It is natural, and perhaps even reasonable, for someone to fixate on the criminal consequences of a pending charge in Texas. The state has a reputation for imposing harsh penalties, and any criminal charge can lead to serious consequences for someone who has been accused of criminal wrongdoing.
Some people plead guilty as a way of resolving a matter quickly, only to realize that the consequences are more serious than they anticipated. Those accused of assault or other serious criminal infractions could end up in state custody or on probation after a conviction or guilty plea. Seeking to avoid those consequences is frequently a top priority for those facing criminal charges.
However, defendants may fail to consider the financial implications of the allegations the state has made against them. There are three different ways in which criminal charges can potentially result in financial challenges for a defendant.
Charges ranging from drug offenses to assault carry fines after conviction. A judge could order someone to pay thousands of dollars to the state after they plead guilty or get convicted of a criminal offense. State statutes generally outline a range of potential signs that may apply after a criminal conviction.
When criminal activity harms an individual, they may suffer economically in addition to physically and emotionally. In some cases, judges may have the authority to order restitution, which means making payments to the victims of the crime as a way to compensate them for the harm they claim to have experienced. Depending on the situation, restitution could add up to as much or possibly even more than the criminal fines ordered as part of someone’s sentence.
Texas law allows those hurt by someone else or who lose a loved one to take the matter to civil court. Personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits frequently result in large judgments in favor of those injured in a criminal incident or grieving the loss of a loved one related to criminal activity. Although a guilty plea isn’t necessary for a successful lawsuit, it certainly won’t help their defense against the claim.
When defendants recognize that pleading guilty might lead to not just criminal consequences but a host of financial challenges, they may feel more motivated to seek legal guidance. Learning more about how Texas penalizes different criminal offenses can benefit those who have been recently accused of breaking state law.