When a person is charged with or arrested for a crime, the prosecution will charge them with either a felony or misdemeanor. Felony crimes are more serious than misdemeanor crimes. Misdemeanors in TX are punishable by up to a year in county or local jail and are classified as Class A, Class B, or Class C misdemeanors:
- Class C Misdemeanors – These are crimes that are punishable by fines, with the maximum fine being $500. The most common examples include disorderly conduct, public intoxication, and petty theft involving goods under $100.
- Class B Misdemeanors – These crimes are punishable by a fine of not more than $2,000 and jail time of up to 180 days. Common examples include criminal mischief, indecent exposure, and roadway obstruction.
- Class A Misdemeanors – The punishments for these crimes include up to a fine of $4,000 and jail time of up to a year. They are the most serious or major type of misdemeanors in TX. Examples include assault, violating a restraining order, online impersonation, second-offense DWI, perjury, and criminal trespass.
Penalties for Major Misdemeanors in TX Can Be Enhanced
Repeat misdemeanor convictions in Texas come with enhanced penalties. In certain cases, the general enhancement laws apply. However, major misdemeanors, such as family violence, theft, and assault, carry harsher penalties for a prior conviction for a similar or same crime.
In addition, some misdemeanor crimes have increased punishments when the offender commits a crime against a protected or vulnerable individual, commits an offense in a declared evacuation or disaster area, or targets an individual due to prejudice or bias. Enhanced penalties may include a mandatory minimum jail sentence or raise the level of offense.
Major Misdemeanors in TX Can Be Very Serious
While not as serious as felony crimes, you can still go to jail, pay hefty fines, and get a criminal record if you are convicted of a misdemeanor in TX. You’ll need to go in front of a judge to respond to the charges against you. Depending on your specific situation, you may face increased penalties or felony charges for repeated offenses.
Put simply, you should take misdemeanor charges seriously. Ideally, you should discuss your case with a seasoned TX criminal defense attorney to explore the options available to you. Since misdemeanor charges are not as serious are felonies, your attorney may be able to negotiate community service, probation, a pre-trial diversion program (PTD), house arrest, a deferred adjudication program, or alcohol or drug treatment programs.
Your attorney can also weigh the pros and cons of negotiating a plea deal with the prosecution in exchange for lesser penalties or a charge of a lesser offense. They can also develop a defense strategy that will introduce reasonable doubt since the prosecution has to prove that you committed the crime you’re accused of.
Reach Out to a Seasoned TX Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Any criminal conviction, whether for a minor or major misdemeanor, can have life-changing consequences. To ensure the best possible results for your case, speak to our TX criminal defense attorney right away. Reach Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda PLLC online or call us at 210-222-9132 to arrange your consultation with our TX criminal defense attorney.