Many people think misdemeanors are minor offenses, but that is not necessarily true.
Criminal offenses in Texas are usually classified as misdemeanors or felonies. Misdemeanor offenses are not usually as serious as felony crimes, but they still carry harsh penalties including high fines and jail sentences. One of the harshest consequences of being convicted of a misdemeanor is the fact that you will have a permanent criminal record. This can significantly limit your education, employment, and even housing opportunities. Below, our Texas criminal defense lawyer explains more about misdemeanor offenses.
Classes of Misdemeanors in Texas
A misdemeanor criminal offense in Texas is one that carries a jail sentence of one year or less. There are three classes of misdemeanors in the state and each carries its own penalties. The three classes of misdemeanors in Texas are as follows:
- Class A misdemeanor: A conviction for a Class A misdemeanor can result in up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $4,000.
- Class B misdemeanor: Class B misdemeanors are punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a maximum fine of $2,000.
- Class C misdemeanor: There is no jail time associated with Class C misdemeanors, but these offenses do carry a maximum fine of $500 for those convicted.
Common Misdemeanor Offenses
There are many common types of misdemeanor offenses in Texas. Some of the most common Class A misdemeanors include:
- Second offense DUI
- Evading arrest on foot
- Cruelty to animals
- Violation of a protective order
- Assault with bodily injury
Common Class B misdemeanors are as follows:
- Criminal trespass
- Indecent exposure
- Possession of two ounces or less of cannabis
Common Class C misdemeanors include:
- Disorderly conduct
- Assault by threat
- Public intoxication
- Leaving a child in a vehicle
- Minor in possession of alcohol
Long-Term Implications of a Misdemeanor Conviction
While the maximum jail sentence for a misdemeanor conviction is one year or less, you are still at risk of losing your freedom if you are convicted. You will also have a permanent criminal record that can greatly affect the type of employment opportunities you will have in the future and can disqualify you for academic scholarships.
Additionally, you may also lose your driver’s license or a professional license if you are a lawyer, doctor, or teacher. A conviction can also result in the loss of Second Amendment rights, as you may no longer be able to own or use a firearm. This is particularly true if you are convicted of an offense involving family violence.
Our Criminal Defense Lawyers in Texas Can Help with a Misdemeanor Charge
While misdemeanors are not as serious as felonies, it is still critical that you have sound legal representation. At Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda, PLLC, our Texas criminal defense lawyers have the necessary experience to defend against misdemeanor charges aggressively and we will work hard to protect your freedom. Call us now at (210) 222-9132 or fill out our online form to request a consultation and to learn more about how we can protect your rights.