Understanding Texas Crime Classifications and Their Penalties | Wilson County Criminal Defense Lawyer

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Understanding Texas Crime Classifications and Their Penalties

Posted on in Criminal Defense

TX defense lawyerWhen one is convicted of a crime, the illegal activity that they have been deemed guilty of committing falls within a set of categories based on severity, also known as a classification. Not all crimes are one and the same, for instance, stealing a few items off a store shelf and killing another individual are held on completely different playing fields. For obvious reasons, petty theft and murder are granted much different penalties which are determined by the classification of the crime. So how do you know which classification your crime falls under and what are the penalties?

Classification of Misdemeanors

There are three classifications of misdemeanors, which include common offenses such as a traffic violation and span all the way to assault. The following are the three misdemeanor classifications, with Class A as the most serious and Class C as the least.

  • Class A Misdemeanor: Those found guilty of a Class A misdemeanor will receive a fine of up to $4,000 and/or confinement in jail for up to one year.
  • Class B Misdemeanor: Those found guilty of a Class B misdemeanor will receive a fine of up to $2,000 and/or confinement in jail for up to 180 days.
  • Class C Misdemeanor: This classification is reserved for the least serious crimes, such as speeding tickets, and is typically the default classification. In other words, if you commit a minor crime that is deemed a misdemeanor without being given a specific punishment or category, the crime is considered a Class C misdemeanor, which results in a fine of up to $500.

Classification of Felonies

Once a crime exceeds a certain level of severity, such as physically injuring someone, taking the life of a person, or committing property damage of a high value, the classification escalates to a felony. There are five felony classifications, all of which result in time in prison. The following are the five felony classifications, with a capital felony being the most severe:

  • Capital Felony: Because Texas is a state in which the death penalty is legal, those found guilty of a capital felony can be sentenced to life imprisonment or death. If the death penalty is not pursued, the individual will be given life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Those who are under the age of 18 and are convicted of a capital felony will be given life imprisonment with the possibility of parole.
  • First-Degree Felony: Those found guilty of a First Degree felony will be given 5 to 99 years behind bars and a fine up to $10,000.
  • Second-Degree Felony: Those found guilty of a Second Degree felony will be given 2 to 20 years imprisonment and a fine up to $10,000.
  • Third-Degree Felony: Those found guilty of a Third Degree felony will be given 2 to 10 years behind bars and a fine up to $10,000.
  • State Jail Felony: Those found guilty of a crime in this classification will be sentenced to at least 180 days in a state jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

Contact a Wilson County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Whether you are facing minor misdemeanor charges or serious felony charges, being convicted of a crime can greatly impact your present and your future. The stain on your record, no matter how minor, can leave you spending time and money to make up for the crime and exempt from certain educational and professional opportunities. Our BCP Criminal Defense Attorneys believe that everyone deserves a second chance and we dedicate our efforts to securing this for our clients. With over 40 years of combined experience in criminal law, our firm is prepared to take on your case regardless of the severity of the crime. If you are facing criminal charges, contact our Floresville criminal defense attorneys at 830-769-1010 today.

 

Sources:

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.12.htm

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