What is a Felony?

A felony in Texas is a crime that is punishable by more than one year. Also, with a few exceptions, a felony prison sentence is served in the Texas Department of crimes Justice.

Types of Felonies

Texas divides felonies into five classifications:

  • State Jail Felony;
  • Third Degree Felony;
  • Second Degree Felony;
  • First Degree Felony;
  • and Capital Felony.

What makes a crime a felony is determined by the Texas Legislature. Each time the legislature meets they amend the criminal law by adding new crimes, deleting some crimes, or changing existing crimes.


A felony is a more serious charge than a misdemeanor. The possible sentence is much harsher for a felony as opposed to a misdemeanor. The Texas law is very specific about the different punishments and ramifications. To get a better understanding of the law in your particular case you need to meet with a criminal defense lawyer.

What is the Standard Value Ladder?

The Texas Penal Code uses a Standard Value Ladder in cases of theft, conversion, theft of service, criminal mischief, and many other property and economic crimes. House Bill 1396 changed the Standard Value Ladder for the first time since 1993. As the value of property lost increases, the seriousness of the crime increases.

As of September 1, 2015, the Standard Value Ladder for theft in Texas is:

  • Under $100 is a Class C Misdemeanor;
  • $100 or more, but less than $750 is a Class B Misdemeanor;
  • $750 or more, but les than $2,500 is a Class A Misdemeanor;
  • $2,500 or more, but less than $30,000 is a State Jail Felony;
  • $30,000 or more, but less than $150,000 is a Third Degree Felony;
  • $150,000 or more, but less than $300,000 is a Second Degree Felony; and
  • More than $300,000 is a First Degree Felony.

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