Misdemeanors vs Felonies: What’s the Difference?

Texas is one of the most stringent states regarding crime. Anyone convicted of a crime can stand to lose precious time in jail along with his or her reputation, job, and opportunities to obtain gainful employment. Hiring a bail bond company and a seasoned attorney are two actions that can save someone facing such allegations. Here are some details about Texas crimes and how the state classifies them.

Whats a Felony?

A felony is a severe offense that usually carries a prison term of one year or more. Felonies include aggravated assault, arson, drug sales, etc. Five categories of these crimes exist, and they are as follows:

Capital Felonies

Capital felonies are crimes of the highest degree and can carry punishments such as life in prison or execution. Currently, the only capital felony in Texas is murder. 

1st-Degree Felonies

First-degree felonies fall right under capital crimes in seriousness. They include crimes like arson and attempted murder. These crimes typically have mandatory five-year sentences. 

2nd Degree Felonies

Second-degree felonies are typically punishable by at least two years in prison but can have sentences of up to 20 years and massive fines. Robbery and manslaughter are two examples of such crimes.

3rd Degree Felonies

A third-degree felony isn’t as severe as a second-degree crime, but it can still land a convicted person in jail for two to 10 years. The fines for such a crime can also be $10,000 or more. 

4th Degree Felonies

Fourth-degree felonies or state crimes are the most minor types of felonies, but they can still affect a convicted person negatively. The punishments for such crimes can last from six months to two years, and they can be upgraded or downgraded in severity, per the prosecutor. High-dollar theft and negligent homicide are examples of offenses that may fall into this category. 

What Is a Misdemeanor in Texas?

Misdemeanors are usually crimes that carry punishments of less than one year. Just as felonies have classifications, misdemeanors have them as well. Class A, the most critical type of misdemeanor in Texas, has a max jail time of one year and up to a $4,000 fine.

Class B misdemeanors have half the maximum jail time and fines as class A violations. Class C crimes typically have fines of up to $500 and do not have mandatory jail sentences attached to them. 

What To Do When Accused of a Crime

Because of the devastating effect a conviction can have on a person’s life, anyone accused of a crime should contact an attorney and try to get bail bonds for felony and misdemeanor charges. A bail bond company can provide a defendant with a way to get out of jail until his or her court date.

Then, individuals can work with a lawyer to develop the best defense strategy possible. It’s always wise for an accused person to have a legal professional on his or her side because attorneys can fight for the truth and then negotiate even if the case ends unfavorably. 

Reach out to a bail bond provider if you know someone who is incarcerated and waiting for a court date in Texas. They can help that person survive while the case unravels.

Read More

Leave a Reply