Texas takes it’s felony charges very seriously. Nearly all felony crimes committed in Texas have punishments that require either state prison or jail time. They are offenses that you cannot take lightly given the severe penalties that come with them.
If you or a loved one is being charged with a felony offense, you may have questions about what will happen next. While each situation is unique, Texas has specific classifications that the courts must follow. Each felony designation carries its own potential punishments. The first step is understanding the different types of felonies in Texas and the punishments that come with those offenses.
Types of Felonies
In Texas, felonies fall under the category of capital felonies. A capital offense encompasses first, second and third-degree felonies, or state jail felonies.
State Jail Felonies
When the state considers a crime to be a felony but fails to designate it under one of the three felony categories, it is deemed a state jail felony. Some examples state jail felony crimes include theft of a firearm, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle or possessing less than one gram of a controlled substance. State jail felonies can be punishable by up to two years in state jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
Third Degree Felonies
The lowest designation of a felony is a third-degree felony, which is punishable by 2-10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. A few examples of crimes that are designated as third-degree felonies include promoting prostitution, indecent exposure to a child, and committing assault while intoxicated.
Second Degree Felonies
Second-degree felonies in Texas include crimes such as manslaughter, arson, and sexual assault. A second-degree felony conviction can result in up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up $10,000.
First Degree Felonies
Crimes, including sexual assault against a child, aggravated kidnapping, or armed robbery, are considered first degree felonies. First-degree felony convictions in texas come with a sentence of five years up to life in prison as well as a $10,000 fine.
In Texas, capital felonies include the murder of a public official, or when coupled with another felony such as sexual assault or armed robbery. Capitol felonies committed in texas are punishable by death or life in prison without parole.
There are laws in place about classifications and what constitutes different types of felonies. However, the severity of the punishment is still correlated to the crime. Judges often take into consideration the defendant’s record and circumstances under which the crime was committed when designating the overall charges and punishments.
If you’ve been charged with a felony offense, it’s vital to take these circumstances seriously. Don’t rely on internet advice to guide you into taking the next steps. It’s time to retain a Houston criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to help secure the best possible outcome for your situation.
If you are facing felony charges, call the offices of Christopher T. Gore to find out how he can represent your case.