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Updated: May 21, 2024 @ 11:24 pm

Enhancements: Prior Convictions & Your Current Case

If you’re ever slapped with a criminal charge in Texas, every aspect of your past will be put under a microscope. Prior convictions will matter in any new criminal proceedings you’re subject to. Prior criminal convictions can influence our defense strategy and, ultimately, the outcome of your case.

If you’re facing new criminal charges but have a criminal history, our law firm can help you.

The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates has tons of experience helping folks out of the most dire situations in Harris County. If you need to talk with an experienced Houston criminal defense lawyer, contact our law offices today at 713-659-0909.

Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer Tad Nelson

Criminal Enhancements

In the criminal justice system, your past is never just that. Prior convictions that are similar to current charges can lead to enhancements of the criminal classification of your current case. This means that if you were previously convicted of a crime, you might face a harsher sentence for a new charge under certain conditions.

Texas law is particularly stringent in this regard.

Man in Jail

For instance, under Texas Penal Code §12.42, if an individual is convicted of a felony and has a previous felony conviction, it can trigger an enhancement of the criminal classification of your current case.

For example, if you’re charged with a crime that’s classified as a Felony of the 3rd Degree, your charge can be “enhanced” to a Felony in the 2nd Degree. Obviously, this means a more harsh penalty should you be convicted.

Enhancements are not limited to state offenses but can also intersect with federal charges. If this happens, it means another layer of complexity to your defense strategy.

The rationale behind these enhancements is based on the theory of recidivism. This theory suggests that prior offenders are more likely to commit further crimes. Legislators and courts argue that enhanced penalties serve both as a deterrent and a protective measure for society.

In Harris County, TX, prosecutors always seek enhancements when they feel justified.

Impact on Bail and Plea Negotiations

Prior convictions don’t just affect sentencing. They can also influence the initial stages of your criminal proceedings. For example, when deciding on bail, judges often consider the defendant’s criminal history. A history of prior convictions can result in higher bail amounts or even denial of bail.

Similarly, during plea negotiations, prosecutors will consider prior convictions. They may offer less favorable plea deals or pursue harsher penalties. Prior convictions can help the District Attorney’s office prove that a pattern of criminal behavior has been established.

In these situations, our strategy would be to counter these perceptions creatively. Depending on the circumstances, we may be able to present mitigating factors & challenge the relevance of prior convictions to the current charges.

Tad Nelson & Associates

Experienced Texas Criminal Law Attorneys

Houston criminal lawyer Tad Nelson

If you’re facing criminal charges and have a criminal history, we might be able to help you with your case. At Tad Nelson & Associates, we’ve helped people just like you for over 30 years.

Just because you made a mistake in the past doesn’t mean you’re guilty today. Furthermore, the Constitution of the United States protects you from cruel punishment. If you’re in a nasty situation with the law, talk with Tad or Amber today.

Have Questions?

Contact our law firm today by calling 713-659-0909 or by sending us a message via the contact form.

Schedule your 100% free case review today. Houston criminal defense lawyer Tad Nelson is Board Certified® in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Enhancements: Prior Convictions & Your Current Case

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Enhancements: Prior Convictions & Your Current Case
Enhancements: Prior Convictions & Your Current Case
Enhancements: Prior Convictions & Your Current Case
Enhancements: Prior Convictions & Your Current Case
Enhancements: Prior Convictions & Your Current Case
Enhancements: Prior Convictions & Your Current Case