Texas divides criminal charges into two basic categories: misdemeanors and felonies. Put simply, misdemeanors are offenses that are considered to be less serious, so they only come with a possible penalty of no jail time to one year in jail and fines up to $4,000.
Texas divides criminal charges into two basic categories: misdemeanors and felonies. Put simply, misdemeanors are offenses that are considered to be less serious, so they only come with a possible penalty of no jail time to one year in jail and fines up to $4,000. On the other hand, felony charges apply to more severe offenses, and the penalties can include up to life in prison (or the death penalty) and fines up to $10,000.
No matter what type of charge you face, it is imperative that you have the right defense representation. Do not put off discussing your case with an Austin criminal defense lawyer.
Texas Misdemeanor Offenses
For a misdemeanor conviction, you will spend no more than one year in county jail as part of your sentence, and many misdemeanor offenders might have probation in lieu of any jail time. Misdemeanors come in different degrees, and the following are some examples of misdemeanor offenses:
Class C Misdemeanors - Certain traffic offenses, petty theft under $50, gambling, public intoxication, simple assault, possession of drug paraphernalia, minor in possession of tobacco or alcohol.
Class B Misdemeanors - First-time driving while intoxicated (DWI), criminal trespassing, making a terror threat, prostitution, indecent exposure.
Class A Misdemeanors - Perjury, a second offense of DWI, resisting arrest, burglary of a motor vehicle, assault causing injury, unlawful carrying of a weapon (UCW), violation of an order of protection.
State Jail Felonies
State jail felonies do not necessarily fall into the framework of misdemeanors or felonies, as these charges are treated differently under Texas law. First, the possible jail time overlaps with misdemeanors and felonies, as it can range from 180 days to two years. In addition, if you are sentenced to jail for a state jail felony, you are not eligible for early release due to good behavior.
In some cases, state jail felony charges can be reduced to misdemeanors, which makes them similar to “wobbler” offenses in other states. Some examples of state jail felonies include DWI with a child passenger, possession of a controlled substance (small amounts), theft from $1,500 to $20,000, identity theft, evading arrest in a vehicle, and more.
Texas Felony Offenses
When the law considers an offense to be more serious than some of the above examples, it allows felony charges to be issued. Each degree of felony has its own sentencing range, which go from two years to life. The following are examples of felony offenses:
Third-degree felonies - Third offense of DWI, felon in possession of a firearm, tampering with evidence, indecent exposure to a child.
Second-degree felonies - Human trafficking, manslaughter, sexual assault, aggravated assault, arson.
First-degree felonies - Aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, attempted murder, solicitation of murder.
Capital felonies - Premeditated murder, genocide, treason, espionage, death due to hijacking an aircraft.
An Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help
The Austin criminal defense attorneys of Granger and Mueller PC defend against all types of criminal charges, whether they seem relatively minor or severe. Contact us online or call 512-474-9999 right away for assistance.