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Texas Misdemeanors vs. Felonies

by | Nov 15, 2021 | Criminal Defense, Felonies, Misdemeanors

There are two main types of criminal offenses in Texas: misdemeanors and felonies. The following blog post is an overview of the differences between a misdemeanor and a felony.


In Texas, misdemeanor offenses carry a maximum local or county jail sentence of up to one year and fines of hundreds or thousands of dollars. There are three classes of misdemeanors – with Class A misdemeanors being the most serious, while Class C misdemeanors are the least serious.

The following are the potential penalties for the three types of misdemeanors in TX:

  • Class A misdemeanor – Punishable by a jail sentence of up to one year and/or a maximum fine of $4,000

  • Class B misdemeanor – Carries a maximum jail term of 180 days (roughly six months) and/or a fine of up to $2,000

  • Class C misdemeanor – Punishable by a maximum fine of 500 – with no jail sentence


Felony offenses are much harsher compared to misdemeanors since a conviction can result in a state prison or state jail sentence. There are five degrees of felonies in Texas – with Capital felonies being the most serious and state jail felonies being the least serious.

The following are the potential punishments for the five types of felonies in TX:

  • Capital felony – Carries the death penalty or life imprisonment without the possibility of parole

  • First-degree felony – Punishable by life imprisonment with the possibility of parole of a prison term between five and 99 years, and/or a maximum fine of $10,000

  • Second-degree felony – Carries a prison sentence ranging from two and 20 years and/or a fine of up to $10,000

  • Third-degree felony – Punishable by imprisonment between two and 10 years and/or a maximum fine of $10,000

  • State jail felony – Carries a state jail term ranging from 180 days to two years and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Let Attorney Peter Barrett Fight for You

Whether you are facing a misdemeanor or felony charge, not only does a conviction may lead to spending a lengthy amount of time behind bars and costly fines, but it can also result in a criminal record, which can make it difficult to find employment, get accepted into college, as well as apply for housing and loans.

With more than 25 years of trial-tested experience, Attorney Peter Barrett has handled thousands of misdemeanor and felony cases in Dallas and the surrounding areas. He can thoroughly assess your situation, listen to your story and concerns, and determine all your legal options to help you obtain the best possible result in court.

If you have been arrested in Dallas, call us at (214) 307-8667 or fill out our online contact form today to request an initial consultation!