Criminal Law in Texas

Texas criminal law involves prosecution by the State of a person for an act or omission that has been designated by the Texas legislature as a crime. In criminal cases for crimes that have a possible punishment of incarceration a prosecutor represents the State through the office of a District Attorney, Criminal District Attorney, County Attorney, State Prosecutor’s Office, or the Texas Attorney General. One of these prosecuting offices initiates a criminal law suit by filing a complaint and later an Indictment or Information. In depth information about the Texas and local criminal justice system, meet with a Board Certified Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorney.

Texas Criminal Offenses

Texas state crimes are essentially broken into three categories: felonies; misdemeanors; and fine only misdemeanors. Felonies are the most serious charges and those range from State Jail Felony to Capital Murder.

Offense Level Penal Code Confinement Potential Fine
State Jail Felony Sec. 12.35 180 days to 2 years in state jail $0 to $10,000
State Jail Felony (Deadly Weapon) Sec. 12.35(c)(1) 2 to 10 years in prison $0 to $10,000
3rd Degree Felony Sec. 12.34 2 to 10 years in prison $0 to $10,000
2nd Degree Felony Sec. 12.33 2 to 20 years in prison $0 to $10,000
1st Degree Felony Sec. 12.32 Life or 5 to 99 years in prison $0 to $10,000
Capital Felony Sec. 12.31 Life in prison or death No Fine
These are general ranges of punishment. Specific offenses or criminal history may dictate a more severe range.

A Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

This is a brief overview of Texas criminal law. However, the area of criminal law is complex and each case is unique. The State Bar of Texas has recognized the complexity of criminal law and created a certification process for criminal attorneys. The Texas Board of Legal Specialization was created by the Texas State Bar in 1974. Specialization serves as a guide for people seeking expert legal representation. You need to meet with an expert criminal lawyer immediately regardless of whether you are facing a misdemeanor or felony charge.

Criminal Law October 2, 2014