By definition, a felony means a severe matter. In contrast, we can define a misdemeanor offense as a trivial matter. To understand felonies in Texas, we should know the different types of felonies the state can charge us with.
What is a First Degree Felony in Texas?
First-degree felonies are the most severe degree of felony that an individual can face in the state of Texas. The punishment range on a first-degree felony in the state of Texas is a minimum of five years in the Texas department of corrections (or TDC), with a maximum of 99 years.
Degrees of Felonies
Starting with the least serious felony in the state of Texas, punishment for a state jail felony can be anywhere from 180 days to a maximum of two years in a state jail facility. If someone goes to a state jail facility, we still consider this a prison, although separated and housed in a different part of the TDC unit. No “good time credit” exists for State jail sentences. Thus inmates receive only one day of credit for each actual day served.
One step up, or one level more severe than a state jail felony, is a third-degree felony in the state of Texas. A third-degree felony has a punishment range of 2 to 10 years in the Texas Department of Corrections.
A more severe felony is a second-degree felony. A felony of this variety carries a minimum punishment range of two to 20 years under Texas Sentencing Laws in the Texas Department of Corrections.
Examples of 1st Degree Felonies
Concerning a first-degree felony, depending on circumstances in your criminal history, it is possible the first-degree felony can have a minimum punishment of 15 years if you’ve previously been to TDC or 25 years minimum punishment if you’ve been to TDC on two separate occasions. There are also a couple of other enhancements of 15 years minimum with regard to large aggregate weights of hard street drugs.
In addition to lengthy prison sentences, first-degree felonies can come with a hefty fine. Fines on a first-degree felony can be up to $10,000.
First-degree felonies include:
- burglary with assault
- capital murder
- aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and
- aggravated robbery.
In addition, large amounts of drugs can also fit into first-degree felonies.
While first-degree felonies don’t usually carry the death penalty in Texas, the death penalty is an option if a first-degree felony charge is a capital felony.
What are the Penalties for First Degree Felonies in Texas?
In most instances, capital felonies in Texas are charged when one or more people are murdered, and usually in conjunction with committing another felony at the same time. A class example of a capital felony would be a robbery where the victim is also murdered.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a felony offense, remember to contact an experienced attorney. This is the best decision you can make at this point, no matter if it is a state jail felony, a third-degree felony, second-degree felony, or a first-degree felony, you need to have an experienced attorney on your side.
Some of the most common questions The Law Office of James Gill receives regarding first-degree felonies is whether the case is probation eligible or a mandatory prison sentence.
The answer is the vast majority of first-degree felonies are probation eligible unless the accused was previously convicted of a felony and did actual TDC prison time. In this type of instance, the state has additional leverage over an accused as they would not be probation eligible from a jury should they decide to take their case all the way.
In this instance, however, it is possible to negotiate a probation term with the prosecutor before trial.
If you’re convicted of a first-degree felony in the state of Texas, many doors will close to you.
Examples of consequences of the first-degree felony conviction include:
- losing the right to vote
- permanently losing the right to own guns or ammunition
- trouble obtaining credit to purchase housing or renting an apartment
- difficulty securing employment at a reputable company
- A barrier to entry into the country of Canada.
Hire Expert Criminal Lawyer, James Gill for 1st Degree Felonies in Texas
Understanding the intricacies of felony criminal law requires an experienced criminal defense attorney. Knowing whether or not someone’s probation eligible from a judge or jury or whether a specific charge is even probation eligible from the beginning is absolutely imperative when crafting your best defense. Many clients of the loss of James Gill have expressed concerns about going to prison if they are charged with the first degree felony.
At the loss of James Gill we never expect our clients to have to do any prison time and will fight to do anything we can to prevent the government from taking away your freedom.
If you are convicted of a felony many of your rights and freedoms will be taken away from you. These include the right to vote in the right to bear arms. Two of the most fundamental rights as American can be legally taken away from you if you’re convicted of a felony. It does not make any difference if it is a first second or third-degree felony or state jail felony felony conviction is a felony conviction. Make sure if you were facing the first degree felony charge did you reach out to experience criminal defense attorney is handled numerous felony cases with successful results.
If you or your loved ones have been charged with a first-degree felony in the state of Texas, your first phone call should be to contact the law office of James Gill to get started on the case immediately!