February 29, 2024

What Are The Classifications of Criminal Offenses in TX?

When you are charged with a criminal offense in TX, it will either be a felony or misdemeanor offense. Misdemeanor crimes are less severe offenses that don’t normally involve severe violence or costly property losses. Felony crimes are the most serious offenses in TX and usually involve severe violent conduct. Some non-violent felonies involve serious theft or property damage.

Misdemeanors in TX

There are three classes of misdemeanors in Texas. From least to most serious, they are:

  1. Class C Misdemeanors: No jail time. Punishable by up to $500 in fines. Examples include gambling, assault by threat, disorderly conduct, public intoxication, using laser pointers, and leaving a child in a vehicle.
  1. Class B Misdemeanors: Punishments include fines up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in county jail. Examples include DWI, criminal trespass, harassment, riot, prostitution, indecent exposure, and possession of marijuana (not exceeding two ounces).
  1. Class A Misdemeanors: Punishments include up to $4,000 in fines and one year in county jail. Examples include violation of a protective order, perjury, evading arrest, second DWI offense, cruelty to animals, and assault causing bodily injury.

The state sometimes treats a misdemeanor as a state jail felony if the offender has a criminal record.

Felonies in TX

Texas classifies felonies into five levels. From least to most severe, they include:

  1. State Jail Felonies: Punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and 180 days to two years in prison. Examples of common state jail felonies are child endangerment DWI, theft of property valued at $2,500 to $30,000, and check forgery. A state jail felony will be treated as a third-degree felony if the offender either:
  • Has certain previous convictions
  • Utilized a deadly weapon while committing the crime
  • Has two state jail felony convictions

A state jail felony may also be treated as a Class A misdemeanor.

  1. Third-Degree Felonies: Punishments include two to 10 years imprisonment and a fine up to $10,000. Examples of common third-degree felonies are stalking, tampering with evidence, indecent exposure, and deadly conduct with the use of a firearm.
  1. Second-Degree Felonies: Punishable by imprisonment of two to 20 years and a fine not exceeding $10,000. Examples of common second-degree felonies include arson, manslaughter, robbery, and aggravated assault.
  1. First-Degree Felonies: Punishments include five to 99 years or life in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Examples of common first-degree felonies are attempted murder, arson resulting in death, and aggravated robbery.
  1. Capital Felonies: These include capital felony murder and capital murder. Punishable by the death penalty or life imprisonment.

Collateral Consequences for TX Criminal Convictions

Depending on the severity of the offense, a felony or misdemeanor conviction may also come with collateral consequences, which are penalties on top of fines and incarceration. They usually include:

  • Losing or not being able to obtain a driver’s license
  • Being blocked from some occupations
  • Denied access toor losing professional certifications
  • Loss of voting rights
  • Loss of the right to own or carry firearms and weapons

Speak to a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney in TX Today

Facing a misdemeanor or felony charge in TX? Contact the TX criminal defense attorney at Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda PLLC right away. Schedule your consultation with a criminal defense attorney in TX by reaching out to us online or calling 210-222-9132.