Misdemeanors and Felonies: Consequences of Conviction
Criminal offenses carry stiff penalties under Texas laws. The actual punishment for a crime depends on the nature of the crime, and its categorization under the law. A criminal defense lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and yourself against your criminal charge.
It is critically important to get sound legal help after being criminally charged because the penalties for a crime can include hefty fines, jail time, and probation. Additionally, the criminal conviction may also become a permanent part of your record, creating issues in getting employment, housing, and insurance in the future.
Here is a look at the key consequences you may face after being convicted of a felony or misdemeanor.
Potential Consequences of a Misdemeanor Conviction
Misdemeanors are relatively lighter offenses that carry lower penalties. Texas Penal Code Chapter 12 classifies misdemeanors into three categories:
- Class A Misdemeanors – The most serious misdemeanors fall into this category. As a result, the penalties are also the harshest. You can expect up to 1 year behind bars for being convicted of a Class A misdemeanor. In addition, you may also be fined up to $4,000.
- Class B Misdemeanors – These are less severe violations of the law than Class A misdemeanors. If the police arrest you and you are charged with a Class B misdemeanor, you can be jailed for up to 180 days. You may also have to pay a fine of up to $2,000.
- Class C Misdemeanors – Class C misdemeanors are the mildest category of offenses in this class. This particular category carries no jail time.
You can face a fine of up to $500 for the offense.
Potential Consequences of a Felony Conviction
Felonies are a more serious class of criminal offenses. Texas law stipulates harsher punishments for felony offenses. Like misdemeanors, felonies are also divided into several categories:
- Capital Felony – The most serious and violent criminal offenses belong in this category. The punishment for a capital felony is execution.
- First-Degree Felony – First-degree felonies include the second tier of the most serious legal offenses. Penalties include from 5 years to life in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
- Second-Degree Felony – Second-degree felony offenses are relatively less serious than first-degree offenses. However, they still carry harsh penalties. You face a jail time of up to 20 years for the offense. You may also be fined up to $10,000.
- Third-Degree Felony – The penalties for third-degree felonies include a jail time of up to 10 years, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
- State-Jail Felony – State-level felonies are the felony offenses that are determined as such under the state laws. You are typically sentenced to federal prison for most felony offenses. For state-jail felonies, you may be sent to state prison for a period of up to 2 years, face a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
Other Possible Consequences of a Criminal Conviction
The legal penalties of a criminal conviction are not the only consequences you may face after being convicted. There is a broad range of other consequences you must also contend with:
- Employment – A criminal offense will typically become a permanent part of your record if you are convicted. Many employers won’t be keen on hiring ex-cons, as it may cause them more trouble and/or costs with insurance, liability, or team/office stresses.
- Insurance – Insurance companies offer policies based on an assessment of the risk you present. A criminal record can be used as an excuse to deem you a high-risk individual. This can cause the company to offer you higher policy rates.
- Education – A criminal conviction can lead a college to bar you from seeking admission. You may also face rejection when applying for educational scholarships and grants.
- Residence and Housing – If you are residing in the U.S. as an immigrant, a criminal conviction can carry serious consequences. Your visa may be canceled and you may face deportation. In either event, a homeowner may also refuse to rent to you as a result. This is particularly so if you are convicted of a crime involving abuse, drugs, or violence.
- Drivers License – If you are convicted of a crime involving drugs or alcohol, your driver’s license can be suspended. You will then need to apply for temporary licensing privileges.
- Parenting – Criminal convictions in Dallas, Texas as a parent can cause you to lose your parenting privileges. If a court determines that you are not fit for parenting, your kids may be taken from you, placed under foster care, or the custody may be given to the other parent.
Discover How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
If you have been convicted of a criminal offense in Dallas, you should look into legal help right away. If we take on your case, our lawyers at Chris Lewis & Associates P.C. will work with you to explore all your legal options. We also may be able to help you mitigate the adverse consequences of the case by seeking a dismissal or reduction of the charges.
Fill out the form below or call us now at 214-984-3113 to discuss your criminal case with our lawyers.