Navigating the strange or obscure legal limits that differ state to state, or even between counties, can be frustrating. There are even strange Texas laws that state that you need to provide written notice 24 hours in advance of committing any crime. Despite the number of strange laws on the books, felony charges are typically fairly straightforward.
While the line between misdemeanors and felonies can be blurry, felonies are the most serious sorts of crimes that carry the longest and harshest sentences. If you’re ever charged with a crime in the gray area between a misdemeanor and felony, you should try to have it reduced to a misdemeanor. But even within the class of felonies, there is a wide range of types.
If you need help to understand the different classes of felonies that carry different punishments, you’re not alone. In order to make sense of these categories, here are the 5 types of felonies in Texas.
1. State Jail Felonies
This is the least severe form of a felony. You can be charged with a state jail felony if you were convicted of possessing any controlled substance under the amount of one gram. This punishment is also reserved for instances of auto theft or “unauthorized use of a motor vehicle“.
Punishment has a wide range of six months in prison to two years. You could also be hit with a fine totaling up to $10,000.
2. Third Degree Felonies
This is a degree reserved for more severe crimes that failed to result in any permanent harm or injury. Reckless usage or discharging of a firearm falls into this category, even if no one was hurt. If convicted of assaulting someone while being intoxicated, this is grounds for being sentenced to a third-degree felony.
Indecent exposure to a child or reckless endangerment will also fall under this category.
Those convicted face a longer prison term that ranges from two years to ten years. It also comes with a fine that could hit $10,000.
3. Second Degree Felonies
This category of crimes includes those that are much more damaging and dangerous, with harm usually incurred by victims. This category includes arson, manslaughter, and sexual assault. Anyone caught with 50 to 2,000 pounds of marijuana could be found guilty of a second-degree felony.
The range of prison time goes from two to twenty years and also includes a $10,000 fine.
4. First Degree Felonies
This is the degree where those convicted of aggravated robbery, kidnapping, or arson of habitation will find themselves.
They will face from 5 years to life in prison and a $10,000 fine.
5. Capital Felonies
This is the highest form of felony charges in the state of Texas. This is the category that includes the murder of a public safety or police officer. It will also include murderers who were found guilty of simultaneous felonies like robbery and sexual assault.
In Texas, capital felons can be subject to the death sentence or life in prison with no chance of parole.
The Felony Charges In Texas Have a Broad Range
Being charged with a felony in Texas is serious business. Having a great defense attorney can make the difference between spending 6 months locked up and never seeing your family again.
If you’re looking for a great criminal defense attorney to help beat a case, contact us for tips on how to get started.