Misdemeanors and Felonies

Criminal offenses in Texas are categorized as either a misdemeanor or a felony, and each of those categories are broken down into classes. If you are charged with a criminal misdemeanor, we can help. Misdemeanors are broken into three classes of crimes: Class A, Class B, and Class C. Each class carries different ranges of punishments and the punishment is dependent upon whether you are a first-time offender or repeat offender.

Criminal Misdemeanor In Texas

Class C

Class C misdemeanor is the lowest level criminal offense. A typical punishment for Class C’s is a fine up to $500. There is no jail time with a Class C Misdemeanor, but there can be serious consequences if convicted. Class C Misdemeanors can appear on background checks and negatively affect your chances of employment. In addition, convictions for theft charges will be considered crimes of moral turpitude which may affect your employment and/or professional licenses. Any type of drug paraphernalia conviction could affect your ability to apply for and receive financial aid since these are drug convictions.

Some types of crimes that are classified as a Class C Misdemeanor include:

  • Most Traffic Tickets
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Public intoxication
  • “Hot” checks less than $20
  • Simple assault
  • Criminal trespassing
  • Gambling
  • Bail jumping
  • Leaving a child in a vehicle
  • Petty theft such as shoplifting under $50
  • Possession of alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol by a minor
  • Minor in possession of alcohol
  • Minor in possession of tobacco
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

If you are being charged with any of these crimes, know the consequences of a conviction before you plead guilty or pay a fine. You may not believe it will have a significant impact on your life now, but it may seriously affect your future.

Class B

Class B Misdemeanors are serious crimes that can follow you the rest of your life. A conviction for a Class B is punishable by a maximum of 180 days in the county jail and/or a $2,000 fine. A Class B can be enhanced so that a person charged with two Class B crimes may be charged with one Class B and the second charge enhanced to a Class A. A Class B conviction, regardless of how long ago in the past it was, can be used for enhancement.

Some examples of Class B Misdemeanors include:

  • First-offense DWI
  • Indecent exposure
  • Prostitution
  • Failure to pay child support
  • Minor drug possession
  • Harassment
  • False report to a police officer
  • Child enticement
  • Criminal trespass
  • Evading arrest on foot
  • Terroristic threat
  • Vandalism

If you have been arrested and charged with a Class B misdemeanor, you will most likely have to post a bond to get out of jail. You will also need to hire a defense attorney to assist you. If you are unable to afford an attorney, the state may appoint an attorney to represent you. Regardless of your circumstances, being convicted of a Class B could have severe consequences. You should speak to an attorney about your options prior to entering any type of plea.

Class A

Class A Misdemeanors are the most serious kind of misdemeanor offenses. If you have been charged with a Class A misdemeanor, it is imperative that you seek the assistance of a qualified defense attorney. If you are convicted of a Class A misdemeanor, you could spend up to one-year confinement in the county jail and be fined up to $4,000. Texas law also allows for increased sentencing depending on the circumstances, such as being a repeat offender, using drugs or controlled substances to commit the crime, or if the crime is motivated by bias or prejudice (“Hate” crimes). If a person has previously been convicted of a Class A, there is a mandatory minimum of 90 days in the county jail. In the case of controlled substances or if the crime is motivated by bias or prejudice, then there is a mandatory minimum sentencing of 180 days in the county jail.

Class A Misdemeanors include:

  • Second-offense DWI
  • Assault with bodily injury
  • Burglary of a vehicle or vending machine
  • Cruelty to animals
  • Gambling promotion
  • Perjury
  • Possession of 2 to 4 oz of marijuana
  • Public lewdness
  • Resisting arrest
  • Unlawful carrying of a weapon
  • Unlawful restraint
  • Violation of protective orders

Similar to a Class B misdemeanor, if you have been arrested for a Class A misdemeanor, you will most likely have to post a bond to be released from jail. Before entering any kind of a plea, you should know your legal rights and the consequences of such a plea. Class A misdemeanors are serious crimes and you should seek a criminal defense attorney if you are faced with a Class A charge.

It is possible to have your record expunged after one year if you have been arrested, acquitted, or your case has been dismissed. This is not possible if you have been convicted. If you are charged with any class misdemeanor, it is important to hire a defense attorney to assist you in avoiding a conviction.

If you have been arrested and charged with a misdemeanor, contact our office today for a consultation. We are here to help you.

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