Misdemeanors in Texas: Classification & Penalties
A misdemeanor is a criminal offense that is considered less serious than a felony. It is generally punishable by a fine, probation, community service, and/or a period of incarceration in a local jail, rather than in a state or federal prison.
While misdemeanors are less serious than felonies, they can still have serious consequences. A misdemeanor conviction can result in a criminal record, which can impact a person’s ability to get a job, obtain housing, or receive professional licenses. It is important to consult with a lawyer if you have been charged with a misdemeanor or any other criminal case offense.
In Texas, misdemeanors are classified based on their level of severity. Which determines the potential punishment that can be imposed. There are three levels of misdemeanors in Texas:
- Class A Misdemeanors: This is the most serious level of misdemeanor and can result in a fine of up to $4,000 and/or up to one year in county jail. Examples of Class A misdemeanors include DWI (first offense). Assault causing bodily injury, and theft of property worth between $750 and $2,500.
- Class B Misdemeanors: This level of misdemeanor can result in a fine of up to $2,000 and/or up to 180 days in county jail. Examples of Class B misdemeanors include DUI (first offense). Possession of up to two ounces of marijuana, and criminal trespass.
- Class C Misdemeanors: This is the least serious level of misdemeanor and can result in a fine of up to $500. Examples of Class C misdemeanors include traffic violations, disorderly conduct, and minor in possession of alcohol.
It is important to note that the penalties for misdemeanors can vary depending on the circumstances of the case. And that these classifications only provide a general overview of the potential consequences of a misdemeanor conviction in Texas.
Examples of Misdemeanors
Examples of misdemeanor offenses in Texas may include:
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI) – first offense (Class B misdemeanor)
- Possession of marijuana (Class B misdemeanor for up to 2 ounces)
- Theft of property worth less than $750 (Class B misdemeanor)
- Assault causing bodily injury (Class A misdemeanor)
- Criminal mischief causing damage of less than $750 (Class B misdemeanor)
- Disorderly conduct (Class C misdemeanor)
- Public intoxication (Class C misdemeanor)
- Harassment (Class B misdemeanor)
- Trespassing (Class B misdemeanor)
- Reckless driving (Class B misdemeanor)
It’s important to note that these are just a few examples, and the specific penalties for a misdemeanor conviction can vary depending on the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s criminal conviction history. If you have been charged with a misdemeanor in Texas. It is important to speak with a criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your rights and options.
Penalties of Misdemeanor Conviction
The consequences of a misdemeanor conviction in Texas can vary depending on the specific offense and the defendant’s criminal history, but some common consequences may include:
- Fines: Misdemeanor convictions in Texas can result in fines of up to $4,000 for Class A misdemeanors, up to $2,000 for Class B misdemeanors, and up to $500 for Class C misdemeanors.
- Jail Sentence: A misdemeanor conviction can result in a period of incarceration in a county jail. Ranging from a few days to up to one year for Class A misdemeanors, up to 180 days for Class B misdemeanors, and up to 30 days for Class C misdemeanors.
- Probation: In some cases, a judge may sentence a defendant to a period of probation during which they must comply with certain conditions. Such as regular check-ins with a probation officer, drug testing, and community service.
- Criminal record: A misdemeanor conviction will result in a criminal record. Which can make it more difficult to obtain employment, housing, and certain licenses.
- Loss of certain rights: Depending on the offense, a misdemeanor conviction can result in the loss of certain rights. Such as the right to possess firearms or to vote.
- Immigration consequences: Non-U.S. citizens who are convicted of certain misdemeanors may be subject to deportation or other immigration consequences.
It’s important to note that the consequences of a misdemeanor conviction can be significant, even for relatively minor offenses. If you have been charged with a misdemeanor crime in Texas. It is important to speak with a criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your options and develop a strong defense strategy.
Arrested? Don’t Plea, Call Me!
If you are facing misdemeanor charges it is highly recommended that you seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. A criminal defense lawyer can provide you with essential legal advice, guidance, and representation throughout the legal process.
As an experienced criminal defense lawyer we can review the facts of your case. Investigate the charges against you, and develop a strong defense strategy tailored to your specific situation. As well as negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf and advocate for your rights and interests in court.
In addition, we can provide you with information about the potential indecent exposure consequences of a conviction. Including the possibility of jail time, fines, and other penalties, and work to minimize the impact of the charges on your life and future.
Overall, the criminal law justice system can be complex and intimidating. Therefore, having an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.