Have you ever wondered about the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor? If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, it's important to understand how the legal system works and what your options are.
In this guide, we'll explain the key differences between felonies and misdemeanors, and what you need to know if you're facing criminal charges in Texas.
What Is a Felony?
A felony is the most serious type of crime. These are offenses for which the minimum punishment is more than a year in prison.
Examples of felonies include the following:
- Drug trafficking
- Wire fraud
As you can see, felonies run the gamut from violent crimes to white-collar crimes. It's not the general character of a crime that defines it as a felony, but rather the specific severity and heinousness that makes it so.
Not All Felonies Are Judged the Same
In Texas, the categories of felonies are as follows:
- Capital Felony: Punishable by the death penalty or life imprisonment without parole
- First-Degree Felony: Punishable by 5 to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- Second-Degree Felony: Punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- Third-Degree Felony: Punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
What Is a Misdemeanor?
A misdemeanor is a less serious crime that is punishable by up to one year in jail. Examples of misdemeanors include DUI, assault, and petty theft. Misdemeanors are also classified into different categories, depending on the severity of the crime and the potential punishment.
In Texas, the categories of misdemeanors are as follows:
- Class A Misdemeanor: Punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000
- Class B Misdemeanor: Punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000
- Class C Misdemeanor: Punishable by a fine of up to $500
What Should You Do If You're Facing Criminal Charges?
If you're facing criminal charges, it's important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. At Rodriguez & Gimbert, P.L.L.C., we have the knowledge and experience to help you navigate the legal system and fight for your rights. We'll work tirelessly to build a strong defense strategy and protect your future.
Don't wait – contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you.