Lets begin by defining what exactly a felony is. In Texas, felonies are crimes punishable by terms that must be served in state prison or state jail. Unlike the less serious crimes (misdemeanors) which are punishable by up to one year in local or county jail.

Felonies in Texas are designated as capital felonies; first, second or third degree felonies; or state jail felonies.

Capitol Felony

In Texas, capital felonies are punishable by death or life without parole. Murder is an example of a capital felony.

If the defendant was a juvenile at the time the crime was committed and the prosecutor chooses not to seek the death penalty, then a capital felony is punishable by life imprisonment.

Examples of Capitol Felonies

  • Murder of a police officer, firefighter, correctional officer, judge, or prison guard
  • Murder of more than one person at once or during the same course of conduct
  • Murder of a person during the commission of a specified felony, such as:
  • Kidnapping
  • Burglary
  • Aggravated sexual assault
  • Arson
  • Murder for pay, or paying someone to commit murder
  • Aggravated sexual assault
  • Murder of a child of specified ages
  • Murder during a prison escape
  • Murder by a state prison inmate who is serving a life sentence for certain crimes

First Degree Felony

A conviction for a first-degree felony can result in life imprisonment or five to 99 years’ imprisonment, as well as a fine of up to $10,000. Sexual assault against a child is a first-degree felony in Texas.

Examples of First Degree Felonies

  • Aggravated robbery
  • Aggravated assault of a public servant
  • Aggravated kidnapping
  • Aggravated sexual assault
  • Burglary of a habitation with the intent to commit or with the commission of a felony
  • Arson of a habitation
  • Causing serious bodily injury to a child, elderly person, or disabled person
  • Escape from custody with serious bodily injury
  • Murder
  • Solicitation of capital murder
  • Trafficking of children under the age of fourteen

Second Degree Felony

Under Texas law, second-degree felonies are punishable by two to 20 years in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000. Causing serious injury to a family member is a second-degree felony.

Examples of Second Degree Felonies

  • Aggravated assault
  • Arson
  • Bigamy
  • Bribery
  • Evading arrest (and death of another occurs)
  • Improper relationship between educator and student
  • Indecent contact with a child
  • Intoxication manslaughter
  • Manslaughter
  • Online solicitation of a minor under fourteen
  • Possession of fifty to 2000 pounds of marijuana
  • Robbery
  • Sexual assault
  • Stalking—second offense
  • Trafficking of persons

Third Degree Felony

A third degree felony is punishable by two to ten years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.

Examples of Third Degree Felonies

  • Aggravated perjury
  • Bail jumping of a felony arrest
  • Deadly conduct with a firearm
  • Escape from felony custody
  • Indecent exposure to a child
  • Intoxication assault
  • Possession of a firearm by a felon
  • Retaliation
  • Stalking
  • DWI (third offense)
  • Tampering with evidence
  • Violation of protective order (third offense)

This is a general article for example purposes.  As always, please contact us at 979-821-2663 regarding your specific case.