If you’ve been charged with a felony, you are in very serious trouble. You could be looking at life in prison and a number of other penalties, because a felony charge is the worst you can have in Texas. A felony conviction will forever impact your life.
If you are released from prison at any point, you can expect to find it nearly impossible to find an employer that will hire a felon, you won’t be eligible for financial aid if you hoped to obtain a college education, and housing will be difficult to find, because your background check will reflect your conviction. A felony charge should never be taken lightly.
You need a highly trained criminal defense lawyer who can help you overcome your charges. Continue reading to learn more about the different types of felonies in Texas and the crimes often associated with them.
Capital Felonies vs. State Jail Felonies
Texas law states that the most serious felony you can be charged with is a capital offense. You can expect to be charged with a capital felony if you committed murder. A capital offense is punishable by life in prison for individuals who were under the age of 18 at the time of the crime, life in prison without the possibility of parole, and the death penalty.
This is different from a State Jail Felony which is considered to be the least serious felony. You may be charged with a State Jail Felony if you were arrested for burglary, DWI, possession of a controlled substance and a number of other crimes.
The penalty for a State Jail Felony is up to two years in State Jail and fines up to $10,000. It’s important to note that State Jails differ from county jails in that State Jails do not provide earlier releases for prisoners who exhibit good behavior.
First Degree Felony Charges
More serious than a State Jail Felony and less serious than a Capital offense is a first degree felony. Crimes that are eligible for this charge include white-collar crimes, exorbitant theft, and ongoing sexual abuse, to name a few.
If you are convicted of a first degree felony, you could be facing fines not to exceed $10,000 and a maximum of 99 years in prison. However, you could also be sentenced to as few as 5 years in prison, depending on the nature and intent of your crime.
Penalties for Second and Third Degree Felonies
Though a second or third degree felony is not as serious as a capital offense or a first degree felony, your life will still be permanently altered for the worse if you are convicted. If you were charged with robbery, burglary, or any kind of sexual offense, you’ll also be charged with a second degree felony. Convictions come with up to 20 years of imprisonment and fines up to $10,000.
Domestic violence and multiple DWI’s mean that you can be charged with a third degree felony which carries penalties of a maximum of $10,000 in fines and 10 years in prison. As can be seen, felonies of any degree are something that should be avoided at all cost.
When you’ve already been charged, the only thing you can do now is retain a top criminal defense attorney in Texas to give you the legal advice you need to avoid conviction.
Work with a Qualified Criminal Defense Lawyer
To put it simply, any sort of felony conviction is going to effectively ruin your life. For this reason, you need legal representation. Fortunately, a qualified felony lawyer can defend you by building a powerful defensive strategy that will allow you to avoid being convicted. Don’t wait another moment, reach out for the assistance you need so that you can begin to put your mistakes in the past.