Author:
Kris Seago
Subject:
Government/Political Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Level:
Academic Lower Division
Provider:
Austin Community College
Tags:
ACC Liberal Arts, ACC OER
License:
Creative Commons Attribution
Language:
English
Media Formats:
Text/HTML

Course Inventories

Classifying Criminal Offenses in Texas

Overview

Classifying Criminal Offenses in Texas

Learning Objective

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Understand how Texas classifies criminal offenses

Introduction

The vast majority of crimes are prosecuted at the state level. In every state, crimes are put into distinct categories. The categories are usually “felony,” and “misdemeanor." Decisions on crime classification are made by state legislators; the determination focuses on the seriousness of the crime. This section discusses the classification Texas uses.

Classification of Criminal Offenses in Texas

There are two types of crimes in Texas: misdemeanors and felonies.

Misdemeanors are considered minor crimes, and felonies are defined as major crimes. Misdemeanors and felonies are in turn classified according to the relative seriousness of the offense into three and five categories, respectively.

 

Offense

Punishment

Court of Original Jurisdiction

Murder(Capital Felony)

Examples: Murder of a law enforcement official, prison guard, or firefighter on duty; commits murder with other types of felonies; murder for hire; mass murder; murder of someone under the age of 10

Life without parole or death penalty

District

First-degree felony

Examples: Murder; theft of property worth over $200,000

5-99 years in prison, and possible maximum fine of

$10,000

District

Second-degree felony

Examples: Manslaughter; theft of property worth between $100,000-200,000

2-20 years in prison, and possible maximum fine of $10,000

District

Third-degree felony

Examples: Impersonating someone online; theft of property worth $20,000-100,000

2-10 years in prison, and possible maximum fine of $10,000

District

State Jail Felony

Examples: Possession of 4 ounces to 1lb of marijuana; theft of property worth $15,000-20,000

180 days-2 years in prison, and possible maximum fine of $10,000

District

Class A Misdemeanor

Examples: Resisting arrests; theft of property worth $500-1,500

maximum of 1 year in prison, and/or maximum fine of $4,000

County

Class B Misdemeanor

Examples: Terroristic threat; theft of property worth $20-500

maximum of 180 days in prison, and/or maximum fine of $2,000

County

Class C Misdemeanor

Examples: theft of property worth less than $20; a person under the age of 21 purchases, attempts to purchase, or in possession of alcohol

maximum fine $500

Justice of the Peace or Municipal

Table 12.1 Classifications of Criminal Offenses in Texas, from Most Serious to Least Serious

Texting and Driving - Criminal Justice Minute - Texas Business Radio

 

Licensing and Attribution

CC LICENSED CONTENT, ORIGINAL

Sources of Law. Authored by: Kris S. Seago. License: CC BY: Attribution

CC LICENSED CONTENT, ORIGINAL

Criminal Law Penalties: Revision and Adaptation. Authored by: Kris S. Seago. License: CC BY: Attribution