How Crimes are Classified in Texas
According to the Texas Penal Code, criminal offenses are separated into misdemeanors and felonies. Of the two classifications, misdemeanors are less serious than felonies. However, there are three (3) different levels of misdemeanors, and five (5) different classifications of felonies based on the seriousness of the offense.
Misdemeanors fall into the following categories:
- Class A: Punishable by up to 1 year in a county jail, and/or a fine not to exceed $4,000.
- Class B: Punishable by up to 6 months (180 days) in a county jail, and/or a fine not to exceed $2,000.
- Class C: No jail, punishable by a fine up to $500.
Class A misdemeanors typically include: assault with bodily injury, violating a protective order, harassment with a prior conviction, DWI (with a prior conviction), theft of $500 or more, and criminal trespass (with a deadly weapon or a residence).
Class B misdemeanors include: harassment (first offense), indecent exposure, disorderly conduct, a first DWI offense, and theft or criminal mischief of $50 or more.
Class C misdemeanors include minor offenses, such as assault (threatening to injure someone), possessing an alcoholic beverage in a vehicle, and theft or criminal mischief of less than $50.
Felony Classifications in Texas
Felonies are categorized into: capital, first degree, second degree, third degree, and state jail felonies, with capital felonies being the most serious of all felony offenses.
- Capital felonies: Punishable by death by lethal injection or life without parole if offense was committed by someone under the age of 18.
- First degree: Punishable by 5 to 99 years, or life in prison, and possibly a fine not to exceed $10,000.
- Second degree: Punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison, and possibly a fine up to $10,000.
- Third degree: Punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison, and possibly a fine up to $10,000.
- State jail felony: Punishable by 6 months to 2 years in a state jail, and possibly a fine up to $10,000. In some cases, the court may impose the punishment for a Class A misdemeanor.
If you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges in Texas and would like clarification as to the penalties involved, as well as the possible defenses available, don’t hesitate to contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC to meet with an aggressive Plano criminal defense attorney!