The Texas Penal Code classifies felonies into one of five different classes. The sentencing guidelines for each class differ according to the severity of the crime. State jail felonies are the least serious felony criminal offenses in the state of Texas and capital felony criminal offenses are the most serious.
State jail felonies can result in a sentence of incarceration ranging from six months to two years and a fine of up to $10,000. Many DWI crimes constitute state jail felonies. A common example of a state jail felony is possession of less than one gram of a controlled substance. A criminal offense that is classified as a state jail felony can be enhanced to a third-degree felony in some circumstances, if the individual charged has a previous felony conviction or if he or she used a deadly weapon in the commission of the crime.
A third-degree felony can result in a prison sentence from two to ten years and a fine of no more than $10,000. Third-degree felonies include many drug offenses, deadly conduct with a firearm, and indecent exposure.
A second-degree felony carries a sentence of incarceration ranging from two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. Arson, sexual assault, and possession of 50 to 2,000 pounds of marijuana all are charged as second-degree felonies.
Different Classifications of Felonies in the State of Texas
A first-degree felony conviction can result in a prison sentence of five to 99 years, or life in prison. Individuals convicted of a first-degree felony also can face up to a $10,000 fine. Some examples of first-degree felonies include aggravated robbery, aggravated kidnapping, and arson.
A capital felony conviction can result in a sentence of death or life imprisonment without parole. The most common capital felony criminal offense is murder.
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