What are the different types of felonies and punishments in Texas?

Absent extenuating circumstances, the “ordinary” felony punishments are listed below, as set forth in the Texas Penal Code. Felonies are broken down from capital felonies (most severe, to degrees (1st, 2nd, 3rd) and then state jail felonies (least severe). There are enhancements to the punishments available in many circumstances.

Sec. 12.31. CAPITAL FELONY.

(a) An individual adjudged guilty of a capital felony in a case in which the state seeks the death penalty shall be punished by imprisonment in the institutional division for life without parole or by death. An individual adjudged guilty of a capital felony in a case in which the state does not seek the death penalty shall be punished by imprisonment in the institutional division for life without parole.


(b) In a capital felony trial in which the state seeks the death penalty, prospective jurors shall be informed that a sentence of life imprisonment without parole or death is mandatory on conviction of a capital felony. In a capital felony trial in which the state does not seek the death penalty, prospective jurors shall be informed that the state is not seeking the death penalty and that a sentence of life imprisonment without parole is mandatory on conviction of the capital felony.

Sec. 12.32. FIRST DEGREE FELONY PUNISHMENT.

(a) An individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the first degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the institutional division for life or for any term of not more than 99 years or less than 5 years.


(b) In addition to imprisonment, an individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the first degree may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.

Sec. 12.33. SECOND DEGREE FELONY PUNISHMENT.

(a) An individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the second degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the institutional division for any term of not more than 20 years or less than 2 years.


(b) In addition to imprisonment, an individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the second degree may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.

Sec. 12.34. THIRD DEGREE FELONY PUNISHMENT.

(a) An individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the third degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the institutional division for any term of not more than 10 years or less than 2 years.


(b) In addition to imprisonment, an individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the third degree may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.

Sec. 12.35. STATE JAIL FELONY PUNISHMENT.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (c), an individual adjudged guilty of a state jail felony shall be punished by confinement in a state jail for any term of not more than two years or less than 180 days.


(b) In addition to confinement, an individual adjudged guilty of a state jail felony may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.


(c) An individual adjudged guilty of a state jail felony shall be punished for a third degree felony if it is shown on the trial of the offense that:


(1) a deadly weapon as defined by Section 1.07 was used or exhibited during the commission of the offense or during immediate flight following the commission of the offense, and that the individual used or exhibited the deadly weapon or was a party to the offense and knew that a deadly weapon would be used or exhibited; or


(2) the individual has previously been finally convicted of any felony:


(A) under Section 21.02 (Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child) or listed in Section 3g(a)(1), Article 42.12, Code of Criminal Procedure**; or


(B) for which the judgment contains an affirmative finding under Section 3g(a)(2), Article 42.12, Code of Criminal Procedure.


**Article 42.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, Limitation on Judge Ordered Community Supervision, Sec. 3g(a)(1) states that it shall not apply to a defendant adjudged guilty of an offense under:

(A) Section 19.02, Penal Code (Murder);

(B) Section 19.03, Penal Code (Capital murder);

(C) Section 21.11(a)(1), Penal Code (Indecency with a

child);

(D) Section 20.04, Penal Code (Aggravated kidnapping);

(E) Section 22.021, Penal Code (Aggravated sexual assault);

(F) Section 29.03, Penal Code (Aggravated robbery);

(G) Chapter 481, Health and Safety Code, for which

punishment is increased under:

(i) Section 481.140, Health and Safety Code; or

(ii) Section 481.134(c), (d), (e), or (f), Health and Safety

Code, if it is shown that the defendant has been previously

convicted of an offense for which punishment was increased under

any of those subsections; or

(H) Section 22.011, Penal Code (Sexual assault); or

(2) to a defendant when it is shown that a deadly weapon as

defined in Section 1.07, Penal Code, was used or exhibited during

the commission of a felony offense or during immediate flight

therefrom, and that the defendant used or exhibited the deadly

weapon or was a party to the offense and knew that a deadly weapon

would be used or exhibited. On an affirmative finding under this

subdivision, the trial court shall enter the finding in the

judgment of the court. On an affirmative finding that the deadly

weapon was a firearm, the court shall enter that finding in its

judgment.

(b) If there is an affirmative finding under Subsection

(a)(2) in the trial of a felony of the second degree or higher that

the deadly weapon used or exhibited was a firearm and the defendant

is granted community supervision, the court may order the defendant

confined in the institutional division of the Texas Department of

Criminal Justice for not less than 60 and not more than 120 days. At

any time after the defendant has served 60 days in the custody of

the institutional division, the sentencing judge, on his own motion

or on motion of the defendant, may order the defendant released to

community supervision. The institutional division shall release

the defendant to community supervision after he has served 120

days.


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