The Texas law distinguishes between a felony and a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors are crimes that are considered less serious, and felonies are some of the harshest offenses. Within those broad categories there are distinctions to determine the severity of the charge and the correlating consequences.
Both felony and misdemeanor offenses come with a host of collateral consequences that can impact your educational and professional opportunities. A misdemeanor is punishable by up to 12 months in jail. Any criminal offense with a statutory maximum punishment of incarceration that exceeds 12 months is a felony.
Some common examples of a Felony charge include; but not limited to:
- Aggravated crimes
- Drug charges
- Felon in possession of a weapon
- Injury to a child
- Rape or sexual assault
- Weapons charges
In Texas, Felony charges are divided into several degrees, including:
- Capital Felony: This is punishable by the highest penalty of all, the death penalty.
First degree felony: A first-degree is punishable by five years to 99 years in prison, a $10,000 fine or both. The punishment, depending on the crime, also could include confinement to prison for life.
- Second-degree felony: A second-degree felony is punishable by between two to 20 years in prison, a fine up to $10,000 or both.
- Third-degree felony: A third-degree felony is punishable by between two to 10 years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines or both.
- State Jail Felony: A state felony is punishable by between six months in jail to 2 years in the jail, a $10,000 fine or both.
If you have been accused of a felony in the state of Texas, you may have a number of questions about the implications of the charges against you and what you should do next. Your first step should always be to contact a Texas criminal defense attorney with a trusted reputation and a long-standing reputation for success and client commitment.