What Types of Crimes Require Mandatory Minimums?
If you are arrested in Texas, you might be facing a mandatory minimum sentence depending on your crime. Texas courts are required to sentence offenders convicted of felony charges to legally mandated sentences. The minimum jail time depends on the severity of the offense as well as the classification of the felony.
Texas classifies felonies into five different categories. These categories include capital felonies, first-degree felonies, second-degree felonies, third-degree felonies, and state jail felonies. Anyone who is convicted of a felony crime in the state will face mandatory prison terms and could face fines of as much as $10,000.
Looking at Texas Mandatory Minimum Prison Sentences
Different levels or classifications of felonies will result in different mandatory minimum sentences. Here is a breakdown of the five felony classifications and the minimum mandatory punishments:
- The most severe felonies are capital felonies, and they result in the harshest punishment. The mandatory minimum sentence if convicted of one of these felonies is life in prison without the possibility of parole. The alternative sentence would be the death penalty, which is ordered in Texas more than it is in any other state. Capital felonies are most often associated with the charge of capital murder.
- First-degree felonies carry a minimum five-year prison sentence with a maximum of life in prison. The offender might also face a fine of up to $10,000. These types of charges include theft of property over $200,000 and aggravated sexual assault, among others.
- Second-degree felony convictions will result in a minimum mandatory jail term lasting two years but could face as much as 20 years in prison. There could be a fine of up to $10,000. These types of charges include aggravated assault and reckless injury to a child, among others.
- A conviction for a third-degree felony has a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison. The court could order the convicted felon to as much as ten years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. These types of charges include theft of property between $20,000 and $100,000 and drive-by shootings, among others.
- Texas state jail felonies are charges that might be brought against individuals by prosecutors for crimes that were committed with the use of a firearm or by an individual who previously had a felony conviction. Texas law requires a mandatory minimum six-month state jail sentence for convictions of this nature. These types of charges include theft of property between $1,500 and $20,000, credit card or debit card abuse, and some other crimes.
Can A Mandatory Minimum Prison Sentence in Texas Be Avoided?
In Texas, the average conviction rate is about 82 percent. With a solid legal defense, you might be able to get a lesser conviction or be found not guilty for the crime. A felony conviction can haunt you for the rest of your life. If you are convicted of a felony, in addition to serving the mandatory minimum sentence, it will be on your record for the long haul. That can keep you from getting jobs, being approved for special programs, and from buying a home.
Just because you are facing felony charges that carry a mandatory minimum prison sentence doesn’t mean that you will automatically be convicted. There must be specific evidence that will convince a jury that you are guilty. You can, of course, gather evidence supporting your claim of innocence if you didn’t commit the crime. If you are convicted of a felony in Texas, you will face a mandatory minimum prison sentence.
If you or a loved one has been accused of a felony and you are looking for an attorney, then the team at Fears Nachawati is here to help. Our firm includes some of the best criminal defense attorneys in the state of Texas, and we have attorneys that specialize in a wide range of criminal charges, including those involving felony charges.
When you retain the services of an experienced Texas criminal defense lawyer like those at Fears Nachawati, you can be assured that our team will fight tirelessly to defend your rights and freedom.
If you or someone you love has been charged with a crime, then don’t delay in reaching out to the attorneys at Fears Nachawati for a free, no-obligation legal consultation to discuss the specifics of the 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.