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Criminal History: When Misdemeanors Threaten Prison Time

  • By: Ryan Hardy of Hardy Law Group, PLLC
  • Published: January 6, 2019
  • Category: Criminal history
Criminal History: When Misdemeanors Threaten Prison Time

In Texas, some misdemeanor crimes can turn into felony offenses.  Felony offenses are much more serious than misdemeanors for several reasons, the most obvious being that they carry prison sentences.  The following is a discussion on the most common misdemeanors that can result in felony charges.

Assault Family Violence (Domestic Violence)

In Texas, misdemeanor family violence cases can evolve into felony charges.  How?  Under Texas Penal Code Section 22.01, if someone allegedly commits a Class A Misdemeanor assault against a family member, which includes someone they date or have dated, and they have previously been convicted of a assault against a family member, then they can face a Third Degree Felony charge.  Third-Degree Felonies in Texas carry a range of punishment of 2-10 years confinement in prison and an optional fine not to exceed $10,000.  It is important to note that a prior plea or guilty or no contest that resulted in deferred adjudication community supervision constitutes a conviction for purposes of enhancing a misdemeanor to a felony under this section.  Also, a prior Class C Misdemeanor for Assault Family Violence that resulted in a conviction or deferred adjudication community supervision can be used to enhance a Class A Assault Family Violence allegation to a Third-Degree Felony.

Theft

In Texas, if you commit theft with a  value less than $2,500 and you have previously been convicted of theft twice, then you can face prison time. Theft of something with a  value of less than $2,500 when the individual has been previously convicted twice is a state jail felony.  A state jail felony carries a range of punishment of 180 days to 2 years in the State Jail plus an optional fine not to exceed $10,000.

Evading Arrest/Detention

Think twice when running from the police in Texas.  Evading arrest or detention can lead to prison time if you have been previously convicted of the same crime. Specifically, Evading Arrest/Detention with a  prior conviction for Evading Arrest/Detention is a state jail felony, which carries a range of punishment of 180 days to 2 years in the State Jail plus an optional fine not to exceed $10,000.

Driving While Intoxicated

In Texas, a Class B Misdemeanor DWI can evolve into a Third-Degree Felony.  If you are arrested for DWI and you have 2 prior convictions for DWI then you can face a Third-Degree Felony charge for DWI Third. A Third Degree Felony carries a range of punishment of 2-10 years imprisonment and an optional fine not to exceed $10,000.

Please contact The Hardy Law Group, PLLC to schedule a free consultation to discuss strategies to combat “enhanced” misdemeanors.  Our experienced and smart criminal defense attorneys know how to attack the use of criminal history when Texas wants to send you to prison.

Ryan Hardy of Hardy Law Group, PLLC

About the Author Attorney Ryan Hardy graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BS in
Government/Political Science and a minor in Business Administration...Read More