Texas classifies its felonies into four categories. These are weighed
according to their seriousness and the number of offenses committed.
Capital felonies top the list of categories with the most severe of
punishments. A person under this category is subject to the death
penalty or life in prison without parole. In the case of capital
felonies, the jury will be informed to whether or not the prosecution
seeks the death penalty, if not then the jury will be informed that the
sentencing of life in prison is mandatory.
First Degree Felonies
First degree felonies are punishable by life in prison or a sentence of no more than ninety-nine years and no less than five years in prison. In addition to a jail sentence, an individual may also be subject to a fine of no more than ten thousand dollars.
Second Degree Felonies
Those who fall under second degree felonies are subject to punishment by imprisonment through the institutional division of a term of no more than twenty years and no less than two years. A fine may also be given along with a jail sentence. In the case of second degree felonies, a fine can be as much as ten thousand dollars but no more.
Third Degree Felonies
Third degree felonies are punishable by up to ten years in a state prison but no less than two years. This sentence may also be served through the institutional division. Like other felonies, third degree felonies can also have a fine implemented. This fine can be as much as ten thousand dollars but no more.
Texas law states that a person can be found guilty of a third degree felony if a deadly weapon was used or if the person was previously found guilty of a felony as listed in the Code of Criminal Procedure. If this is found then a person is housed in a state jail rather than a state prison.
Texas Record Sealing
Public policy allows some criminal records to be legally sealed for public viewing. This allows an individual to be more productive in life and to not be restrained by arrest records. Texas calls this sealing of arrest records non-disclosure. Once a record is sealed, only specific government agencies may have access to the contents within the files. No other persons will have access to the files.
It will then appear that the arrest or conviction never happened. Record sealing is available upon eligibility and request. Court requirements must be met and the proper paper work must be filled out correctly. The court has the right to reject an application for a sealing, if it is in the interest of the court.
To be eligible a conviction must have been acquitted, reversed in court, legally pardoned, or dismissed. Those who do not meet these requirements are most often not eligible for record sealing. Juvenile records can almost always be sealed if the crime was committed when the individual was under the age of eighteen.