If you have been charged with a criminal offense in the state of Texas, it can be extremely helpful for you to have a good understanding of felonies and misdemeanors. You are likely to be anxious and unsure of what you need to do following a Harris County Arrest, however it is a sure bet that you want to avoid having Harris County Criminal Records and avoid spending any time in Harris County Jail, Texas. Because your reputation, freedom and your future are at stake, having Sullo & Sullo's Houston Criminal Lawyers by your side from beginning to end is particularly important. You will have been charged with a Houston Felony and/or Misdemeanor. The biggest distinction between the two lies in the severity of the penalties you will face should you be convicted. The Best Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me will understand that there are a number of classifications for Houston Felonies and Misdemeanors in the state of Texas:
Misdemeanors are the less serious criminal offenses, are less violent and are divided into three classes:
- A Class C misdemeanor is the least serious criminal offense you can be charged with. A Class C misdemeanor is not punishable by jail, only a fine up to $500. Some examples of Class C misdemeanors include: gambling offenses, leaving a child alone inside a vehicle, issuing a bad check for under $20, petty theft or shoplifting when the items taken are valued at less than $50, most traffic citations, public intoxication, disorderly conduct, minor in possession of alcohol or tobacco, minor driving under the influence, possession of an alcoholic beverage in a vehicle, jumping bail, possession of drug paraphernalia and simple assault.
- A Class B misdemeanor is punishable by a fine as large as $2,000, and time in a county jail up to 180 days. Class B misdemeanors include: prostitution, harassment, making a terror threat, rioting, criminal trespass, first-offense DWI, indecent exposure, possession of two ounces or less of marijuana, making prank calls to 911, presenting a fraudulent degree, and intentionally lying to the police.
- A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by a fine as large as $4,000, and up to one year in county jail. Committing perjury is a Class A misdemeanor as is resisting arrest, burglarizing a motor vehicle, escaping from misdemeanor custody, jumping bail for a misdemeanor offense, burglarizing a coin-operated machine, second-offense DWI, public lewdness, promotion of gambling, possession of two to four ounces of marijuana, resisting arrest, evading arrest on foot, unlawfully carrying a weapon and assault with bodily injury.
Felony criminal offenses are sometimes known as “true crimes,” and are serious criminal offenses, often involving violent crimes, although there are certain felony crimes such as money laundering, theft, fraud, tax evasion and larceny which do not involve the use of violence. Like misdemeanors, felonies are divided, however instead of “classes,” felonies are divided by five “degrees,” which are:
- The least serious felony is a state jail felony. If convicted of a state jail felony, you must serve the entire length of your sentence—there is no time off your sentence for good behavior. On the other hand, your Houston Criminal Defense Attorneys could potentially have your state jail felony lowered to a misdemeanor with no jail time. If you are convicted of a state jail felony, you could spend from 180 days to two years in jail, and could pay a fine as large as $10,000. Examples of state jail felonies include burglarizing a building, possession of less than a gram of certain illegal drugs, criminally negligent homicide, DWI with a child in the vehicle, check forgery, evading arrest with a vehicle, using threats of violence to coerce a minor to join a gang, theft of items valued at $1,500 to $20,000, unauthorized use of a vehicle, cruelty to animals, making a false report or creating a false alarm, credit card abuse, interfering with child custody, improperly recording or photographing another person, possession or fraudulent use of another person’s ID.
- A third-degree felony conviction also brings fines up to $10,000, however rather than time in jail, you will spend from two to ten years in a state prison. Examples of third-degree felonies include: tampering with evidence, third-offense DWI, intoxication assault, indecent exposure to a child, deadly conduct with a firearm, escape from felony custody, possession of a firearm as a felon, third-offense violation of a protective order, jumping bail for a felony arrest, stalking and lying under oath in court.
- A second-degree felony will result in fines as large as $10,000, but the prison time will be from two to twenty years. Examples of second-degree felonies include: human trafficking, indecent contact with a child, improper educator-student relationship, robbery, sexual assault, aggravated assault, arson, possession of fifty to two thousand pounds of marijuana, manslaughter, intoxication manslaughter, second-offense stalking, evading arrest involving the death of another human being, and bribery.
- A first-degree felony is punishable by five to ninety-nine years in prison or life in prison, as well as a fine as large as $10,000. Examples of first-degree felonies include: escaping from custody when serious bodily injury is involved, aggravated assault of a public servant, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, attempted capital murder, solicitation of capital murder, aggravated sexual assault against a child, arson of a habitation which results in death, trafficking persons under the age of 14, causing serious bodily injury to a child, a senior citizen or a disabled person, and burglarizing a habitation with the intent to commit a felony.
- Last is a capital felony, which is punishable by life in prison for juveniles, or death in the case of an adult. Examples of capital felonies include: premeditated murder, treason, espionage, death resulting from an aircraft hijacking, genocide and murder with special circumstances (intentional, multiple, of a police officer, repeat offense, etc.)
Houston Felonies and Misdemeanors are extremely serious, requiring the skills of experienced Houston Criminal Defense Lawyers. At Sullo & Sullo, we understand this is a difficult time for you. We offer Houston Criminal Lawyer Free Consultations and we are Houston Criminal Defense Lawyers with Payment Plans. Whenever possible we will work hard to keep you from spending time in Harris County Jail, Texas. We know how hard life can be for you if you end up having Harris County Criminal Records, and we also know how intimidating it can be for you to have to deal with the Harris County District Attorney. Don't just hire a Cheap Lawyer to defend you. While you may be wondering "How Much Does a Lawyer Cost at Sullo & Sullo?", understand that we strive to keep our costs low but our quality high. If you have been charged with a Houston Felony and/or Misdemeanor, contact Sullo & Sullo's Houston Criminal Lawyers today.