Misdemeanor and Felony Charges


Misdemeanor crimes are typically considered less serious than felony crimes and usually have less severe penalties. Nevertheless, having a misdemeanor charge on your record can have serious consequences. A conviction, or even the record of an arrest, can impact your ability to get a good job, to be admitted to certain educational facilities or be licensed in certain occupations.

In addition, many misdemeanor crimes carry extra penalties like license suspensions and hidden fees that will be owed to various state agencies if you are convicted. The Gilligan Law Firm represents individuals charged with misdemeanor crimes and works hard to achieve a not guilty verdict for each and every one of his clients.

Many criminal defense attorneys treat misdemeanor offenses as minor or inconsequential cases and may therefore allocate less time and resources in the preparation of your defense. The Gilligan Law Firm understands that this approach is unacceptable when your reputation and future financial well-being are on the line. When faced with criminal charges, you need a lawyer who is committed to treating misdemeanor charges as a very serious matter. The Gilligan Law Firm defends people charged with DWI and other misdemeanor offenses on a regular basis. We take the same passionate approach to these cases as he does with major felony cases – working as hard as possible to achieve the best possible results for his clients. While felony crimes often result in incarceration, misdemeanor crimes have a range of penalties including jail time, fines, probation, house arrest, and community service.


In Texas, felony crimes are punished very severely because they consist of the most serious offenses. Felony crimes are placed into several classes, and each one has its own distinct punishments. Here are the types of felonies that are recognized in the state of Texas:

State jail felony

  • 180 days to two years in a state jail
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

Third-degree felony

  • Two to 10 years in prison
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

Second-degree felony

  • Two to 20 years in prison
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

First-degree felony

  • Five to 99 years in prison
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

Capital Felony

  • Life imprisonment or the death penalty

Negotiating a Deal

Some crimes in Texas are always prosecuted as felonies. On the other hand, some offenses can either be prosecuted as a felony or as a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances. These offenses are known as 1244 crimes. Prosecutors ultimately decide if 1244 crimes are tried as felonies or as misdemeanors. A competent criminal defense attorney can often mitigate the charges so that his client is charged with a misdemeanor instead of a felony.

Three Strikes and You’re out

If you have previously been found guilty of committing a felony crime, it is vitally important for you to successfully negotiate a felony charge. That is because a third conviction for the same felony offense may result in life imprisonment.

Please contact the Gilligan Law Firm to schedule a FREE consultation at (713) 529-9200