A felony is a criminal charge that is punishable by more than one year in in jail. Before prosecution of a felony can go forward, the case must be presented to a Grand Jury who will determine whether there is probable cause to believe that the accused committed the alleged crime. Before the case is presented to the Grand Jury, the accused can request an examining trial. This can be a way for the defense to get an idea of what kind of evidence the State has, but usually a request for an examining trial simply gets the case presented to the Grand Jury quicker. If more than 90 days have elapsed, the accused is still in jail, and the case has not yet been presented to the Grand Jury, the accused is entitled to a personal recognizance bond. A personal recognizance bond is an accused's promise to appear for court or pay the amount of the bond to the court.

There are two distinct types of felony in Texas: a state jail felony and a TDC felony. A state jail felony carries a range of punishment from 180 days to 2 years in the State Jail Facility. (note* state jail time is served day for day and there is no parole.)


It can be said that there are five types of TDC felonies. Time for each is served in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Institutional Division. They are as follows: Capital, MiniCap, First Degree, Second Degree and Third Degree.


Capital punishment is also know as the Death Penalty. Time would be served on Death Row. The only charge that is currently being charged capitally in Texas is Capital Murder. [check this fact]


A MiniCap is a Capital Murder in which the State has chosen not to seek the Death Penalty. In this type of case, if the jury finds the defendant guilty, punishment is automatically assessed at life in prison without parole. This time is not served on Death Row.


A First Degree Felony carries a range of punishment of 5-99 years or life in prison and up to a $10,000.00 fine. First Degree felonies include Aggravated Robbery, Aggravated Sexual Assault, Intentional Homicide (Murder), Theft greater than $200,000.00 [check amount] and major drug charges.


A Second Degree Felony carries a range of punishment of 2-20 years in prison and up to a $10,000.00 fine. Second Degree felonies include Robbery, Sexual Assault, Attempted Murder, Burglary of a Habitation and lesser drug charges.


A Third Degree Felony carries a range of punishment of 2-10 years in prison and up to a $10,000.00 fine. Third Degree felonies include Injury to a Child, Injury to the Elderly, Manslaughter...