Felonies in Texas are punishable by terms that have to be served in state jail. There are a few distinct categories that define felony crimes. These categories include:
Capital felonies are the most severe category. If you get convicted, you can get either life without parole or sentenced to death. The most common example of a capital felony is murder.
First Degree Felonies
First-degree felonies are the next most severe category following capital felonies. With first-degree felonies, you can receive life in prison. You can also receive anywhere from five to 99 years of imprisonment and a fine of $10,000. An example of a first-degree felony is aggravated sexual assault, rape, or arson that lead to death.
Second Degree Felonies
Second-degree felonies include drug crimes such as selling between five and 50 pounds of illicit drugs or robbery. For these lesser crimes, you can get anywhere from two to 20 years in prison, as well as a $10,000 fine.
Third Degree Felonies
Third-degree felonies in Texas include crimes such as kidnapping and tampering with physical evidence. The crime can be punished with anywhere from two to 10 years in prison and a fine.
State Jail Felonies
State jail felonies can be defined as any crime that is a felony that has not yet been categorized. When this is the case, the felony will be considered a state jail felony, one that can result in state jail time that ranges from 180 days to two years. There is also a fine attached. State jail felonies include theft if it is on a smaller scale - such as stealing a firearm.
What does the Texas criminal court process look like?
Once you have charges filed against you, an arraignment will happen. This is where your charges are read to you in open court. Afterward, several hearings may occur before your trial.
Once you get to trial, there are generally three phases: the jury selection, the criminal trial, and the sentencing phase. The criminal trial is where state prosecutors will try to prove that you are guilty and your attorney will make the case for your defense.
Can I Appeal a Conviction?
Yes. If you have been convicted of a crime, you have the right to appeal your conviction unless you have already waived that right as part of an agreement with the state. If you want to appeal, the process is as follows:
- A motion for a new trial must be submitted and granted.
- A notice of appeal must be filed.
- Filing the record.
- Filing the appellate brief.
- Case decision.
Hire an Experienced
Criminal Defense Attorney
At the end of the day, having an experienced attorney can make it easier for you to navigate the criminal justice system. Criminal defense attorney Tom Cox can help explain your situation and all of the possible legal options you have at your disposal. He will work hard to protect your rights and maximize your chances of getting your case dismissed or your charges reduced. Tom’s firm is unique in that they bond people out of jail and represent them in court. So don’t wait. If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, call or reach out to the Law Offices of Thomas R. Cox III for reliable legal counsel and strong representation.