Felony Charges: The Basics

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It is unlikely you need to be told that a felony charge is an exceptionally serious criminal charge. Felony charges are defined by the punishments associated with their convictions. If you are facing a felony charge, you stand to do time in a state prison or jail. A conviction for a misdemeanor, on the other hand, is limited to a sentence of up to one year in a local or county jail.

A Felony Conviction

If you are convicted of a felony charge, you are facing a sentence of from 6 months to life behind bars and the overarching and life-altering stigma that goes with being a convicted felon. The consequences of a felony conviction, in fact, are so great that forging your strongest defense against the charge is the only reasonable option, and the best way to help ensure that this happens is with an experienced criminal defense attorney in your corner.

Felony Classifications

While every felony charge is a serious charge, some are more serious still. Consider the following classifications:

  • Capital felonies are the most serious of all, and in Texas, those convicted face the possibility of life without parole or even of a death sentence. Especially brutal murders are a good example of a capital offense. (Click here to learn more about the difference between murder and manslaughter charges)

  • A first-degree felony ranks directly below a capital felony and convictions are punishable by fines of up to $10,000 and by 5 to 99 years in prison.

  • A second-degree felony carries penalties of up to $10,000 in fines and from 2 to 20 years behind bars.

  • A third-degree felony can lead to up to $10,000 in fines and from 2 to 10 years in prison.

  • A state jail felony is a bit of a catch-all category – used when the law designates the charge as a felony but does not elaborate further – and a conviction can lead to fines of up to $10,000 and from 180 days to 2 years in a state jail.

Common Felony Charges

Felony charges come in many shapes and sizes, but some of the most common include:

  • Robbery – Robbery is a theft crime that results in bodily harm during its commission. Robbery is a second-degree felony.

  • Kidnapping – Kidnapping involves restraining and abducting someone and removing him or her to another location. While kidnapping is generally a third-degree felony, if it involves aggravating circumstances (such as harming or terrorizing the victim), it rises to the level of a second-degree felony.

  • Murder – If someone causes someone else’s death, it is murder, which is usually a first-degree felony. If, however, the murder was unplanned and committed suddenly during a rage of passion, the charge may be lessened to a second-degree felony.

Seek the Professional Legal Counsel of an Experienced Killeen Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you are facing a felony charge, Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is well prepared to employ the full force of his considerable experience and legal insight in defense of your rights. Your future matters, so please do not wait to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information about how we can help you today.


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