In Texas, punishment enhancements refer to the additional penalties that can be added to a defendant's sentence if certain aggravating factors are present in a felony case.
There are a number of different factors that can trigger punishment enhancements in Texas felony cases, and these enhancements can vary in severity depending on the nature of the offense. Some of the most common enhancements include:
1. Prior convictions: If the defendant has a prior criminal record, their sentence may be enhanced. The severity of the enhancement will depend on the nature of the prior convictions, as well as the nature of the current offense.
2. Aggravated offenses: Certain offenses are considered aggravated if they involve particularly heinous or violent acts. For example, aggravated assault is a more serious offense than simple assault, and may carry a more severe punishment.
3. Victim characteristics: If the victim of a felony offense is particularly vulnerable, such as a child or an elderly person, the defendant's sentence may be enhanced
In some cases, multiple enhancements may apply, resulting in a significantly longer sentence for the defendant.
It's worth noting that not all enhancements are mandatory in Texas. Judges have discretion in sentencing and may choose to impose a lower sentence even if an enhancement applies.
If you or are a loved one have been accused of a felony offense, please contact our office at (972) 330-2171 today for a consultation.