Misdemeanors vs. Felonies in Texas
In Texas, there are two main types of crimes: misdemeanors and felonies. While a misdemeanor offense is not as serious as a felony offense, a conviction can still lead to serious criminal penalties, such as a lengthy jail sentence, fines worth thousands of dollars, and a permanent criminal record.
The following are the misdemeanor classes in Texas:
- Class A misdemeanor – This is the most serious misdemeanor, which carries a maximum jail sentence of one year and/or a fine not exceeding $4,000.
- Class B misdemeanor – This misdemeanor is punishable by a jail term of up to 180 days and/or a maximum fine of $2,000.
- Class C misdemeanor – This is the least serious misdemeanor, which carries a maximum fine of $500 and no jail time.
On the other hand, a felony conviction carries state prison or state jail sentences, rather than local or county jail terms. In addition, getting convicted of a felony could result in the loss of certain rights, such as the right to carry a firearm or vote in elections.
Felony classes consist of the following:
- Capital felony – This is the most serious felony, punishable by the death penalty or life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
- First-degree felony – A first-degree felony conviction carries either a life sentence or up to 99 years in prison.
- Second-degree felony – A second-degree felony is punishable by a maximum prison term of 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Third-degree felony – A third-degree felony is punishable by imprisonment for up to ten years and a maximum fine of $10,000.
- State jail felony – Considered the least serious felony, a state jail felony conviction carries a maximum state jail sentence of two years and a fine of up to $10,000.
Whether you are facing a misdemeanor or felony offense, one of the most important steps to take in order to protect your rights and freedom is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. At The Clark Law Firm, Founding Attorney Brad Clark is a former prosecutor who has extensive knowledge of both sides of the courtroom to help our clients develop a strong and aggressive defense strategy.
If you have been arrested in Fort Worth, call (817) 435-4970 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a confidential consultation.