, and/or a fine of up to $10,000. A misdemeanor assault charge may be increased to a felony assault depending on the individual the crime was committed against, such as a family member or a romantic partner, a public servant on duty, a security guard, or emergency services worker.

Felony aggravated assault or assault with a weapon can result in a prison sentence of two to 20 years. If there is a history of family or domestic violence, or the act was committed against a public servant, security guard, informant, or witness to the crime, the charge may be increased to a first degree felony aggravated assault. First degree aggravated assault may result in five years to life imprisonment.

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What are the groups and penalties for drug possession in Texas?

Illegal drugs are grouped into five categories in Texas and the penalties range from one year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $4,000 to life imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000. Below is a list of the groups of drugs, the types of drugs within each group, and the maximum penalty for each drug group.
Group 1 Drugs include cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. The minimum possession charge for a group 1 drug is a state felony, while the maximum possession charge is a first degree felony. The penalty for a group 1 drug is two years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine, however, the possession of 400 grams or more can result in a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Group 1A Drugs include LSD and hallucinogens. The minimum possession charge for a group 1A drug is a state felony, while the maximum possession charge for a group 1A is a first degree felony. The minimum penalty for a group 1A drug is two years imprisonment with fines of $10,000, while the maximum penalty for a group 1A drug is life imprisonment with fines imposed up to $250,000 if the drug possession is more than 400 grams.

Group 2 Drugs include ecstasy, PCP, mescaline. The minimum possession charge for a group 2 drug is a state felony, while the maximum possession charge for a group 2 drug is a first degree felony. The minimum penalty for a group 2 drug is two years imprisonment for less than one gram, and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment with fines up to $50,000 possession of 400 grams or more.

Group 3 & 4 Drugs include Valium, Ritalin, and various chemical compounds. The minimum possession charge for a group 3 & 4 drug is a state felony, while the maximum possession charge for a group 3 & 4 drug is a first degree felony. The minimum penalty for a group 3 or 4 drug cannot exceed one year imprisonment and/or a fine of $4,000, while the maximum penalty for possession of more than 400 grams of group 3 or 4 drugs is life imprisonment with fines imposed up to $50,000.

If you find yourself in a situation where you believe you need an attorney, or if you have been charged with a drug related offense and you want an experienced and knowledgeable attorney in Austin to help you defend yourself against the charges, please contact the attorneys at Peek & Toland, PLLC.

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What group is marijuana and what are the penalties for possession of marijuana in Texas?

Marijuana is classified as a separate group and carries different penalties than the other drug groups in Texas law. Marijuana possession charges range from a Class B misdemeanor to a first degree felony. If convicted, the penalty for possession of marijuana can range from 180 days imprisonment and a $2,000 fine to a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of $50,000 for possession of more than 50,000 pounds of marijuana.

If you are facing marijuana possession charges and you seek an experienced and knowledgeable attorney, contact Peek & Toland, PLLC.

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Theft

What are the penalties for theft in Texas?

The penalty for theft depends on the severity of the theft. The charge and the punishment’s severity correlate with the worth of the item stolen. For example, an individual who steals a video game worth less than $50 will likely receive a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of less than $500. However, an individual who embezzles millions of dollars from his or her company could be charged with a first degree felony punishable by five years to life imprisonment.

To better understand the penalties for theft, please review the following:

Class C Misdemeanor applies to a theft amount of less than $50 or less than $20, if by check. The penalty is a maximum fine of $500.

Class B Misdemeanor applies to a theft of $50 or more, but lower than $500, or a theft of $20 or more, but less than $500 by check. The penalty is imprisonment that does not exceed 180 days in a county jail and/or a fine not to exceed $2,000.

Class A Misdemeanor applies to a theft of $500 or more, but less than $1,500. The penalty is imprisonment not to exceed 1 year in county jail and/or a fine not to exceed $4,000.

State Jail Felony applies to a theft of $1,500 or more but less than $20,000. The penalty is Imprisonment ranging in length from 180 days to 2 years in state jail and/or a fine not to exceed $10,000.

Third-Degree Felony applies to a theft of $20,000 or more but less than $100,000. The penalty is Imprisonment ranging in length from 2 to 10 years in state prison and/or a fine not to exceed $10,000.

Second-Degree Felony applies to a theft of $100,000 or more but less than $200,000. The penalty is imprisonment ranging in length from 2 to 20 years and/or a fine of not to exceed $10,000.

First Degree Felony applies to a theft of $200,000 or more. The penalty is imprisonment ranging in length from 5 years to life imprisonment and/or a fine not to exceed $10,000.

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I was convicted of shoplifting, but now I am being sued civilly, how is that possible?

Texas has a Shoplifting Liability Act, which allows the store owner to sue a convicted shoplifter civilly for the cost of the stolen good and for the cost of recovery. If an individual is convicted of shoplifting, the store owner may bring a civil action against the individual to recover not only the cost of the good, but up to $1,000 from the individual for actual damages. Additionally, if a minor is convicted of shoplifting, his or her parents may be liable to the shop owner up to $5,000 for actual damages.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are being sued civilly for shoplifting, the attorneys at Peek & Toland, PLLC are experienced Austin criminal defense attorneys who can counsel and advise you so your interests are protected. Please contact us for more information or if you have any questions.

Bail Bonds

Why should I hire an attorney instead of a bail bond company for a jail release?

The simple answer is cost and value. When you hire a bail bond company, you will typically pay 11% of the face value of the bond, keeping in mind that you still need to hire an attorney. None of the money you pay a bail bond company is returned to you.

When you hire Peek & Toland, PLLC, you will pay approximately 9% of the face value of the bond and all of the money you pay toward your jail release will be credited toward your legal retainer. With Peek & Toland, PLLC, you will have a respected law firm to secure your release from jail and provide your legal defense.

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Contact Aggressive Criminal Defense Attorneys in Texas

When confronted with the overwhelming reality of a criminal charge, the best step you can take toward protecting your rights and future is to contact a knowledgeable and aggressive criminal defense attorney. Peek & Toland, PLLC, LP will provide the honest, tenacious representation you need to overcome the charges against you. We provide our services in both English and Spanish to accommodate our clients in the state of Texas.

How Can We Help You?

Our team is standing by to help. Call us at (512) 474-4445 or complete this form to send a message about your legal situation.