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Second Degree Felony

Crimes in Texas are classified as either a felony or misdemeanor. Felonies are divided into four degrees based on their severity. One of these is called a second-degree felony, which is reserved for serious crimes such as arson or robbery. A second-degree felony can result in serious fines and possible prison time.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a second-degree felony, it’s imperative that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. You could be facing up to 20 years in prison while juggling expensive fines. Don’t live in uncertainty for another moment. Contact Kevin Bennett to speak to a skilled attorney.

Attorney for Second Degree Felonies in Travis County, Texas

Have you been charged with a second-degree felony in the state of Texas? It’s important you start taking steps to formulate a strong defense today. If you or someone you know has been charged with a second-degree felony, then contact Kevin Bennett for legal representation.

Kevin Bennett is an experienced criminal defense attorney. He understands how confusing and overwhelming the criminal justice system is. That’s why he gives his undivided attention to his client’s questions and needs. Contact him today at (512) 476-4626 to schedule a free consultation.

The Law Office of Kevin Bennett accepts clients throughout the greater Travis County area including Rollingwood, Lakeway, Sunset Valley and Austin.

Overview of Second-Degree Felonies in Texas

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What is a Felony of the Second Degree?

Offenses with severe punishments are often called felonies. Texas divides felonies into four separate degrees. A felony differs from a misdemeanor because it can result in a prison sentence, while a misdemeanor can result in jail time. However, both offense types come with expensive fines and a criminal record.

A second-degree felony is an incredibly serious offense under Texas law. It also has a minimum mandatory prison sentence if you’re convicted. This means you cannot bypass a prison sentence. Texas Penal Code § 12.13 states the penalty for a second-degree felony.

“…Felony of the second degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for any term of not more than 20 years or less than 2 years. In addition, a person adjudged guilty of a second-degree felony may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.”

It’s important you understand these are just the minimum and maximum sentencing requirements. You could possibly sentenced with 10 years, 13 years or any other punishment that is between 2 and 20 years.

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Examples of a Second-Degree Felony in Texas

A second-degree felony charge is nothing to take lightly. The associated penalties are enough to change your entire life. Unfortunately, the consequences don’t stop there. On release you may struggle with being labeled as a “felon.” You could have issues gaining employment, housing, or maintaining personal relationships.

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

  • Arson;
  • Robbery;
  • Sexual assault;
  • Bribery;
  • Bigamy;
  • Second stalking offense;
  • Evading arrest and another person died as a result of it;
  • Improper educator-student relationship;
  • Online solicitation of a minor under the age of 14;
  • Human trafficking;
  • Manslaughter;
  • Intoxication manslaughter;
  • Possessing 50 pounds or more of marijuana; and
  • Indecent contact with a child.

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Habitual and Repeat Felony Offenders in Texas

People who repeatedly commit felony offenses may be subject to Texas’s habitual and repeat felony offender laws. A repeat and habitual felony offender could face enhanced penalties including mandatory prison sentences.

Texas Penal Code § 12.42 states that if you’re charged with a second-degree offense and have a prior felony conviction, then the charges will be reclassified as a first-degree felony. This statute doesn’t apply to prior state jail felony convictions. The penalty for a first-degree felony includes:

  • Minimum prison sentence of 5 years;
  • Maximum prison sentence of 99 years or life; and
  • A possible fine of up to $10,000.

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Hate Crime Enhancement in Texas

Another way a felony can be enhanced is if it’s classified as a hate crime. Texas Penal Code § 12.47 states that your charges could be reclassified up a degree if the crime was committed because of bias or prejudice. This would mean your charges would enhance from a second-degree felony to a first-degree felony.

A hate crime is any offense that was committed because of a person’s bias on:

  • Race;
  • Gender;
  • Sexual orientation;
  • Ethnicity;
  • Age; or
  • Religion

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Other Types of Felonies in Texas

Texas has five different felony classifications. Each has their own sentencing ranges and an applicable fine if you’re convicted. State jail felonies are the only felony classification that doesn’t result in prison time. Listed below are the different felony classifications under Texas law.

  • State Jail Felony
    • Up to 180 days in jail; and
    • A possible fine of up to $2,000
  • Third-Degree Felony
    • Up to 10 years in prison; and
    • A possible fine of up to $10,000.
  • First-Degree Felony
    • Minimum of five years;
    • Maximum of 99 years or life in prison; and
    • A possible fine of up to $10,000.
  • Capital Felony
    • Life in prison without parole; or
    • Death by lethal injection.

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Additional Resources

Texas Sentencing Laws – Visit the official website for Texas Penal Code to find more information about felonies. Learn how Texas classifies felonies, what their penalties are, and any possible enhancements.

Texas Criminal Justice Process – Visit a document provided by the State Bar of Texas Criminal Justice Section. Access the citizen’s guide to the Texas criminal justice process to find more information about second-degree felonies.  Find more information about the trial process, possible enhancements and your rights.

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Lawyer for Second Degree Felonies in Austin, Texas

If you or someone you know has been charged with a second-degree felony, it’s imperative that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. A skilled attorney can evaluate your charges and uncover the best legal option for your case.

Contact Kevin Bennett for an experienced criminal defense attorney. He has represented numerous people charged with second-degree felonies. With his skills and techniques, Kevin Bennett can defend your rights in court. Call today at (512) 476-4626 to schedule a free consultation.

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

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