Texas Crimes Punishment

August 22, 2019

Texas Crimes Punishment, originally posted on the website of our contributors, Law Office of Bryan Fagan.

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As an attorney who also handles criminal cases, one of the common questions asked is: “What are different Texas Crimes Punishment?” Therefore, I thought it was a good idea to write a blog for people to refer to for more easily accessible information of what a person accused of a crime is potentially facing. Texas Crimes fall into two categories:

  1. Misdemeanors, and
  2. Felonies

Texas Crimes Punishment for Misdemeanors:

First of all, misdemeanors fall into three main categories, Class C, B and A. I will start with the lowest punishable category and move up. The different Texas Crimes Punishments for misdemeanor are:

  • Class C misdemeanors:

Class C misdemeanors are mostly traffic violations but sometime also include crimes such as

-Public intoxication

-Disorderly conduct

-Theft of less than $50 value

-Simple assault

-Selling alcohol to a minor or minor having possession of alcohol or tobacco.

The Texas Crime Punishment for a Class C misdemeanor is generally not punishable by jail and has a fine up to $500.00. Also, there are other potential consequences for which you should be wary of such as suspension of your driver’s license. I will discuss the consequences more detailed in another follow up blog in the future, stay tuned.

  • Class B misdemeanors:

Another misdemeanor is a Class B Misdemeanor. Class B misdemeanors are non-traffic violations. The Texas Crimes Punishment for a class B misdemeanor is up to 180 days in jail and a fine up to $2,000.00. You may also face 2 to 3 years of probation or community supervision as the Texas Crimes Punishment for a class B misdemeanor . Some examples of class B misdemeanors include:

-First time DWI

-Prostitution

-Possession of marijuana less than 2 ounces

-Lying to the police

-Terroristic threats

  • Class A misdemeanors:

Lastly, Class A misdemeanors are non-traffic violations and are punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine up to $4,000.00. The Texas Crimes Punishment for a class a misdemeanor is 2 to 3 years of probation or community supervision. Some examples of class A misdemeanors include:

-Assault with injury or against a family member

-Possession of marijuana 2 to 4 ounces

-Evading or resisting arrest

-Animal cruelty

-Violation of a protective order

-Interference with 911 call

-Burglary of motor vehicle

Texas Crimes Punishment for Felonies:

Felonies fall into 5 main categories, state jail felony, third-degree felony, second-degree felony, first-degree felony, and lastly, capital felony. Similar to misdemeanors, I will start with the lowest punishable felony category and move up. The different Texas Crimes Punishment for felonies are:

  • State jail felony:

A state jail felony is sometimes considered as a class of its own because it is a hybrid between a misdemeanor and a felony that does not fall in the 3 degree levels of first, second, and third, or capital felony. The Texas Crimes Punishment for for state jail felony is punishable by a minimum of 180 days in jail and a maximum of 2 years in jail, or probation. The Texas Crimes Punishment for a state jail felony can also be a maximum fine of $2,000.00.

In contrast to misdemeanors, if you get jail time for a state jail felony, you would serve your time in state jail instead of county jail. Sometimes state jail felonies can be lowered to a misdemeanor because of section 12.44 of the Texas Penal Code. I will discuss 12.44 reduction in another blog. Also, unlike county jail, serving time in state jail for a state jail felony does not offer “credit time”, the credit time you get for each day spent in jail. For example, getting 2 days counted towards your sentence for every 1 day spent in jail. Every county does their “credit time” differently.

  • Third degree felony:

 The Texas Crimes Punishment for Third-degree felonies is 2 to 10 years in jail and a fine up to $10,000.00. You may also face probation or community supervision as a Texas Crimes Punishment for a third degree felony. Some examples of third-degree felonies include:

-Third time DWI

-Aggravated perjury

-Assault while intoxicated

-Felon in possession of firearm

-Deadly conduct with firearm

-Evidence tampering

-Indecent exposure to a child

  • Second degree felony:

The Texas Crimes Punishment for for a Second-degree felonies is 2 to 20 years in jail and a fine up to $10,000.00. You may also face probation or community supervision as the Texas Crimes Punishment for a second degree felony. Some examples of second-degree felonies include:

-Human trafficking

-Aggravated assault or sexual assault

-Robbery

-Bribery

-Evading arrest involving death of another person

-Bigamy (be careful with this one)

-Arson

  • First degree felony:

The Texas Crimes Punishment for a First-degree felonies is 5 to 99 years in jail and a fine up to $10,000.00. You may also face probation or community supervision as the Texas Crimes Punishment for a first degree felony. Some examples of first-degree felonies include:

-Aggravated robbery

-Aggravated kidnapping

-Attempted capital murder

-Aggravated assault of public servant

-Burglary with intent to commit a felony therein

-Causing bodily injury to a child, an elder, or disabled person

-Arson resulting in death

  • Capital murder:

Above all, capital murder is the most serious crime.  As a result, capital murder understandably produces the harshest sentence. The Texas Crimes Punishment for capital murder can be life in prison or death. The list is limited for capital murder, but it includes crimes such as:

-Premediated murder

-Treason (something we don’t see often)

-Genocide

-Murder with special circumstances such as multiple death involved, or in combination with another crime, murder of a police officer, or repeated murder offender.

Your punishment may be lower:

Lastly, remember these are the Texas Crimes Punishments for for each crime and the maximum punishable time. Certainly, if you are facing criminal charges you may not necessarily get the max sentence. Furthermore, you may even avoid jail and fines because a good attorney can help you with that.

Contact Us:

If you are looking for a criminal defense attorney and therefore want to know what you may be potentially facing as a Texas Crimes Punishment, what strategy to take in fighting your allegations and avoid the punishment or reduce it to the lowest possible punishment, or if you simply want to call to discuss your legal issue, call or email me, Amir Tavakkoli, Houston attorney from the A.T. Law Firm. Our phone number is 832-800-5590 and the email is info@atlawoffice.com. We also travel to different counties including but not limited to Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Ford Bend County, Waller County, and Brazoria. Contact the A.T. Law Firm by calling (832) 800-5590 for a free consultation.