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Third Degree Felony

The criminal justice system classifies crimes under two categories; misdemeanors or felonies. A felony offense is much more serious than a misdemeanor charge. If you’re convicted, you could be required to pay large fines and even be sent to prison.

Felony charges are separated by degrees. The lightest felony sentence involving prison time is a third-degree felony. However, this doesn’t mean a third-degree felony carries light penalties. A third-degree felony can result in up to 10 years in prison. In addition, you’ll battle with your new label as a “felon.” Felons can have issues gaining employment, housing and in their personal lives.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a third-degree felony, it’s imperative that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Lawyer for Third Degree Felony in Austin, Texas

A third-degree felony is a serious charge in the state of Texas. A conviction can land you in jail for up to ten years. If you’ve been charged with a third-degree felony, there is no time to be idle. Contact Kevin Bennett, an experienced attorney in the Travis County area.

Kevin Bennett is a skilled lawyer who has a passion for criminal defense. He handles each case personally, so his clients get the best possible outcome for their case. Call today and schedule a free consultation today. The Law Office of Kevin Bennett practices law throughout the greater Austin area including Sunset Valley, Rollingwood, Lago Vista and Pflugerville.


Overview of Third-Degree Felonies in Texas


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What is a Felony of the Third Degree?

Felony offenses are classified under five different felony degrees. The crimes are categorized based on the severity of the offense. The more violent the crime is the lower their degree number will be. If aggravating factors are found in a felony offense, the penalties may be enhanced.

What separates a felony and a misdemeanor are the penalties. A felony offense has much more severe consequences than a misdemeanor. In addition, only people convicted of a felony go to prison. Misdemeanants can only serve a jail sentence if they’re convicted. Both offense types can lead to expensive fines.

Texas Penal Code § 12.34 states a person who is guilty of a felony of the third degree:

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

Remember these are the minimum and maximum sentencing requirements for a third-degree felony. You must serve at least two years if you’re convicted of a third-degree felony. However, you could possibly be sentenced to 5, 6, 7 or anything up to 10 years in prison.


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Examples of a Third-Degree Felony

Third-degree felony charges are incredibly serious. You could be saddled with expensive fines and face a prison sentence. Taking legal action as quickly as possible is the best way to combat your charges. Do that today and call an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your attorney can evaluate your charges, go over your legal options and fight for you in court.

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

  • Intoxication assault;
  • Third DWI offense;
  • Stalking;
  • Possessing a firearm as a felon;
  • Violating a protective order for a third time;
  • Indecent exposure to a child;
  • Tampering with evidence;
  • Deadly conduct with a firearm;
  • Escape from custody for a felony; and
  • Aggravated perjury.

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Habitual and Repeat Felony Offenders

People with multiple felonies on their record may struggle with the label of habitual and repeat felony offender. Texas has habitual and repeat felony offender laws to deter people from repeatedly committing crimes. If you’re labeled as a habitual and repeat offender, then you may have enhanced penalties.

Texas Penal Code § 12.42 states if you’re charged with a first-degree offense and have a prior felony conviction, then the crime will be reclassified as a second-degree felony. This law doesn’t apply to prior state jail felony convictions. A second-degree felony is punishable by:

  • Minimum sentence of no less than 2 years;
  • Maximum sentence of no more than 20 years; and
  • A possible fine of up to $10,000.

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Hate Crime Enhancement in Austin, Texas

A felony can also be enhanced if it’s labeled as a hate crime. Texas Penal Code § 12.47 states all hate crimes must be reclassified up one degree of the original penalty. This would mean your third-degree felony would turn into a second-degree felony.

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

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

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Other Types of Felonies in Texas

Texas has other felony classifications based on the severity of the offense. Each felony degree has its own sentencing ranges and associated fines if you’re convicted. The only felony type that doesn’t result in prison time is a state jail felony.

Listed below are the different felony classifications under Texas law.

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

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Additional Resources

Texas Sentencing Laws – Visit the official website for the Texas Penal Code and find more information about felony offenses. Access the statues to learn more about felony crimes, possible enhancements and more details on the habitual and repeat offenders.

Penal Code Offenses – Visit a document provided by the Texas Attorney General which lists the punishment ranges of Texas criminal offenses. Access the site to learn more about felonies for domestic violence, violent crimes, sexual offenses and more.

Lawyer for Third Degree Felony in Travis County, Texas

If you or someone you know has been charged with a third-degree felony, it’s important that you contact a skilled criminal defense attorney. You could face up to ten years in prison and expensive fines. Don’t go through this process alone. Contact Kevin Bennett today for legal representation.

Kevin Bennett is an experienced attorney who has represented numerous people charged with third-degree felonies. He will work diligently to uncover all your possible legal options. Don’t take any chances when it comes to your freedom. Call Kevin Bennett today 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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