Knowing how crimes are classified and the punishments that go with them helps you determine the bail amount. Sentencing guidelines are comprehensive, to ensure bail is paid according to the severity of a crime. The nature of the crime is the main determinant when it comes to bail amounts in Texas. Common Texas Crimes and Their Bail Amount are arrived at using consistent sentencing practices and rational.
There are different categories of crimes within specific jurisdictions that help in deciding how a felony or misdemeanour is to be handled. Texa’s crime classification ranges from the simplest crime to the most severe crime and how each situation should be handled. The history of the defendant also plays a role in determining what sentence they are to serve.
1. Class C Misdemeanor
This is the lowest level of crime in Texas, and you are eligible to serve time in jail. The fine is not to exceed $500, and you have the right to a trial which can take place in traffic court, municipal court or the justice of the peace court. Crimes classified under class C misdemeanour include the use of laser pointers, traffic citations, gambling, disorderly conduct and public intoxication.
2. Class B Misdemeanor
Class B Misdemeanor crimes in Texas require you to pay a fine, not more than $2,000 and confinement of 180 days or less. You also get two years of community supervision. However, as a first time offender, all you get is what is called deferred adjunction in which case your case is dismissed after the probation period is over. Some of the crimes classified under class C misdemeanour include driving while intoxicated (DWI), evading arrest and criminal trespass.
3. Class A Misdemeanor
This is the most severe misdemeanour crime that requires you to pay up to $4,000 in fine. You’ll also be required to serve one-year confinement in jail. Your probation period will last two or three years after you serve your prison term. A deferred adjudication is also an option for first-time offenders. Som crimes classified under class A misdemeanour include unlawful weapon ownership, second DWI and burglary of a vehicle.
4. State Jail Felony
A felony crime is the most serious of crimes, and you are likely to suffer a more serious punishment when you are found guilty. A state jail felony is a state crime that requires you to serve 180 days to two years in jail. For a state jail felony, you are not eligible for time off for good behavior. A state jail felony can, however, be lowered to a misdemeanor based on certain circumstances. The optional fine is not to surpass $2,000, and some of the crimes falling under this category include forging a cheque, credit card abuse and DWI with a child.
5. Third Degree Felony
This is a more serious crime than a state jail felony, and you are to serve not more than ten years in jail. Community supervision may also be involved in this case. Some of the crimes falling under the third-degree felony include stalking, tampering with evidence, intoxicated assault and DWI(third offence).
6. Second Degree Felony
As a second-degree felony offender, you are to serve two to 20 years in prison. The optional fine is not to exceed $10,000. Community supervision is included, and some of the crimes falling under this category include human trafficking, sexual assault, robbery, bribery, an evading arrest involving the death of another person.
7. First Degree Felony
These are the second most serious crimes in Texas. You can either serve life or a 2-99 years sentence. Along with possible community supervision, the fine cannot exceed $10,000. The fine is optional, and some of the crimes classified under the first-degree felony include aggravated robbery, attempted capital murder, trafficking persons under age 14 and causing severe bodily injury to a disabled person.
8. Capital Felony
Capital felonies are the most serious offences in Texas. Offenders are to serve life imprisonment or suffer death penalty. You cannot post bail in this case, and the crimes under this category include treason, genocide, death resulting from aircraft hijacking, premediated/capital murder and murder with special circumstances; with a gun, of a police officer, a repeat offence, intentional, or multiple.
More About Posting Bail
When you post bail, it may or may not be granted depending on the situation. Misdemeanor and felony crimes vary in specification and severity. In capital offences, for instance, bail may not be an option since the crime is too severe. The U.S constitution makes provisions that allow you to be out of jail as you await your trial.
Instances where bail application apply, include the pre-trial period, pending execution of a sentence and pending appeal of conviction or sentence. You should work with a licensed and experienced bond agent who understands how bail application works. You can get released before your first court date if you are represented by an able bail bond expert. The dependable advice and fast action of bail bond experts ensure you don’t spend time in jail when you don’t have to.
Special Sentencing Circumstances
Aside from the general overview that the Common Texas Crimes and Their Bail Amount guideline provides, there are special sentencing circumstances to consider. Mitigating sentencing considerations ensure that every crime is assigned the most appropriate punishment since one punishment doesn’t fit all crimes. A specified punishment can be altered if a given sentencing circumstance is considered special. A judge can decide to waive a defendant’s jail time and ask that they only pay the fine. Some common special sentencing circumstances include;
• Intense cruelty to the victim by the defendant
• If you are a first time or repeated offender
• If you were the accomplice or the main offender
• If the defendant appears to be clearly sorry and remorseful
Knowing about bail amounts helps you know how much you need to get a bail bond as you await your case trial. Working with a bail bond expert ensures you enjoy dependable advice and fast action. Classification of crimes ensures that the right punishment is allocated to each felony or misdemeanor.