Felony Charges

Crimes in Texas are classified as either misdemeanors or felony charges. When a person is charged with a felony, he or she is sent to prison for more than one year. Additionally, those convicted of felonies face more issues upon release.

A released felon may have difficulty navigating society again. He or she may be unable to apply for certain jobs or professions, and will not qualify for government assistance. In addition, a felon may lose the ability to own a firearm or vote for public office.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a felony, it is in your best interest to gain trusted legal representation.

Felony Attorney in Harris County, Texas

Felony charges are serious under Texas law. Those convicted of a felony may be obligated to pay steep fines, serve time in prison, and have a criminal record. Furthermore, you may have difficulty reentering society labeled as a “felon.”

Any person, who has been charged with a felony-level offense, should seek an experienced criminal defense attorney. Briann Benken at The Benken Law Firm is passionate about criminal defense. He will do whatever possible to fight for your rights. Gain a legal partner with Brian Benken at The Benken Law Firm.

Attorney Brian Benken accepts clients throughout all parts of Harris County including Houston, Pasadena, Westchase, Meyerland, Alief, and River Oaks.

Call today at (713) 223 - 4051 to schedule a free consultation.

Overview for Felony Charges in Texas


What is considered a Felony in Texas?

All crimes in Texas are typified as a misdemeanor or a felony. Felony crimes are the most serious level of offense under Texas law. All felony crimes include prison or jail time and can be broken into seven degrees. These degrees are as follows:

  • State Jail Felony
  • Third Degree Felony
  • Second Degree Felony
  • First Degree Felony
  • Capital Felony

Another separating factor between misdemeanors and felonies is what happens to released felons. Those who are released from jail with a misdemeanor can assimilate back into society easily. Some felons, however, do not.  The label of felon means you may have difficulty applying for certain jobs or programs.

The following are some potential consequences from a felony conviction:

  • Prison time;
  • Steep fines;
  • A criminal record;
  • Inability to be accepted into certain academic or education programs;
  • Inability to pursue certain jobs or professions;
  • Ineligibility to receive certain types of governmental assistance;
  • Ineligibility to own or possess a firearm; or
  • Loss of the ability to vote or hold public office.

Examples of Felony Charges in Harris County, Texas

The following are some common examples of crimes that may lead to felony charges in the state of Texas.


Texas Penalties for Felony Charges in Houston

Texas Penal Code outlines the penalties for the varying degrees of felony charges. The following are the legal consequences for felony charges in Texas:

  • State Jail Felony – Minimum of 180 days and a maximum of 24 months in prison, and a possible fine of up to $10,000.
  • Third Degree Felony – Minimum of two years and a maximum of 10 years in prison, and a possible fine of up to $10,000.
  • Second Degree Felony – Minimum of two years and a maximum of 20 years in prison, and a possible fine of up to $10,000.
  • First Degree Felony – Minimum of five years and a maximum of 99 years of life imprisonment, and a possible fine of up to $10,000.
  • Capital Felony – Death by lethal injection or life imprisonment without parole.

Habitual and Repeat Felony Offenders in Harris County, Texas

In any criminal trial, the alleged offender’s prior history is a big component for sentencing. Repeat or habitual offenders may have enhanced penalties and consequences for their current felony charge. A repeat of habitual felony offender may be subjected to any of the following increased penalties:

  • Individuals charged with a state jail felony offense who have two previous state jail felony convictions will have their charges enhanced to a third-degree felony. The maximum penalty for a third degree felony is ten years in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Individuals, who have been charged with a third-degree felony and have a previous felony conviction, will face a second-degree felony. This enhancement excludes state jail felonies. A second-degree felony is punishable with a maximum prison sentence of 20 years, and a possible fine of up to $10,000.
  • Individuals, who have been charged with a second-degree felony and have a previous felony conviction, will face a first-degree felony instead. This enhancement excludes state jail felonies. A first-degree felony has a minimum prison sentence of five years and a maximum of 99 years or life imprisonment, and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Individuals, who have been charged with a first-degree felony and have a previous felony conviction, will have their penalties enhanced. The minimum prison sentence will be elevated to 15 years, instead of the standard five years.

Additional Resources

Texas Punishment Laws – Visit the official website for the Texas Penal Code, which outlines the laws for the state of Texas. Find more information surrounding misdemeanor and felony offenses. See how a crime is classified, what enhances the penalties, and penalties for habitual offenders.

Criminal Justice Reform | Texas Civil Rights Project – Visit the official website for the Texas Civil Rights Project, which is a nonprofit organization that uses legal advocacy to empower Texas communities to create policy change. Find more information about their current projects for criminal justice sentencing reform.


Houston Lawyer for Felony Charges in Texas

If you or someone you know has been charged with a felony offense, it is in your best interest to contact a defense attorney. Felony cases can be difficult. You want an attorney who is experienced in felony cases and understands what may happen. Gain that legal partner with Brian Benken at The Benken Law Firm.

Attorney Brian Benken at The Benken Law Firm understands the ins and out of Texas criminal laws. Using our extensive knowledge and experience, Brian Benken will fight tirelessly for you. Rest assured, you will never be uninformed with The Benken Law Firm. Brian Benken at The Benken Law Firm value open communication and will clarify you through every phase of the case. Be proactive about your defense. Call Brian Benken at The Benken Law Firm now.

The Benken Law Firm defends alleged felony offenders throughout all areas of greater Houston including, but not limited to, the Skyline District, the Theatre District, and the Main Street Corridor area.


This article was last updated on October 4, 2018.

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