Defense Attorney Knowledgeable on Crime Classifications in Texas
San Antonio criminal attorney experienced in felonies and misdemeanors
Texas, like other states, classifies crimes by type and severity. Crimes against people are graded by the seriousness of the harm inflicted or threatened. Theft and other crimes against property are graded by the value of the assets taken. These classifications determine the level of penalties that may be imposed, from misdemeanors — punishable by up to a year in jail — to felonies drawing lengthy prison terms. At Kevin L. Collins, P.C., I have decades of experience in a wide range of criminal cases either as a prosecutor or as a defense counsel. Whatever type or level of criminal charge you are facing, my firm can provide effective representation.
How felonies are classified in Texas
Felonies are divided into five categories based on the severity of the maximum allowable punishment as follows:
- Capital felony — Only one crime falls into this category: capital murder, which is an intentional killing with certain aggravating factors. This carries a potential death penalty.
- First degree felony — Crimes in this category include non-capital murder, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated kidnapping and theft of $200,000 or more in money or property. They are punishable by five to 99 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
- Second-degree felony — Examples are manslaughter, aggravated assault, reckless injury to a child, simple kidnapping, most arsons and theft of $100,000 to $200,000. These crimes are punishable by two to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
- Third degree felony — This category includes drive-by shootings that don’t cause injury and thefts of $20,000 to $100,000. Punishments include two to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
- State jail felony — Examples are child endangerment, theft of $1,500 to $20,000 and credit card abuse. These crimes are punishable by 180 days to two years of imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
All felonies are tried in district court, with an automatic right of appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in capital felony cases. Otherwise, there is an automatic right of appeal to a regional court of appeals. No matter what level of felony you are charged with, I will provide you with a forceful criminal defense while treating you professionally and with respect.
How misdemeanors are classified in Texas
Misdemeanors are punished less severely than felonies, but can still result in fines and jail, depending on the category:
- Class A misdemeanor — Examples are battery without any aggravating factors, stalking without bodily injury and theft of $500 to $1,500. These crimes are punishable by up to one year in jail, a $4,000 fine or both.
- Class B misdemeanor —This category includes driving while intoxicated, making terroristic threats, possessing up to four ounces of marijuana and theft of $20 to $500.These crimes are punishable by up to 180 days in jail, a $2,000 fine or both.
- Class C misdemeanor — Examples are assault without bodily injury and theft of less than $20. These crimes are punishable by no more than a $500 fine.
Class A and B misdemeanors are tried in county courts, with an automatic appeal to a regional court of appeals. Class C misdemeanors are tried by justices of the peace, with a right of appeal to a county court, which will try the case anew. I provide a vigorous and professional defense in misdemeanor cases.
Contact a San Antonio felony and misdemeanor defense attorney for more information
A criminal charge, even a comparatively minor one, can still result in a criminal record that may affect your career and other aspects of your life. Reach out to Kevin L. Collins, P.C. in San Antonio, Texas, either by contacting me online or by calling me at 210-598-8629.