Important Facts About Felony Charges In Texas

felony

If you are charged with a criminal offense in Texas, you could face a fine, jail time and/or probation. The amount of your fine and the length of jail time and/or probation depend on the type of crime you are accused of committing. Below is a summary of the range of punishment for Texas felony criminal charges. Keep in mind that every case is different, and several factors will contribute to every decision made by the State in prosecuting a case.

Texas Felony Punishment Ranges

Capital felony: In Texas, a capital felony is the most severely punished crime. A capital felony is one in which an individual "intentionally or knowingly causes the death of an individual," under special circumstances. In particular, it includes:

  1. a) murder of a public safety officer or firefighter in the line of duty; b) murder during the commission of specified felonies (kidnapping, burglary, robbery, aggravated rape, arson); b) murder for remuneration; c) multiple murders; d) murder during a prison escape; e) murder of a correctional officer; f) murder of a judge; g) murder by a state prison inmate who is serving a life sentence for any of five offenses; [or] h) murder of an individual under 6 years of age.

Under Texas law, a capital felony is punishable by:

  1. a) death by lethal injection; or b) life imprisonment.

A person convicted of a capital felony is not eligible for community supervision probation.

First-degree felony: According to the Texas Penal Code Section 12.32, a first-degree felony is punishable by:

(a) Confinement in prison for life or a term from five to 99 years in prison

(b) An optional fine not to exceed $10,000

Community supervision (probation):

A citizen accused of a first-degree felony in Texas may be eligible for community supervision probation. If a person is eligible for probation, he or she may be placed on probation instead of imprisoned for: a) up to 10 years of deferred adjudication community supervision; or b) from five to 10 years of post-conviction community supervision; and c) up to 180 days in county jail as a condition of probation.

If a court authorizes community supervision for a person accused of a first-degree felony, instead of prison, generally the court will require the accused to spend up to 180 days in county jail as a condition of being placed on probation. Essentially, the person accused must go to county jail for up to 180 days and then will be placed on probation for five to 10 years.

Second-degree felony: Texas Penal Code Section 12.33 sets out the punishment range for a second-degree felony in Texas. According to the Texas Penal Code, a second-degree felony is punishable by:

(a) confinement in prison for a term of not more than 20 years or less than two years (b) a fine not to exceed $10,000

Community supervision (probation):

If a person is eligible for probation, he or she may be placed on probation instead of imprisoned for: a) up to 10 years of deferred adjudication community supervision; or b) from two to 10 years of post-conviction community supervision; and c) up to 180 days in county jail as a condition of probation.

If a court authorizes community supervision for a person accused of a second-degree felony, instead of prison, generally the court will require the accused to spend up to 180 days in county jail as a condition of being placed on probation. Essentially, the person accused must go to county jail for up to 180 days and then will be placed on probation for two to 10 years.

Third-degree felony: Section 12.34 of the Texas Penal Code sets out the punishment range for a third-degree felony in Texas. According to the Texas Penal Code, a third-degree felony is punishable by:

(a) confinement in prison for a term of not more than 10 years or less than two years (b) a fine not to exceed $10,000

Community supervision (probation):

If a person is eligible for probation, he or she may be placed on probation instead of imprisoned for: a) up to 10 years of deferred adjudication community supervision; or b) from two to 10 years of post-conviction community supervision; and c) up to 180 days in county jail as a condition of probation.

If a court authorizes community supervision for a person accused of a third-degree felony, instead of prison, generally the court will require the accused to spend up to 180 days in county jail as a condition of being placed on probation. Essentially, the person accused must go to county jail for up to 180 days and then will be placed on probation for two to 10 years.

State jail felony: According to Section 12.35 of the Texas Penal Code, a state jail felony is punishable by:

a) Confinement in state jail for a term from 180 days to two years

(b) An optional fine not to exceed $10,000

Community supervision (probation):

A citizen accused of a first-degree felony in Texas may be eligible for community supervision probation. If a person is eligible for probation, he or she may be placed on probation instead of imprisoned for: a) up to 10 years of deferred adjudication community supervision; or b) from two to five years of post-conviction community supervision; and c) From 90 to 365 days in county jail as a condition of probation (depending on the crime charged).

If a court authorizes community supervision for a person accused of a state jail felony, instead of prison, generally the court will require the accused to spend up to 180 days in county jail as a condition of being placed on probation. Essentially, the person accused must go to county jail for a period of time from 90 to 365 days and then will be placed on probation from two to five years.

NOTE: The information contained in this page provides only a basic overview of Texas law. This is not a comprehensive explanation of the law, but rather a simple summary meant to provide the reader with basic knowledge. This information is not legal advice of any kind and should not be relied upon as such. Some information may not reflect possible changes or modifications in the law, and thus we do not guarantee the accuracy of any information displayed herein. Always consult a lawyer regarding your particular matter.

How Can Criminal Charges Affect Your Life?

Any criminal charge is extremely serious. To protect your good name, maintain a clean record and stay eligible to get into a good school, find a good job or continue a successful career, it is imperative to take criminal charges seriously. Even the most minor criminal charges can have enormous impacts on a person's life.

Contact Ross Law Offices, P.C., Today

If you are facing criminal charges of any kind, it is important that you contact a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. At Ross Law Offices, P.C., we offer a free consultation to discuss your case and go over every option you may have.

Don't hesitate. Contact us online or call our Denton office today at 940-230-2413.