Criminal Law

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Rules of Criminal Law

Criminal law deals with crimes against the state, where possible punishment could include jail time, prison, probation, or parole. This is the type of law that involves prosecutors, defense attorneys, charges, and convictions. Criminal cases begin when someone is accused of committing a crime that is listed in the Texas Penal Code.

  • Felonies are usually the most serious crime. An individual that is convicted of a felony may face jail time, though that time may be spent in either a county jail, or a state prison. Felonies cover crimes that are considered both serious, and/or violent. Commonly known felonies include murder, robbery, rape, burglary of a residence, and assault. Felony punishments vary in harshness depending on the nature of the crime, discretion of the court, and the offender’s criminal history.

  • misdemeanor is typically a less serious crime, and common punishments include probation, county jail time, fines, or a combination of all three. Common misdemeanors include assault, theft, and public drunkenness.

  • An infraction is the least serious crime and is nearly always punished with a fine. Nearly all infractions are crimes committed while operating a motor vehicle, and include speeding, and inappropriate parking.

Important Things to Remember

This list will help those looking for legal assistance and fighting the criminal justice system.

Changes Within the Law

Texas political culture favors a swift and stern punishment for offenses against the law, especially in the areas of violent crime. As of August 2000, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Texas lead the nation in imprisoning its citizens with the largest incarcerated population under the jurisdiction of its prison system.

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