What is Considered a Felony in Texas?

All Texas crimes are either considered felonies or misdemeanors. A felony is the more serious of the two classifications, encompassing offenses that violent, involve a lot of money, or generally, more dangerous. Felonies typically involve significant harm to individuals or property and pose a higher risk to public safety. Examples of felonies include murder, rape, robbery, and drug trafficking.

Convictions for felonies in Texas can result in lengthy prison sentences, heavy fines, and long-lasting consequences that can impact an individual’s personal and professional life. At the Dallas County criminal defense law firm of Guest & Gray, we have a long history of successfully defending clients against felony charges. We take a unique, all-hands-on-deck approach to every case we handle, ensuring that we investigate all potential defenses to ensure our clients’ cases end with the best result possible.

Classification of Texas Felony Charges

Now that we have a general understanding of felonies and misdemeanors, let’s focus on how felonies are classified in Texas. The state has categorized felonies into four distinct degrees, each carrying its own set of penalties.

First Degree Felonies

First-degree felonies are the most serious offenses in Texas. These crimes are typically associated with intentional acts that cause significant harm or danger to others. Examples of first-degree felonies include capital murder, aggravated sexual assault, and large-scale drug trafficking.

Convictions for first-degree felonies can result in prison sentences ranging from five to 99 years or even life imprisonment. In addition, significant fines may be imposed, reflecting the severity of these crimes.

Second Degree Felonies

Second-degree felonies fall slightly below first-degree felonies in terms of severity. These offenses still inflict serious harm but are considered less grave in nature. Examples of second-degree felonies include manslaughter, aggravated assault, and certain drug offenses.

If convicted of a second-degree felony, individuals may face prison sentences ranging from two to 20 years and substantial fines.

Third Degree Felonies

Third-degree felonies involve offenses that are less severe than second-degree felonies but more serious than lower-level offenses. Examples of third-degree felonies include theft of property valued between $30,000 and $150,000, certain instances of assault, and some drug possession charges.

Convictions for third-degree felonies can lead to prison terms ranging from two to ten years, as well as substantial fines.

State Jail Felonies

State jail felonies are the least serious category of felonies in Texas, but they still carry significant penalties. These offenses typically involve non-violent crimes, such as theft of property valued between $2,500 and $30,000, credit card abuse, and drug possession.

Individuals convicted of state jail felonies can face prison sentences ranging from 180 days to two years and may be subject to substantial fines.

Potential Penalties for Felonies

Felonies in Texas carry severe penalties, with consequences that can be life-altering. Depending on the specific offense and the degree of felony, potential penalties may include lengthy prison sentences, hefty fines, probation, mandatory counseling, and parole upon release.

Furthermore, individuals convicted of felonies may face long-term consequences such as loss of voting rights, restricted access to certain jobs or professions, and difficulty obtaining housing or loans.

Have You Been Charged with a Felony in Dallas County?

If you were arrested for robbery, aggravated assault, a sex crime, or any other felony, it is imperative that you reach out to the Dallas County criminal defense lawyers at Guest & Gray as soon as possible. At Guest & Gray, we proudly stand up for the rights of good people who are facing potentially life-changing criminal charges. We are here for you, regardless of what your record looks like, the evidence in the prosecutor’s file, or the nature of the allegations against you. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation, reach out to Guest & Gray’s team of Dallas County criminal defense attorneys at 972-564-4644. You can also connect with us through our online contact form.

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