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What are Fine-Only Offenses?

November 15, 2018

There are three ways the state of Texas tries to deter the commission of a crime: capital punishment, incarceration, or fines. Of course, capital punishment and incarceration are the result of the commission of serious crimes known as felonies, which often include violent crimes like murder, robbery, rape, and so forth. Fines are used to deter less severe crimes that are referred to as misdemeanors. They include minor traffic violations, public intoxication, etc.

Minor Traffic Violations

The most frequent traffic offenses that are punishable by a fine only and yet require a court appearance are:

  • Failure to secure a child in a moving vehicle
  • Driving without a valid license or permit
  • Driving an uninsured vehicle
  • Passing a school bus while children are loading on to it.
  • Driving more than 20 mph, but less than 30 mph.
  • Speeding in a school zone when children are present.
  • Speeding in a construction zone when workers are present.
  • Violating a cruising zone.
  • Using an alley as a through street in violation of signs.
  • Failing to yield to an emergency vehicle.

Class C Misdemeanors

In Texas, Class C Misdemeanors are also considered fine-only crimes. A Class “C” Misdemeanor is the lowest level criminal offense in the state of Texas. These Class C misdemeanors have a fine limited to up to $500 and have no jail time attached to their conviction. Offenses deemed Class C Misdemeanors include:

  • Most traffic tickets
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Public intoxication
  • Bad checks that are less than $20
  • Simple assault
  • Criminal trespassing
  • Gambling
  • Bail jumping
  • Leaving a child in a vehicle
  • Petty theft (Shoplifting an item valued under $50)
  • Possession of an alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol by a minor
  • Possession of alcohol by a minor
  • Possession of tobacco by a minor
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia

While many people may not consider these crimes to be serious enough to hire an attorney, that isn’t always the smartest move. Anyone who commits any crime, whether it could possibly result in imprisonment or just a fine, can benefit by hiring an attorney.

First, an attorney who is knowledgeable of fine-only offenses or Class C Misdemeanors can guide you through the legal procedure and advise you of your legal rights and responsibilities. If your attorney can prove that you did not commit the alleged crime, then you won’t be required to pay the fine. With his or her consultation, you will know what is happening, why it is happening, and how it affects you, not only in the short-term but also any possible long-term consequences. An attorney will also be able to ensure that the manner is resolved in a way that allows for an expunction so that the conviction no longer appears in your records.

The attorneys at Fears Nachawati are experienced in representing all manner of criminal defense cases, ranging from serious felonies to Class C misdemeanors. You can be assured that we will fight for you and your legal rights, and that no case is too big or too small for us to take on.

Don’t delay in reaching out to the experienced drug attorneys at Fears Nachawati for your free, no obligation legal consultation to discuss the specifics of your case. Please call (866) 705-7584 or visit the offices of Fears Nachawati located throughout the great state of Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.


Use the form below to send us a note, call us at 214.890.0711 or chat with us live. We are eager to help with your legal needs. Please keep in mind that any unsolicited information sent through our website cannot be treated as confidential. Contacting us through this site does not create a representation relationship with Fears Nachawati.

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