10 Most Common Misdemeanor Crimes in Texas

10 Most Common Misdemeanor Crimes in Texas

Misdemeanor crimes in Texas form a significant segment of the state’s legal landscape. It impacts the lives of countless individuals each year. Understanding these common offenses and their repercussions is crucial, as they can result in fines, probation, and even imprisonment.

This article will discuss the ten most common minor crimes in Texas. It will explain the legal complexities and real-life consequences individuals may face when charged with these offenses.

Texas is a state with many different people and situations that can result in minor criminal charges. Crimes such as drunk driving, stealing, assault, and drug possession have serious consequences. Moreover, they can impact various aspects of everyday life.

The Texas legal system can sometimes be confusing, so we’ll simplify it for you in this article. Delving into each offense, we’ll examine what constitutes these crimes and the penalties they carry under the Texas Penal Code.

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is one of the most common misdemeanor offenses in Texas. It refers to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Law enforcement regularly conducts DWI checkpoints and patrols to curb this violation.

If caught, offenders can face fines, driver’s license suspension, mandatory alcohol education programs, and even jail time. DWI convictions can lead to higher insurance costs and a permanent mark on your criminal record.


Theft is another common misdemeanor crime in the Lone Star State. It involves unlawfully taking someone else’s property with the intent to permanently deprive them of it. Texas classifies theft into various degrees, with penalties ranging from fines to imprisonment. However, that depends on the value of the stolen items.

Shoplifting, employee theft, and other forms of theft can lead to misdemeanor charges. These charges can affect an individuals’ personal and professional life.


Assault charges frequently arise from altercations in Texas. Simple assault is hurting or threatening to hurt someone, while aggravated assault is hurting someone worse or using a deadly weapon.

Assault convictions can lead to fines, probation, or even jail time. Understanding the nuances of assault laws is crucial in a state where conflicts can escalate quickly. These conflicts often result in misdemeanor charges that leave a lasting impact on individuals and communities.

Drug Possession

Drug possession ranks among the most common misdemeanor offenses in Texas. This involves the unlawful possession of controlled substances. These cases often span a range of drugs from marijuana to prescription medications. Moreover, they may result from traffic stops, searches, or other encounters with law enforcement.

Convictions for drug possession can lead to fines, probation, and mandatory drug education programs. Factors like the type and quantity of drugs involved influence the severity of penalties. Importantly, such offenses can also have long-lasting consequences. These consequences may affect an offender’s employment prospects and access to certain benefits.

Public Intoxication

Public intoxication is another misdemeanor offense frequently encountered in Texas. This charge typically arises when a person’s level of intoxication affects their ability to function safely in a public place. Although authorities generally consider public intoxication a Class C misdemeanor, it can still result in fines and a tarnished legal record.

Knowing the rules for behaving in public and the possible outcomes of not following them is important for everyone.

Criminal Trespass

Criminal trespass occurs when individuals unlawfully enter or remain on property without the owner’s consent. This often involves scenarios like unauthorized entry into buildings or land. Texas law classifies criminal trespass into varying degrees, with penalties ranging from fines to a jail sentence.

Understanding the parameters of property rights and trespassing laws is crucial in Texas. Also, they can have implications for both personal conduct and property protection.


Shoplifting is a common misdemeanor crime that occurs when individuals unlawfully take merchandise from a retail establishment without paying for it. This offense encompasses a range of behaviors, from concealing items in bags to altering price tags.

Shoplifters can face criminal penalties including fines and potential jail time. However, they can face civil consequences, such as lawsuits from retailers seeking damages. The prevention of shoplifting is a significant concern for businesses. This makes it essential for both consumers and retailers to be aware of their rights and responsibilities in such cases.

Disorderly Conduct

Disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor offense in Texas that covers a broad spectrum of disruptive behaviors in public places. These behaviors can include fighting, using offensive language, or creating a disturbance that alarms or annoys others.

Understanding what constitutes disorderly conduct and the potential consequences is crucial for maintaining public order and safety. Convictions for disorderly conduct can result in fines and, in some cases, imprisonment. All in all, it makes it essential for individuals to be aware of their actions and their impact on the community.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is when people drive dangerously without valuing others’ safety on the road. This behavior can include excessive speeding, aggressive driving, and other dangerous actions.

In Texas, reckless driving can lead to fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment. It is crucial for all drivers to prioritize road safety in Texas. Importantly, they should also be aware of the potential legal consequences of reckless driving. After all, it does not only endanger lives but also carry significant penalties.

Criminal Mischief

Criminal mischief involves deliberately damaging or tampering with another person’s property without their consent. This misdemeanor crime covers a wide range of destructive acts which ranges from graffiti to vandalism.

Penalties for criminal mischief can vary. It depends on the extent of the damage and the value of the property affected in the criminal offense. Understanding the boundaries of property rights and the potential legal consequences for damaging or defacing property is always essential.

Arrested? Don’t Plea, Call Me!

It is important to remember that misdemeanors can lead to felony charges in certain circumstances. This can lead you to pay more fines or get longer jail times.

Are you arrested for one of these misdemeanor charges? You should contact a skilled criminal defense attorney immediately. They can offer advice, guide you through legal proceedings, and represent you in court.

As an experienced criminal defense attorney, I examine all case facts, investigate charges, and develop a tailored defense strategy. I engage with opposing parties and advocate for your rights in court. I also clarify the potential consequences of a conviction, which may include imprisonment, fines, or other penalties. My aim is to minimize any lasting impact on your future.

The legal system is complicated, but having a skilled defense lawyer gives you a big advantage. They simplify explanations, help you grasp your options, and provide support throughout the legal process.