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Understanding the Different Types of Misdemeanor Offenses in Texas

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. 

gavel and book in court room

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) 280-0100 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.