Misdemeanor 101

What is a misdemeanor in Texas?

A very common question I receive from many people regarding the criminal system is “what is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?” Most people have heard the terms before either in a movie or the news but aren’t exactly sure what it means and how it applies to them. In this article we will give you an overview of what’s misdemeanor in Texas. Look for our article regarding felonies to help understand the basics of a felony case.

First thing to understand is that the term “misdemeanor” and “felony” refers to a punishment range a person can receive for a certain crime. Under the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, crimes are divided into two categories. Yep, you guessed it it’s either a misdemeanor or a felony. Within the misdemeanor and felony category you have different classifications such as Class A,B,C or 1st,2nd, 3rd degree felony. Don’t worry we will get into this later. The core concept is to understand that they directly affect your punishment range and the financial penalty that may be imposed on you.

Classifications of misdemeanors?

Most non serious offenses will fall under the category of a misdemeanor. Misdemeanor cases are handled by the jurisdiction of county courts. The maximum offense for a misdemeanor is 1 year of jail time and a maximum of a $4,000 fine. However not all misdemeanors are the same. They are divided into three categories, Class A,B, or C. Below we will list each one and the penalties associated with each class.

Class A Misdemeanor

-Most Serious of the misdemeanors

-Up to 1 year jail time

-Up to $4,000 fine

-Examples: Assault on a family member, Theft, Possession of Marijuana (depending on the amount)

Class B Misdemeanor

-Up to 180 days jail

-Up to $2,000 fine

-Examples; Driving while intoxicated, Driving with License Suspended, Assault

Class C Misdemeanor

-No jail time

-Up to $1,000 fine

-Examples: Speeding ticket, Traffic violation, Noise complaint

If you or someone you know unfortunately gets arrested and charged with a misdemeanor, it is important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. At Zavala Texas Law our team can help you navigate the process and help ease your worries. Sometimes an experienced lawyer can help reduce the charge to a lesser misdemeanor thus reducing your penalty and fine. If you have any questions please contact us at (832) 819-3723 to schedule a consultation with our lawyers.

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