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The Difference between Misdemeanors & Felonies


The essential difference between misdemeanors and felonies comes down to the seriousness of the crime and how much jail time a conviction will result in. Both misdemeanors and felonies are more serious than infractions. A typical infraction is for a traffic violation where the punishment is a fine. Infractions can lead to worse penalties if they go unaddressed or unpaid.

Misdemeanors are more serious than infractions and usually are for crimes that result in no more than one year in jail. The most serious type of misdemeanor in Texas is a Class A misdemeanor and can be charged for crimes such as pimping and carrying a firearm without a permit. There may be some flexibility depending on the crime and the circumstances surrounding it whether the prosecution wishes to pursue misdemeanor or felony charges for the offense.

Felonies in Texas operate similarly in that they are graded in terms of serious and resulting punishments. Felony charges are for the most serious crimes such as manslaughter, rape, burglary, battery, arson, and other crimes. You could be imprisoned for the rest of your life potentially, even to the point of capital punishment for some types of murder.

Even if you can be released form prison at some point in the future, a felony can cost you thousands of dollars in penalties and you can lose certain rights such as the right to vote or obtain certain types of licenses.

If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor or felony, you still have rights no matter how the deck may be stacked against you. A Dallas criminal defense attorney from the firm can protect your rights and work to obtain a favorable resolution to your case.