Types of Misdemeanor Crimes in Texas

Understanding minor (misdemeanor) crimes in Texas means knowing how they’re grouped and what they mean. Texas splits these crimes into three types—A, B, and C. Type A is the most serious, and C is the least. This article helps explain what crimes fit into each group and what punishment they might bring. It also talks about how to get a bail bond if you’re dealing with a misdemeanor, including how much it might cost and how to find a good bail bond service. If you’re caught up in the legal system or just want to learn more, this guide gives you a good overview of minor crimes and how bail bonds work in Texas.

Key Takeaways

  • Misdemeanors are split into three classes based on severity: Class A (most serious), Class B (moderate), and Class C (least serious).
  • Penalties vary by class: Class A can include up to $4,000 in fines and/or one year in jail; Class B up to $2,000 in fines and/or 180 days in jail; Class C up to $500 in fines, with no jail time.
  • Class A misdemeanors include assault causing bodily injury and theft of property valued between $750 and $2,500.
  • Class B misdemeanors include first-time DWI and theft of property valued between $100 and $750.
  • Class C misdemeanors include public intoxication and minor in possession of alcohol.
  • Bail bonds are a way to secure release from jail while awaiting trial, with costs typically ranging from 10% to 20% of the total bail amount.
  • Choosing a reputable bail bonds service is crucial for a smooth release process. Look for agencies with positive feedback and clear policies.
  • Southern Bail Bonds is one of the top bail bondsman companies in Texas.

What is a Misdemeanor Crime in Texas?

The Texas Penal Code for punishments can be found in Title 3, Chapter 12 Subchapter 3, Section 12.03

In Texas, a misdemeanor crime is a type of criminal act that is less severe than a felony. These offenses range from minor infractions to activities that border on felony-level seriousness. The state of Texas categorizes misdemeanors into three classes—Class A, B, and C—to differentiate these crimes based on their severity, with Class A being the most serious and Class C the least. The penalties for misdemeanors can include a mix of fines, community service, and incarceration for up to one year in county jail. Understanding the differences and potential consequences of misdemeanor charges is important to get through the legal process and making informed decisions concerning defense strategies and bail bonds. While less serious than a felony charge, a misdemeanor conviction can still cost you a lot of money and jail time, resulting in job loss, financial hardship, and loss of your freedom.

Categories of Misdemeanor Crimes

Texas categorizes misdemeanor offenses into three distinct classes: Class A, Class B, and Class C misdemeanors, which classifies the severity of each offense, with Class A misdemeanors denoting the most serious misdemeanors that often lead to the most stringent penalties, including longer durations of incarceration and higher fines. Class B misdemeanors represent crimes of a moderate nature, receiving intermediate penalties. Class C misdemeanors, indicate crimes of a lesser severity and usually resulting in lesser fines and no jail time.

Class A Misdemeanors

Class A misdemeanors represent the highest tier of misdemeanor offenses in Texas, characterized by their significant potential penalties. Individuals convicted of such crimes may face fines reaching up to $4,000 and/or incarceration for a period not exceeding one year. Offenses categorized under this class are deemed serious, though they do not escalate to the level of felonies. Notable examples include assault causing bodily injury and theft of property valued between $750 and $2,500.

Class B Misdemeanors

Occupying the middle ground, Class B misdemeanors are associated with moderate penalties, which might include fines up to $2,000 and/or jail time of up to 180 days. This classification covers offenses that are serious but warrant less severe punishment compared to Class A misdemeanors. Frequent instances of Class B misdemeanors are first-time DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) offenses and theft of property valued between $100 and $750.

Class C Misdemeanors

At the base of the misdemeanor hierarchy are Class C misdemeanors, distinguished by their relatively minor nature. Convictions under this category may attract fines up to $500, with no jail time imposed. These offenses typically involve non-violent actions or minor legal infractions. Examples include public intoxication and minor in possession of alcohol. Grasping the nuances between these classes is essential for understanding their respective legal implications and the bail bond procedures applicable to each misdemeanor level in Texas.

Examples of Class A Misdemeanors

Class A misdemeanors in Texas cover a range of offenses considered serious within the misdemeanor classification. These include assault causing bodily injury, where an individual inflicts physical harm on another; simple assault, characterized by a threat or physical contact deemed offensive; and assault with family violence, which involves violence within a domestic context. Other notable examples are burglary of a vehicle, indicating unauthorized entry with the intent to commit a felony or theft, and possession of up to 4 ounces of marijuana, which specifies the legal threshold for drug possession under this class. Additionally, a DWI (second offense) is classified as a Class A misdemeanor, underscoring the increased legal repercussions for repeated drunk driving incidents.

  • Assault causing bodily injury involves an individual intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly inflicting physical harm upon another. This offense is particularly serious due to its direct impact on the victim’s physical health.
  • Simple assault encompasses threats of violence or any unwelcome physical contact deemed offensive by the victim. This broad definition captures a range of behaviors under the umbrella of assault.
  • Assault with family violence specifically targets assaults committed against a family member, household member, or a current or former dating partner, underlining the legal effort to protect intimate and familial relationships from violence.
  • Burglary of a vehicle refers to the illegal entry into a vehicle with the intention to commit any felony or theft therein, focusing on the violation of personal property rights.
  • Unauthorized entry into a locked vehicle highlights the act of entering a vehicle without permission, with a particular emphasis on the vehicle being locked, showcasing the unlawful breach of personal security measures.
  • Possession of up to 4 ounces of marijuana is deemed illegal, setting the boundary at which drug possession escalates to a Class A misdemeanor, reflecting the legal limits on controlled substances.
  • Possession without intent to distribute delineates holding illegal drugs for personal use rather than for sale or distribution, differentiating it from offenses involving drug trafficking.
  • A DWI (second offense) signifies a repeat offense of driving while intoxicated, highlighting the increased severity and legal consequences due to the recurrent nature of the violation.

Examples of Class B Misdemeanors

Class B misdemeanors in Texas occupy a middle ground in terms of severity, involving offenses that carry substantial yet comparatively milder penalties than those classified as Class A. Among these offenses is DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) for first-time offenders, highlighting the state’s stringent stance on maintaining road safety. Criminal trespass points to the unlawful entry or occupation of someone else’s property without permission, emphasizing respect for property rights. Harassment, whether through direct contact, electronic means, or other methods, underscores the importance of safeguarding personal safety and mental well-being. The category also includes theft of property valued at less than $750 and possession of 2 ounces or less of marijuana, marking legal boundaries for property-related crimes and controlled substance infractions, respectively. Lastly, reckless driving is noted for its potential to endanger public safety.

  • DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) marks a significant offense as a Class B misdemeanor for first-time offenders in Texas, underscoring the state’s dedication to road safety by penalizing those who drive under the influence.
  • Criminal trespass is defined by unlawfully entering or staying on someone else’s property without permission, illustrating the legal emphasis on upholding property rights.
  • This act, closely related to criminal trespass, highlights the illegality of occupying property without the owner’s explicit consent, reinforcing the importance of property ownership and personal space.
  • Harassment encompasses a range of behaviors, from physical presence to electronic communication, aimed at protecting individuals from unwanted and harmful interactions.
  • Committing theft of property valued at less than $750 categorizes as a Class B misdemeanor, establishing a clear benchmark for property-related offenses and their legal repercussions.
  • Possession of 2 ounces or less of marijuana is delineated within this misdemeanor class, reflecting the state’s stance on controlled substances and setting boundaries for legal possession.
  • Reckless driving is identified as a behavior that significantly endangers public safety, classified as a Class B misdemeanor to highlight the critical nature of responsible driving.

Examples of Class C Misdemeanors

Class C misdemeanors in Texas are the least severe class of offenses, generally resulting in fines but not incarceration. Among these are public intoxication, characterized by an individual’s impaired condition in a public space, posing a risk to themselves or others. Disorderly conduct also falls into this category, encompassing actions such as fighting in public or generating unreasonable noise, which highlight the law’s intent to preserve public peace. Another notable example is minor in possession of alcohol, underscoring the legal restrictions against underage drinking. These instances reflect the spectrum of behaviors deemed as minor legal infractions within the state, pointing to Texas’s commitment to addressing actions that compromise public safety and well-being, albeit on a less severe scale compared to more serious offenses.

  • Public intoxication is defined by an individual’s visible intoxication in a public setting, which could potentially pose a risk to themselves or others, categorized as a Class C misdemeanor.
  • This specific offense underscores scenarios where an individual’s intoxication in public not only becomes evident but also leads to disruptive conduct, emphasizing the legal limits on public behavior.