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Felony Defense Attorney Lawyer in San Antonio

Understanding the Difference between Felonies & Misdemeanors

If you or someone you care about has been charged with a felony, you likely have many questions. At Corley Legal, we are here to provide you with the straightforward legal guidance you need. Our San Antonio felony lawyers offer personalized legal counsel and aggressive representation focused on protecting your rights.

In Texas, a felony offense is one that is punishable by various terms in state jail or prison. Generally, felonies are considered more serious than misdemeanors, which are punishable by terms of up to one year in county jail. Certain offenses, such as homicide or kidnapping, are almost always charged as felonies. Often, however, the specific circumstances involved in an incident will determine whether or not a charge is considered a felony or misdemeanor. Notably, Texas has a unique way of categorizing felonies that connects the severity of the offense with the punishment.

Contact our San Antonio felony defense attorney at (210) 361-7322 or fill out an online contact form to request your free initial consultation.

How Texas Classifies Felonies

As previously mentioned, Texas has a clear and distinct categorization system for felony offenses. In general, felonies are classified by the severity of the offense and whether or not the accused is a repeat offender.

In Texas, felonies fall into one of five categories:

  • Capital Felonies: The most severe felony offenses fall under this categorization. Likewise, capital felonies carry the most severe penalties, including life in prison without the possibility of parole and death. Murder is an example of a capital felony when it occurs under certain circumstances, including when it occurs concurrent with another felony, like sexual assault or robbery.
  • First-Degree Felonies: Though less severe than capital felonies, first-degree felonies are still quite serious. Penalties for first-degree felonies can include anywhere from 5 years to 99 years to life imprisonment, as well as fines up to $10,000. Child sexual assault is one example of a first-degree felony.
  • Second-Degree Felonies: Arson, certain sexual assault, domestic violence, manslaughter, and certain drug possessions are considered second-degree felonies under Texas law. Second-degree felonies are punishable by 2 to 20 years imprisonment and/or up to $10,000 in fines.
  • Third-Degree Felonies: These felony offenses carry a penalty of 2-10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Examples of third-degree felonies in Texas include assault while intoxicated, indecent exposure to a child, and possession of 5 to 50 pounds of marijuana.
  • State Jail Felonies: In Texas, state jail felonies occur when a crime is designated as a felony, but not a specific kind of felony. Certain types of theft crimes (dependent on the worth of stolen goods) are classified as state jail felonies, as well as other offenses like minor drug possessions or unauthorized vehicle use. Penalties for state jail felonies range from 180 days to 2 years in state jail and/or fines up to $10,000.

Regardless of the charges you are facing, our San Antonio felony defense attorney can help you understand your legal options. We have helped countless clients in situations similar to yours and are here to answer your questions and keep you informed every step of the way.

Call our office at (210) 361-7322 to schedule a FREE, confidential consultation with our team.

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