Understanding the Different Types of Misdemeanor Offenses in Texas
November 20th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Misdemeanor Crimes
Texas law divides misdemeanor crimes into three categories, each of which comes with its own range of penalties. The specifics of a defense strategy depends largely on the type of crime that a person is being charged with, so if you were recently arrested for or charged with a criminal offense in Texas, it is important to contact a Houston misdemeanor crime lawyer who is well-versed in criminal defense and can walk you through your legal options.
Class C Misdemeanors
Class C misdemeanors are the least severe category of misdemeanor crimes in Texas and include everything from traffic violations and disorderly conduct to theft of property worth less than $50 and public intoxication. Class C misdemeanors are usually treated as ticketable offenses and are punishable by a $500 fine. While they may not come with jail time, a conviction for a Class C offense will, however, still appear on a background check by prospective employers. Prior convictions can also have repercussions on later charges.
Class B Misdemeanors
Class B misdemeanors are the second most serious type of misdemeanor offense in Texas and comes with heftier fines and potential jail time. Common Class B misdemeanors include less severe offenses like criminal trespass, but also include more serious crimes, such as:
- Criminal trespass;
- Criminal mischief;
- The failure to pay child support, which can also be charged as a felony;
- Possession of up to two ounces of marijuana; and
- First offense DWI.
A Class B misdemeanor offense can result in arrest upon accusation, as well as up to six months in jail and a fine of $2,000 fine for those who are convicted. While not as serious as Class A offenses, Class B convictions on a criminal record can lead to enhanced charges down the road.
Class A Misdemeanors
Class A misdemeanors are the most serious of the misdemeanor offenses in Texas and have little separation from felonies. Common Class A misdemeanor crimes include:
- Resisting or evading arrest;
- Assault resulting in bodily injury;
- Assault involving a family member; and
- Third offense DWIs.
These types of charges are reserved for the most severe offenses, as even first time offenders face up to a year in jail and a fine of $4,000. Fortunately, prosecutors are often willing to reduce these types of charges in certain cases, making it especially important for those who have been accused of a Class A misdemeanor offense, to speak with an attorney about formulating a strong defense.
Experienced Legal Representation
Having a criminal record can have significant repercussions on a person’s life, making it difficult to find housing or secure employment. Certain convictions can even impact a person’s right to visitation with his or her child, so if you have questions about the consequences of your own charges, please call 281-962-7817 or fill out our online contact form and a member of our legal team will help you set up an initial consultation with one of the dedicated misdemeanor crime lawyers at The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates in Houston, Galveston or League City today.