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What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?

All crimes come with consequences, but some have more severe penalties than others. What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony in Texas and what consequences can an individual face after a conviction?



Misdemeanors are less serious than felonies, however many still consider this type of offense to be fairly serious. Having a misdemeanor on your record can affect many parts of one’s life. For example, those convicted of a Class A or B misdemeanor are ineligible to carry a handgun. One may also have difficulty finding a job or a place to live.

Misdemeanors are classified in classes of A, B and C. The least serious misdemeanor offense, a Class C Misdemeanor, carries a penalty of up to $500 in fines. For a Class A Misdemeanor, the most serious misdemeanor, one may face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.


Depending on the crime, an individual could face many different charges. The least serious felony an individual can be charged with is a state jail felony, which holds a penalty of a fine of up to $10,000 and a jail sentence for 180 days to two years. The most serious felony charge one can face is a capital felony, which holds the penalty of death or life in prison without parole.

Prison time and hefty fines are not the only consequences that a convicted felon will need to deal with, however. Many convicted felons find that it can be difficult to re-enter society. Finding employment and housing is tricky, as many employers as well as landlords run background checks to look for criminal activity.

If you or someone you know is facing a misdemeanor or felony charge, it can be beneficial to know the difference between the two offenses, as well as the consequences for each.

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