There are many felony offenses that result in criminal charges in Texas. But many people do not know or understand that there are different levels of felony crimes with different punishment ranges. The level assigned to the offense depends on the specific criminal act and is determined based on the seriousness and specific circumstances of the crime. Read on to learn more.



In Texas, there are five basic types of felony crimes (which are more serious than misdemeanors). They include state jail felonies, third degree felonies, second degree felonies, first degree felonies, and capital felonies. Examples of Texas felony crimes are check forgery (state jail), stalking (third degree), aggravated assault (second degree), attempted murder (first degree), and capital felony murder (capital). Regardless of whether the crime is one of the most common felonies in Texas or not, the punishments after conviction are always significant. You will need help from a reputable, experienced criminal defense attorney to fight felony charges.



The consequences offenders will face for committing a felony crime in Texas are harsh. The penalties typically include jail time and fines; how much of each depends upon the specific level of the felony. The following table outlines the maximum punishment for felony convictions in Texas. (Click on the table for a more detailed version.)




Capital felony


1st degree felony

5-99 years or life in prison; $10,000 fine

2nd degree felony

2-20 years in prison; $10,000 fine

3rd degree felony

2-10 years in prison; $10,000 fine

State jail felony

180 days to 2 years in prison; $10,000 fine

NOTE: Punishments for Texas crimes are also laid out in greater detail in Chapter 12 of the Texas State Penal Code. 


The District Attorney represents the State in prosecuting felony criminal cases in Texas. Felony pretrial diversion can be offered to offenders that meet certain eligibility criteria, to provide them with the chance to avoid prosecution for their offenses through the successful completion of a diversion program. The program spans a designated period (typically 12 to 18 months) during which there can be no new arrests among other requirements such as community service, counseling, regular drug/alcohol testing, etc. Working with a criminal defense attorney is the best first step toward fighting felony charges, including determining possible eligibility for a diversion program.

Are you or someone you love facing felony charges and in need of professional legal help in Austin, Texas, or the surrounding area? If so, you should consider reaching out to Brian Erskine, a board-certified criminal defense attorney in Travis County. He and his team at Erskine Law understand the legal landscape and have experience with a wide range of legal cases involving misdemeanors and felonies. The caring and competent counsel at Erskine Law is available to provide legal guidance related to your situation and help you understand how to proceed. Contact Erskine Law for a free consultation about your case.