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Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer

Don’t let a criminal conviction ruin your life. Contact an Austin criminal defense attorney from Tillman Braniff, PLLC to help you avoid conviction.

In Texas, being convicted of a crime, whether it’s a misdemeanor or felony, can have consequences that will wreak havoc on your life. The legal penalties by themselves are bad enough—jail time, crippling fines, and probation, just to name a few—but the non-legal effects can also have serious implications.

Your family will surely feel the effects. If you’re in jail or prison, you won’t be around to help them, and depending on the offense, you could bring them great embarrassment. If you have children, you may even lose certain custody or visitation rights.

A conviction could ruin your job prospects for life, and if you’re a student at a higher education institution, you could even be kicked out. You can’t afford to be convicted of a crime. Hiring an Austin criminal defense lawyer with our firm may be your best chance to avoid all the horrors of a conviction.

How Can an Austin Criminal Defense Attorney Help?

When you’ve been arrested for a crime, you may wonder whether an attorney can really help you. Many people accused of a crime wonder whether hiring a lawyer will be a waste of time and money. Here’s the truth: Failing to hire an aggressive attorney could land you behind bars.

Your attorney can help you in a number of ways, but, mainly, we can help poke holes in the prosecutor’s case, allowing you to get your charges dropped, dismissed, or, at the very least, reduced. Your criminal defense attorney in Austin will know how to pinpoint the flaws in the case against you, and that’s all we need to create reasonable doubt.

Misdemeanor Penalties in Texas

Each person’s case is unique, and the penalties and fines can change with each set of circumstances. For example, one person may be given a large fine with very little jail time, and someone else else may be sentenced to a lengthy jail term with a very low fine. In some cases, the judge may believe probation is more appropriate.

Below is a general guideline of sentencing for misdemeanor cases in the state of Texas:

  • Class A Misdemeanor (Most Serious) – A conviction could lead to up to one year in jail and up to a $4,000 fine. Examples of Class A misdemeanors are theft of property valued below $1,500 but more than $500, theft of cable service, or stalking without bodily injury.
  • Class B Misdemeanor – Punishments include up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. Examples of Class B misdemeanors are property theft valued above $20 but not more than $500, driving while intoxicated (DWI), or making terrorist threats.
  • Class C Misdemeanor (Least Serious) – Minor offenses like these are punishable by up to a $500 fine. Examples of Class C misdemeanors are traffic offenses, attending a dog fight, and theft of property valued below $20.

Felony Penalties in Texas

Penalties for felonies vary even more widely than those for misdemeanors in Texas. Many times, a judge will sentence felons differently for the exact same crime. Sentencing can be affected by your criminal history and the circumstances surrounding your offense.

In some cases, a judge may want to make an example out of you. In almost all cases, it’s best to have an experienced Austin defense lawyer representing you because these penalties aren’t worth the gamble of trying to fight a conviction on your own.

Below is a general guideline of the penalties you may face for certain felonies under Texas law:

  • Capital Felony – Punishments include execution or life in prison. Capital murder is the only example of a capital felony.
  • First-Degree Felony – Between five and ninety-nine years or life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine are the maximum punishments. Examples of first-degree felonies are aggravated sexual assault or theft of property worth over $200,000.
  • Second-Degree Felony – You could face between two and twenty years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. Examples of second-degree felonies are aggravated assault, reckless injury to a child, or property theft valued between $100,000 and $200,000.
  • Third-Degree Felony – Punishments include between two and ten years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Examples of third-degree felonies are drive-by shootings with no injuries and theft of property between $20,000 and $100,000 in value.
  • State Jail Felony – Between 180 days and two years in state jail and up to a $10,000 fine are the maximum punishments. Examples of state jail felonies are credit or debit card abuse or theft below $20,000 but greater than $1,500.

The Danger of Representing Yourself

If you’ve been charged with a crime in Austin, you may be tempted to represent yourself in court. Your reasons for attempting this likely stem from the costs associated with hiring an attorney, but you really can’t put a price tag on your future, your freedom, or your criminal record.

The real danger of trying to represent yourself is that you could lose. The loss of your case could be due to a lack of knowledge surrounding criminal law and defense. Attorneys go to school for many years to learn all they need to know to successfully defend against criminal convictions.

Unless you have a law degree, your legal knowledge is not likely to match ours, no matter how smart you are. It’s a great risk to attempt to fight a conviction on your own, and it’s an unnecessary one. We have affordable fees and can work out a payment schedule that you’ll be able to handle.

Austin Criminal Defense FAQ

When you’ve been charged with a crime, you have to make some big decisions very quickly. We are happy to answer your case-related questions at no cost to you during an initial consultation. We’ve also answered a few frequently asked questions below.

Why shouldn’t I just go with a public defender?

Public defenders don’t have the resources that private attorneys can afford, such as the ability to hire private investigators. Additionally, public defenders have enormous caseloads, which means they will barely be able to meet with you or take your phone calls, let alone do a thorough job of defending you.

How long does a conviction stay on my record?

Many people are under the impression that crimes “fall off” their record at some point in the future. This is a myth. Convictions stay on your record permanently.

Will you still defend me even if you think I’m guilty?

You have the right to a fair, aggressive defense, and we will stop at nothing to ensure your rights are upheld. We won’t give up until we’ve helped you achieve the best possible resolution for your case.

Get Help from an Austin Criminal Defense Attorney

Signing a plea agreement is an automatic admission of guilt. Defending yourself is risky. Don’t gamble with your future.

Regardless of what type of crime you’ve been charged with, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help. We know how to fight against convictions, and we can formulate a defense that will work for your unique case.

Hire an Austin criminal defense lawyer from Tillman Braniff, PLLC. It’s our job to fight for our clients’ rights. Your future is on the line, and we take that seriously. Call today at 512-236-0505 or complete the online contact form at the bottom of the page to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.

Or call: 512-236-0505 to speak to a lawyer.

I hired Brian Tillman to represent my beloved niece when she got mixed up with drugs, when everyone in the family was saying, “let her go, ie, deal with a court appointed attorney, if it’s meth she’s beyond help, don’t throw your money away”. But I knew Lisa, and knew she could turn her life around.I found the legal fees to be very reasonable, and I deeply appreciated the payment plan. I am very pleased with the outcome. I think her relapse while on probation (after getting detoxed and spending a month at a rehab center in Dallas, sigh)was the best thing that could have happened.A couple weeks in Travis County Jail made her realize that she did not like jail, and never ever wanted to go to jail again.She graduated the SMART program last fall and got a spot in a sober living house, and a job that she really likes and is very good at (refurbishing electronics). She has gotten three raises and two promotions in less than a year. I co-signed on a car loan for her. She celebrated a year’s sobriety in March, and has paid off all her probation fees.She’s happy and healthy, and I firmly believe she would not have been able to accomplish these things without expert legal counsel and advice given by Brian Tillman.Happy Father’s Day, Brian! You’re a good dad and a good father figure to many.I hope you get some good BBQ and beer and relaxing on Sunday.
B McCabe
B McCabe
22:18 19 Jun 20
Did an amazing job on my case. A better word is unbelievable!!!
Perry Hemphill
Perry Hemphill
22:24 04 Nov 19
I've had an extremely rough two years. After the loss of a 14-year-old son, and my mother just over a year later, I felt beat down. Adding to that stress, was some issues that we're looming over me, creating a sense chaos and anxiety to my life that was hard to deal with. I found Brian Tillman through a friend that recommended him to me. I sat down with Brian at his office and felt that for the first time in those two years, someone took the time to not only hear me, but empathize with me regarding my circumstances. The process was long and confusing, it wasn't by our choosing, but Brian was extremely communicative and knowledgeable through the whole process and made sure that I knew everything that was going on. He stayed on top of my case, and after a sometime of dealing with it, both of my cases we're dismissed - which was the outcome that we were expecting. He understood the looming anxiety that I was experiencing and every time I felt frustrated, angry and discouraged, Brian was there with a word of encouragement and a "Hang in there" when I truly needed it. It was good to hear that from my attorney, he helped get me through some pretty rough times. I have zero issues in recommending Brian Tillman as your attorney, he truly cares, he'll do right by you. I can't thank him enough.I would say, I'd definitely use him again, but I sure as hell hope I dont have to, but...if I do, he's definitely my guy.
Aaron Cabrera
Aaron Cabrera
11:57 27 Sep 19
This is a guy you want representing you, in my time of unjust incarceration, Brian stepped in to protect me. He provided information, advice, and made sure to answer all my questions 100% so I was certain of my options. Brian proved me innocent, he saved an innocent young professional from our Justice System, and I 5/5 would recommended him for your defense.
Dustin Popham
Dustin Popham
18:42 25 Jun 19
I couldn’t have asked for better representation. I felt comfortable and confident in Brian’s abilities. Would recommend.
James
James
22:27 05 Feb 19
awesome attorney !!! real easy to communicate with and takes care of business.
Noe Garcia
Noe Garcia
17:23 15 Nov 18
Brian was extremely helpful with handling my case. He is polite and friendly. He seems like he genuinely cares about you. I can't recommend him enough. Thank you Brian for all your hard work.
John Garrett
John Garrett
19:44 01 Nov 18
Brian Tillman was very friendly and informative. I called for advise and possibly to hire him. He answered the first time, called me back when he said he would and gave all the information I was looking for and also gave me great advice. Based on his advise I didn't end up using his firm and with that knowledge he still called me back and emailed me all the information I needed. What a nice helpful guy!Thank you Brian and you can bet I will keep your number around.Charlie
Charles Whilden
Charles Whilden
19:25 06 Dec 17
This guy is the one you befriend at a BBQ and establish true genuine trust with professional care and understanding. I was able to beat my case with the best possible outcome and given my line of work where travels are high, I only had to appear in court once. Brian is reasonably priced and personable,(he maintains contact via his cell phone...seriously this guy will make you feel like your father is lawyer and goes out of his way to get things done. My friend parked his car into someone's living room and Brian was able to get a lot of charges reduced or dropped WITH the possibility of it never showing on record.Don't play around with your life...Hire this guy, he gets it DONE!!!
Ignatius Mwela
Ignatius Mwela
01:17 02 Nov 17
Rhett Braniff was a joy to work with and made the process so simple and straight forward. Couldn't recommend him highly enough!
Mark McEvoy
Mark McEvoy
18:35 31 Oct 17
Rhett Braniff was the right lawyer at the right time. I was impressed with his quick grasp of my situation, knowledge of what I needed to do, and his availability to answer my questions. I felt in good hands. I have found Rhett to be honest and have integrity. I would, without any hesitation, recommend Rhett Braniff.
David Liggett
David Liggett
19:09 24 Jun 17
In the sometimes overwhelming world of the Travis County justice system, Tillman Braniff are able to break down where you stand with your case, as well as what you can expect throughout the long (and sometimes irritating) process.
Christian Long
Christian Long
18:45 03 May 17
He helped me on my case I couldn't be any happier
EJ McCarty
EJ McCarty
17:47 07 Feb 17
Mr. Tillman and his staff were extremely friendly, accommodating, and profesional while still fighting for the best outcome! My case was an open and shut one for the prosecutors, but Mr. Tillman remained cool, calm and collected as we waited out the other side for a better deal. He took the time to get to know me, conveyed who I was to the prosecution, in which got me a lesser charge! If you are someone who is scared out of their mind about going to court, Mr. Tillman will explain everything, and make a bad situation seem winnable. I'm extremely thankful that he stood up for me and helped me navigate these overwhelming waters. If he hadn't, a lot of doors I'm still trying to open would not be opened for me.
Jet Diop
Jet Diop
03:22 15 Nov 16
I was referred to these two rockstar attorneys through a license attorney in Houston, and I have to say that it was by far the best decision I ever made. Brian Tillman and Rhett Braniff are two of the most knowledgeable and compassionate Criminal Defense Attorneys I've ever met. I had actually stumbled across their website and had read various posts on their blogs before getting referred to them, and one of the posts had stood out to me. It was a post about hiring a defense attorney and how important it is that you and the attorney mesh well, so to say. That couldn't be more true. I had found myself in a hellacious predictiment that required the utmost level of care. I had spoken with numerous attorneys before meeting with Brian and Rhett and I learned more from them in my initial consult than I had in all my other conversations combined in regards to the law and what the State of Texas could and could not do. I felt reassured that no matter what, they would have my best interest at heart and that practicing law was more than just a payday for them. I couldn't have been more pleased with the sincerity and compassion they showed me towards my situation. I truly felt like they would fight for me which is what I've needed because at the end of the day and after all is said and done, I'm the one that has to live with the outcome not them. I gained a friend through this process and I'm greatful for the care and attention they showed me and my situation. The only regret I have is that I didn't hire them sooner. I currently live in a different city now and had a friend who had ended up with a Dwi, and after listening to what he has said about the attorney he hired, I wished Tillman Braniff would have been handeling his case cause I'm absolutely sure the outcome would have been very different. I highly recommend contacting their firm if you or anyone you know has any legal issue in Central Texas. It will be the best thing you can do for yourself or loved one.
Cameron Hale
Cameron Hale
18:32 27 Oct 16
Okay. Lawyers have a bad reputation I know. Most often they get hated on because they exploit the fact that we know little about the law and we are in dire straits scared. Most of the time lawyers inflate charges and prolong cases which incurs extra costs for their benefit. However, not Tillman. This guy is upstanding! For our family, we hired him because my son got into some trouble as a teenager a while back and left the state before finishing out the conditions of his dismissal agreement. I know. What an idiot move. Well, years later, the seemingly small case was refiled in family violence court and a warrant had been issued for my son's arrest! (We had no idea and found out when he went to try signing into the military)Of all the lawyers we contacted Tillman was the MOST knowledgeable and charged the LEAST! I know. We were lucky. Anyway, right away Tillman moved on the case and resolved the case with the best possible outcome. We are grateful that Tillman was familiar with the type of case my son had, that he listened to what we needed, and acted in ways that demonstrated he meant to advocate on my son's behalf. For instance, he arranged it so my son didn't have to appear in court which in turn preserved his job, and Tillman kept us abreast of any changes or continuances via text and email and attachments. Now, my son has all but satisfied the conditions and the case will be dismissed soon, for good this time, but Tillman leading us through all the jargon and warning us of the pitfalls really made all the difference. I think he just has good intentions.Real talk. Hire this guy. End of story.
valerie hernandez
valerie hernandez
22:54 16 Sep 16
I would highly recommend Tillman-Braniff. Brian Tillman helped me out a lot when I didn't know how the whole processed worked. He even worked with me on payment and helped me get paperwork long after the case ended.
Daniel Rendon
Daniel Rendon
17:52 19 Jul 16
Brian Tillman is a professional and experienced lawyer. He listens to what you have to say about your case, gives his professional opinion, and also explain the legal terminology In a manner that is easy to comprehend. I would definitely recommend him as your lawyer.
Jazmine
Jazmine
20:42 24 Jun 16
Brian is very professional and very straightforward about your options. He makes you feel comfortable in knowing that you are being represrepresented by someone looking out for your best interest and the best possible outcome for you. I highly recommend Mr.Tillman.
Blake Roth
Blake Roth
01:02 12 Apr 16
Brian was a terrific lawyer, he helped me regarding my domestic violence incident and when I first reached out to him, he immediately made time to talk to me in his busy schedule. He made me feel like I was being understood and he had a clear method to handle my case. He also met me in person early on a Saturday morning and was completely willing to meet based on my schedule. Brian is a lawyer that gets things done in a timely manner. I would highly recommend him to anyone.
Jorge Gallaghar
Jorge Gallaghar
06:08 03 Jun 15
I am so grateful I chose to hire Brian Tillman to handle my cases. Facing criminal charges is undoubtedly extremely challenging, but Brian made me feel quite at ease. He guided me through every step of the process, advised me on possible outcomes, and provided excellent results. While under Brian's counsel, he was able to provide the most desirable outcome beyond what I could have imagined while facing two DWI charges. He made himself available to answer any and all questions I had regarding the legal process and has continued to offer guidance to me during my probational period. Brian made certain my quality of life did not diminish throughout this process. If you are looking for an attorney to not only handle your case with professionalism, but also take your personal goals into consideration while negotiating with the court, I strongly believe Brian Tillman is the attorney for you.
Jaimee Harris
Jaimee Harris
20:22 11 Feb 15
Brian Tillman was incredibly easy to work with. He was very knowledgeable, prompt and accessible. I felt very comfortable talking with him and he was more than willing to spend extra time discussing the different ways we could approach my case. I would highly recommend these guys to anyone I know!
Josh Hanson
Josh Hanson
03:07 17 Aug 12
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