Few things instill the same level of fear as seeing the flashing red and blue lights of law enforcement in the rearview mirror. Perhaps one thing scarier than the mere sight of police lights is the certain knowledge that you’re going to Montgomery County Jail. You can already feel the cold, tight cuffs on your wrists and hear the slam of the cop car door behind you. This knowledge makes it feel like the sky is falling and your world is ending. So, instead of pulling over, you slam your foot on the gas pedal and take off. You could now be facing a felony evading in a motor vehicle charge. A lot of times people who would have only had a misdemeanor charge, quickly turn that misdemeanor into a felony by doing this. Let’s explore some of the more common instances of when misdemeanors quickly turn to felony arrests while taking a closer look at the law.
I encounter this situation frequently. Misdemeanors can be qualified as Class C, Class B, or Class A offenses. Oftentimes, I will sit down with a client who would have only had a Class B misdemeanor to explain that their Class B misdemeanor is now a third degree felony. People who are driving with a suspended license, driving while intoxicated, or driving dirty know that an arrest is probable. While distressing, an arrest for a misdemeanor pales in comparison to facing punishment for a felony in Texas. A Class B misdemeanor is eligible for probation and/or can be punished with up to 180 days in county jail and a fine of up to $2,000.00. Without any enhancements, I see these Class B misdemeanors most commonly: