In the state of Texas misdemeanors and felonies are classified into categories called classes. These classes range from the most severe to the least severe.
Felonies are broken into five categories. Capital felonies range at the top of the list and hold the most severe of all offenses. Those charged with capital felonies will often face the death penalty. If the death penalty is not chosen, the accused will spend life in prison without parole. Some trials do not seek for the death penalty, so if the accused is found guilty of a capital felony, then he or she will almost automatically receive a life in prison sentencing.
Felonies in the first degree are punishable via imprisonment for a term of no more than ninety-nine years and no less than five years. A fine of ten thousand dollars may be charged in addition to or instead of a prison sentence.
Second-degree felonies are punishable via a ten thousand dollar fine in addition to or instead of a prison sentence. Those charged with a second-degree felony may face imprisonment of no more than twenty years in prison or no less than two years.
Felonies in the third degree receive punishment as no more than ten years and no less than two years in prison in addition to or instead of a fine of no more than ten thousand dollars.
State jail felonies are punishable by imprisonment of no less than one hundred eighty days and no more than two years in prison. A fine may be implement instead of no more than ten thousand dollars. A state jail felony may advance to a third-degree felony if a weapon was used.
Misdemeanor offenses are less severe than felony offenses and carry less severe charges. A Class A Misdemeanor may include a jail sentencing of one year, a fine of no more than four thousand dollars, or both in certain circumstances.
Class B Misdemeanors are punishable by a fine of no more than two thousand dollars, a jail sentence of no more than one hundred eighty days, or both depending on the crime circumstances.
Class C Misdemeanors are the least severe of all punishments and include a fine of no more than five hundred dollars. Legal disability or disadvantage is not imposed in a Class C Misdemeanor conviction.
Texas Misdemeanor Expungement
When an arrest record has been expunged, a person is released from the obligation of stating the offense on paper, but not under oath. Class C Misdemeanors may be expunged in particular circumstances but only if certain criteria have been met, like community supervision and deferred adjudication. Expungement may also restore the rights to bear arms in nearly all convictions, except certain domestic violence cases.
In the state of Texas some records can be sealed instead of expunged. These normally include juvenile records only. Sealing records keeps the public from viewing the files unless future proceedings call for them. Two years must have passed since a discharge and no other felonies or misdemeanors can be committed since that time for a person to be eligible. See also:
Texas Gun Laws External link (opens in new window)
Texas Expungement External link (opens in new window)
Texas Felony External link (opens in new window)