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First Degree Felony

Texas classifies a crime’s severity by its offense level or degree. A first-degree felony is one of the most serious charges you can face in the Texas criminal system and the second highest offense under capital felonies. If you’re charged with a first-degree felony, you could very well face life in prison.

The majority of first-degree felonies are reserved for violent crimes. Some of these include aggravated robbery or aggravated assault on a public servant. However, you can be charged with a first-degree felony for a nonviolent crime such as money laundering.  It’s not just important, but essential that you gain quality legal representation if you’re charged with a first-degree felony.

Attorney for First Degree Felonies in Austin, Texas

It’s important that you start your defense as soon as possible. The penalties for a first-degree felony can uproot your whole life. You may have to serve time in prison and pay expensive fines. In addition, you will have to struggle with the label of ‘felon’ after your release.

Fortunately, you have other options to sort through. If you or someone you know has been charged with a first-degree felony, it’s crucial that you contact an experienced attorney. Hiring an attorney can significantly increase your chances of reducing or dismissing your charges.

Find that attorney today with Kevin Bennett. He’s an experienced lawyer with years of criminal defense knowledge. Using his skills, Kevin Bennett can create an efficient and sturdy defense for you. Call (512) 476-4626 for a free consultation.

The Law Office of Kevin Bennett represents clients throughout the greater Travis County area including Sunset Valley, Lakeway, West Lake Hills, Austin and Lago Vista.


Overview of First-Degree Felonies in Texas


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 What is a Felony of the First Degree?

Texas categorizes offenses in five different felony degrees and three misdemeanor classes. Serious crimes, especially violent ones, are usually given the felony label under Texas law. A felony offense can also result in a prison sentence, while a misdemeanor may only leads to jail time. Both offenses include expensive fines.

A first-degree felony is one of the most serious types of offenses behind only capital felonies. It has the broadest prison sentence range of any other felony degrees. It also has a minimum prison sentence that you must serve if you’re convicted. Texas Statute § 12.32 states that a:

“… Felony of the first degree for life or any term of not more than 99 years or less than 5 years. In addition to imprisonment, an individual adjudged guilty of a first-degree felony may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000. “

This means you’re required to serve at least a five-year prison sentence if convicted for a first-degree felony. However, this is just the minimum sentencing requirement. It’s possible that you could face 10, 20, 30 years or even up to life in prison if convicted.


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Examples of a First-Degree Felony

Being charged with a first-degree felony is incredibly serious. This means the crime you committed is serious enough for a minimum prison sentence. It’s important that you hire an attorney to assess your charges. They can create a defense strategy to reduce or dismiss your charges.

Listed below are some examples of a first -degree felony.

  • Aggravated robbery;
  • Aggravated assault on a public servant;
  • Aggravated kidnapping;
  • Escaping from custody that results in serious bodily injury of another;
  • Burglarizing a habitation with the intention to commit a felony;
  • Inflicting serious bodily injury to a child, elderly person or disabled person;
  • Arson of a habitation that results in death;
  • Human trafficking a person under the age of 14;
  • Soliciting for capital murder; and
  • Aggravated sexual assault against a child.

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Habitual and Repeat Felony Offenders in Texas

Texas has laws to deter people from repeatedly committing felony crimes. Repeat and habitual felony offenders may face enhanced penalties and mandatory prison sentences. Texas Penal Code § 12.42 states that if you are currently charged with a first-degree felony and have a prior felony conviction, you may have enhanced penalties. This rule doesn’t apply if the prior conviction is a state jail felony.

Repeat and habitual felony offenders who commit a first-degree felony may face:

  • A minimum prison sentence of up to 15 years;
  • A maximum prison sentence of up to 99 years or life imprisonment; and
  • Possible fine of up to $10,000.

A repeat and habitual felony offender can be punished for life if they are currently convicted of:

  • Human trafficking;
  • Indecency with a child;
  • Aggravated sexual assault;
  • Aggravated kidnapping if the intent was to abuse the victim sexually;
  • A burglary with the intent to commit any of the above felonies.

Repeat and habitual offender must have a previous felony conviction in one of the following offenses to receive a life sentence.

  • Sexual performance of a child;
  • Possession or promotion of child pornography;
  • Obscenity;
  • Child trafficking;
  • Continuous sexual abuse of a young child or children;
  • Indecency with a child;
  • Sexual assault;
  • Aggravated sexual assault;
  • Prohibited sexual conduct;
  • Aggravated kidnapping if the intent was to abuse the victim sexually; or
  • Burglary with the intent to commit of any of the offenses mentioned above.

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Additional Resources

Texas Sentencing Laws – Visit the official website for the Texas Penal Code to find more information about felony offenses. Learn the punishments for first-degree felonies, second-degree felonies and first-degree felonies.

Felony Flow Chart – Visit a document provided by the Travis County Sheriff. Access the site to view the Sheriff’s Felony Flow Chart. Learn the criminal process and how an offense is dismissed, determined no guilty or convicted.


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Lawyer for First Degree Felony Charges in Travis County, Texas

If you or someone you know has been charged with a first-degree felony, it’s crucial that you contact an experienced attorney. You could be facing life changing penalties including 99 years in prison. Protect your future now by calling Kevin Bennett.

Kevin Bennett is an experienced attorney who can help you. He has represented countless felony cases in the Travis County area. Rest assured, Kevin Bennett will work tirelessly to help you get the best possible result for your case. Call now at (512) 476-4626 for a free consultation.

The Law Office of Kevin Bennett practices law throughout the greater Travis County area including Austin, Pflugerville, Lago Vista and Lakeway.


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