The Difference Between Infractions and Misdemeanors in Texas

Not all criminal acts are the same. In Texas, criminal offenses are classified into three categories—infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. These categories are based on the severity of the offense, and the punishments for each type of crime vary.

Within each offense, there is also a certain level of leniency in the law. For example, a person convicted of their first misdemeanor may receive a lighter sentence than someone who has a long criminal record. Because criminal law is complicated and can vary depending on the circumstances, if you have been accused of a crime, it’s recommended that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in your area.

Crime and punishment

Listed below are the three types of criminal acts explained:

  • Infractions. This is the least serious type of crime and is punishable by fines, tickets, or community service. If you are caught committing an infraction, you will not be arrested or receive jail time. Some of the most common types of infractions include speeding and parking tickets, jaywalking and public nuisance.
  • Misdemeanors. This type of crime is more severe than an infraction but less so than a felony. In Texas, a misdemeanor is punishable by fines, imprisonment in a county jail or house arrest. Misdemeanors in Texas can be classified as A, B, and C, with Class A carrying the harshest punishments. Common misdemeanors include petty theft, a first conviction DUI and disorderly conduct charges. Repeat misdemeanors can carry harsher sentencing.
  • Felonies. This is the most serious type of crime and can be punishable by heavy fines, jail time, and even death. Felonies can be classified into five categories with “capital felonies” being the most severe. Common felonies include violent crimes such as homicide, kidnapping, rape and armed robbery. Punishments for people convicted of felonies include long prison sentences, heavy fines, and in the most severe cases, death by lethal injection.

Although an infraction will not stay on your criminal record, a misdemeanor or felony conviction likely will. This can have negative repercussions for the rest of your life, making things like finding a job much more difficult. That is why if you have been accused of a crime, it is important that you contact a criminal defense lawyer who knows how to handle your case.

Misdemeanor and felony attorneys in Texas

At the Law Office of Andrew Williams, we focus exclusively on criminal law and know what it takes to protect your rights and resolve your case in the best possible manner. Our board certified criminal defense attorney certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Criminal Defense has over 20 years of experience fighting for our clients’ in Texas. To protect yourself or a loved one from a criminal conviction that could jeopardize your future, give us a call today at 281-358-9111 or contact us here online for a free consultation.

Andrew Williams, an experienced attorney who can challenge evidence in a DWI case
About the Author: Andrew Williams
I am a criminal defense lawyer with over 20 years experience defending people accused of wrongdoing. I am board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Only ten percent of attorneys in Texas are board certified in their respective field. I practice criminal law exclusively in both state and federal court including appeals of criminal cases.