Definition Of Misdemeanor In TX
In Texas, a crime can either be a misdemeanor or a felony. Felonies are the most serious crimes when compared to misdemeanors.
While misdemeanor charges can damage your social life and reputation, they come with lesser penalties. Nevertheless, misdemeanors are included in criminal records. As a result, they can hinder a person’s chances of securing employment and meeting other life goals. The most serious misdemeanor charges come with a jail sentence.
A seasoned misdemeanor attorney in Texas is the best placed professional to advise you about your misdemeanor case.
Definition Of Misdemeanor In TX
The Texas Penal Code defines misdemeanors as criminal charges with less severe penalties. In Texas, Misdemeanors are defined based on the seriousness of the offense in question.
In this regard, there are three classes, namely, Class A, B, and C misdemeanors. Offenses designated as misdemeanors without specifying the punishment or category are defined or considered to be Class C misdemeanors. Class C misdemeanor convictions don’t impose any legal disability/disadvantage.
Definition of Class A misdemeanor
Class A misdemeanors are defined in the Texas Penal Code 12.21. Class A misdemeanors attract up to 1 year in jail or a fine not exceeding $4,000, or both. Typical examples of misdemeanors that qualify as Class A include possession of a firearm without a permit and stealing a vehicle.
Other offenses that fall within the definition of Class A misdemeanors include DWI (blood alcohol concentration less than 0.15), DWI as a second offense, resisting arrest, domestic violence, unlawful restraint, assault resulting in injury, and possession of marijuana (more than two ounces but less than four ounces).
Definition of Class B misdemeanor
Class B misdemeanors (also defined in the Texas Penal Code 12.21) attract up to 6 months in jail or fines not exceeding $2,000, or both. Typical examples of misdemeanors that qualify as Class B include possession of illegal drugs i.e., two ounces of marijuana.
Offenses such as harassment, prostitution, reckless driving, criminal trespass, indecent exposure, and evading arrest (on foot) are all defined as Class B misdemeanors in typical cases.
Definition of Class C misdemeanor
Class C misdemeanors are defined in the Texas Penal Code 12.23. Individuals found guilty of Class C misdemeanors face fines not exceeding $500. Class C misdemeanors are the least types of misdemeanor charges. Typical examples of Class C misdemeanors range from public intoxication and stealing items valued less than $50 to simple assault and minors possessing and consuming alcohol.
Misdemeanors in Texas are largely defined based on the severity of the punishments, with Class C misdemeanors being the least severe. Although felonies are more serious, misdemeanor charges should be taken seriously. Misdemeanors are recorded in a person’s criminal record.
You need a seasoned attorney to get such records sealed or expunged/removed completely from your record. It’s also worth noting that misdemeanors vary, and some are obviously more serious than others. If you are facing misdemeanor charges, don’t enter a plea without consulting a seasoned criminal defense attorney. You have every right to fight all kinds of misdemeanors, including the least severe. A good attorney can get you lesser charges or have existing charges dismissed.
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