What is a Misdemeanor in Texas?
Individuals are arrested everyday in Austin, Texas and the majority of these arrest will be for misdemeanor crimes. As an Austin misdemeanor Lawyer, I represent clients accused of many different types of misdemeanor crimes. However, it is the classification of the misdemeanor under Texas law that determines the penalty or punishment that an accused faces.
Classes of Misdemeanors in Texas
In Texas, misdemeanor criminal offenses are defined as any crime that is punishable by one year, or less, in the county jail. There are three different levels of misdemeanors, each of which carries its own penalty range. In descending order of seriousness, they are: 1) Class A misdemeanors, 2) Class B misdemeanors, and 3) Class C misdemeanors. Austin misdemeanor lawyer Kevin Bennett provides defense against misdemeanor and other criminal charges in Texas.
Class A Misdemeanors
Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in the county jail, and/or a fine of up to $4000.
Class A misdemeanors are considered the most serious type of misdemeanor in Texas.
Examples of Class A Misdemeanors include:
- Driving While Intoxicated (2nd Offense)
- DWI (BAC >.15)
- Assault causing bodily injury
- Assault causing bodily injury to a family member (family violence)
- Unlawfully carrying a weapon
- Possession of marijuana (more than 2 ounces, but less than 4 ounces)
- Resisting arrest
- Domestic Violence
- Burglary of a vehicle
- Unlawful restraint
- Violation of a protective order
Class B Misdemeanors
Class B misdemeanors can result in a sentence of up to 180 days in the county jail, and/or a fine of up to $2,000.
Class B misdemeanor are considered less serious than Class A Misdemeanors, but more serious than Class C Misdmeanors.
Examples of Class B misdemeanors include:
- Driving While Intoxicated (first offense)
- Terroristic Threat
- Indecent Exposure
- Evading arrest on foot
- Criminal trespass
- Possession of marijuana (under 2 ounces)
- Reckless driving
Class C Misdemeanors
Class C misdemeanors are punishable by fine only. In most cases, the maximum fine you can receive upon conviction for a Class C misdemeanor is $500.
Class C misdemeanors are considered the least serious type of criminal offense in Texas. However, conviction of any Class C misdemeanor can result in a permeneant criminal record.
Examples of Class C misdemeanors include:
- Public intoxication (PI)
- Minor in possession of alcohol (MIP)
- Minor in consumption of alcohol (MIC)
- Theft under $50
- Possession of alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle
- Driving under the influence of alcohol by a minor (DUI)
- Shoplifting under $50
- Assault by contact (simple assault)
Will I have a Criminal Record?
In addition to facing possible jail time and expensive fines, a conviction for any misdemeanor offense can result in a permeneant criminal record. It is important to take any misdemeanor charge seriously, as a misdemeanor conviction on your criminal record can negatively impact your life in many different ways. You may a have difficult time getting the job. You could be denied admission to college, graduate school or the military. You may even have a difficult time renting a home or an apartment.
Contact a Austin Misdemeanor Lawyer
If you have been arrested or charged with a misdemeanor crime in Austin, Texas, contact a criminal defense lawyer in Austin who cares about your future and will fight to protect your criminal record. To get started on the defense of your misdemenor or felony criminal case, contact the Law Office of Kevin Bennett at (512) 476-4626. You may also contact us through email.