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What is a Class C Misdemeanor in Texas?

NOTE: This article is for informational purposes only. We only handle cases involving accidents and injuries. 

Criminal actions fall into many different classifications under Texas law. In general, two main types of crimes exist: felonies and misdemeanors. Misdemeanors are the less serious of the two and involve fines less than $4,000. In some cases, misdemeanors lead to jail time, in others, simply monetary penalties. Felonies, on the other hand, carry a term of imprisonment of at least one year and the imposition of more than $4,000 in fines, or both.

Within each crime classification are more subtypes, generally labeled A, B, or C. Learn what a class C misdemeanor is under Texas law and the type of punishment a defendant can expect upon conviction.

Class C Misdemeanors Are Minor Crimes

Class C misdemeanors are the least serious crimes under Texas Penal code. In fact, class C misdemeanors do not require any jail time. A person convicted of a Class C misdemeanor in Texas can expect the following penalties:

  • Fines up to $500
  • Community service

Keep in mind that these are the maximum penalties issued under Texas law. The actual punishment may be even less than what the law outlines.

A Class C misdemeanor does not involve jail time, nor does it require a probation order. On the other hand, a special type of probation may replace a conviction. A person with a Class C misdemeanor on his or her record can expect an expungement following the resolution of the case. In other words, a crime of this type will not create a lasting or permanent criminal record for the defendant.

Examples of Class C Misdemeanors

A variety of offenses fall under the classification of Class C misdemeanors in Texas. Some of the most common examples include:

  • Public intoxication
  • Traffic tickets
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Writing a “hot check” for less than $20
  • Jumping bail
  • Gambling
  • Trespassing on public property
  • Simple assault (i.e., no weapon or battery involved)
  • Petty theft
  • Leaving a child in a car
  • Minor in possession of alcohol
  • Minor in possession of tobacco
  • Possession of drug-related paraphernalia

How Might a Class C Misdemeanor Affect a Defendant’s Life?

A misdemeanor of the Class C variety might not lead to jail time, but that doesn’t mean it won’t affect a person’s life. A number of traffic tickets classified as Class C misdemeanors, for example, could result in the revocation of driving privileges, as well as fines and increased insurance premiums. Additionally, a Class C misdemeanor could show up on a criminal background check, which could affect decisions regarding employment. In some cases, a Class C Misdemeanor might be an indicator of dishonesty or disrespect for the law. Even if a person made an honest, youthful mistake, these records can follow him or her around if they are not expunged.

Lastly, a Class C misdemeanor charge could result in disqualification from receiving federal educational aid. These are all factors worth considering before entering any pleas.

What’s the statute of limitations on Class C Misdemeanors in Texas?

Different states have different rules when it comes to statutes of limitations, which is a set period of time within which to begin criminal prosecution.

A misdemeanor in Texas has a statute of limitations of Two (2) Years.

What to Do About a Class C Misdemeanor

As previously stated, even mild offenses like traffic tickets could be classified as a Class C misdemeanor. Generally, it’s a good idea for a defendant to have an understanding of how the charge could affect his or her life. In many cases, the case will resolve after a simple payment of a fine. In others, however, it could lead to a blemish on a defendant’s criminal record. Knowing the potential effects will help the defendant make important decisions regarding pleas and other considerations.

Even when a crime involves minor charges, it’s best to discuss legal options with a Houston personal injury lawyer before going through the court process unrepresented.

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