What is the Difference Between a Felony and Misdemeanor?
Welcome to another blog post by Saldivar Brannan Law Firm. Today’s topic: what is the difference between a felony and misdemeanor? In Texas this distinction is brought down to punishment range. You can see our chart illustrating this HERE. But the short and skinny is that misdemeanors are punishable, in the maximum, by a sentence in the county jail and felonies are punishable by time in the state prison system.
Misdemeanors are classified A,B, and C. Traffic tickets are class C. They are not punishable by jail time, but by a fine not to exceed $500. Class B misdemeanors are punishable by up to 6 months in the county jail and a fine up to $2000. This is here marijuana charges for under two ounces and DWIs start. Next up are class A misdemeanors. These charges include things like DWI second, DWI with a BAC over 0.15, assault married and marijuana two ounces to four ounces. This is also where animal cruelty cases fall. Call A misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in the county jail and a fine up to $4000.
Felonies are a little different and start off with a significant increase. State jail felonies are punishable by six months to two years in a state jail prison and up to a ten thousand dollar fine. Some drug and theft offenses fall here, such as forged checks. Next is third degree felony, this is where we get the heat turned way up. They are punishable by two to ten years in prison and a fine not to exceed ten thousand dollars. Second degree felonies are two to twenty years with the same fine, and first degrees are life or five to ninety-nine years. All felonies have the same fine amount maximum.
Now, not all crimes are created equal. There are factors such as prior history and such that can make things much worse. For instance, if a first degree felony becomes a capital offense you are looking at either death or life without parole. And a DWI becomes a third degree felony upon arrest with two prior convictions. So, looking at this, call an attorney if you need help on your criminal defense. We are always here to help. We hope this answers your question as to what is the difference between a felony and misdemeanor.
If you are in trouble and feel that you need help, contact us here and we will be there. Call today for your free consultation.