Texas divides criminal offenses into two categories: felonies and misdemeanors. Felony charges are much more serious than misdemeanor charges. They carry much harsher penalties. If you have been accused of a felony crime in Texas, you need to speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your legal rights are protected. The sooner you hire an attorney, the sooner your attorney can examine the facts of your case and determine the best ways to defend you.
What is the difference between felony and misdemeanor charges?
Felony charges are serious. Someone accused of a felony may spend time in prison, pay hefty fines, and be stripped of certain rights—such as the right to vote or the right to own a firearm.
Felony charges may result in a prison sentence ranging from 6 months to life. In addition, felony charges may result in a fine of up to $10,000. Misdemeanor charges carry shorter prison sentences and smaller fines.
What are some examples of felony charges in Texas?
Felony offenses include the following:
- Certain weapons-related crimes
- Certain thefts
- Credit card abuse
- Sexual assault
- Certain drug charges
There are many more felony offenses listed in the Texas Penal Code.
What are the penalties for felony charges in Texas?
The penalties for felony charges vary depending on the specific nature of the crime, as well as the offender’s criminal record.
Felonies are broken down into 5 categories.
Capital felonies are punishable by death or life in prison without the possibility of parole. Capital felonies are the most serious crimes that may be committed.
First degree felonies may result in a prison term of between 5 and 99 years, as well as a fine of no more than $10,000.
Second degree felonies carry prison terms of between 2 and 20 years. In addition, a fine of no more than $10,000 may be ordered.
Third degree felonies may result in between 2 and 10 years in prison. A fine of up to $10,000 may also be set.
State jail felonies carry between 180 days and 2 years in jail. Further, fines of no more than $10,000 may also be ordered.
Depending on the individual charge, other penalties may also be ordered. For example, restitution may be ordered for theft charges. For sex-related crimes, the offender may be ordered to register as a sex offender on the Texas Public Sex Offender Registry. Community service, probation, and a number of other options are also possible for those who commit felonies in Texas.
When should I hire an attorney for a felony charge?
Hiring an attorney as soon as possible after being charged with a felony is key to building a strong defense in your claim. Every day that you do not have a criminal defense attorney on your side is another day that your legal rights are not protected. Your attorney is able to communicate on your behalf, ensure that your constitutional rights were not violated during your arrest, and verify that all filing deadlines and other important issues are handled properly in your court case. Your attorney will begin gathering evidence to support any defenses you may have in your case as soon as possible. Without an attorney, you risk subjecting yourself to additional penalties.
Call the Hampton Eppes Law Group today
Brian Eppes is a former prosecutor with experience in both misdemeanor and felony charges. Mr. Eppes makes sure that his clients’ rights are protected through every step of a case. To schedule your free consultation with our legal team, call 817-877-5201 or visit www.hamptonlegalgroup.com.