State law divides most criminal offenses into one of two categories: misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors come in three levels of severity. Class A is more serious than Class B, and Class B is more serious than Class C.
While the law considers many Class C misdemeanors as minor offenses since they are generally punishable by only a maximum $500 fine and no jail time, they can have serious collateral consequences. Class B misdemeanors carry a maximum jail sentence of six months in county jail and a $2,000 maximum fine. The maximum penalties for Class A misdemeanor convictions increase to one year of jail time and a $4,000 fine.
Felony convictions are punishable by maximum $10,000 fines and, based on which of the categories listed below a charge falls into, the following terms of incarceration:
- State jail felony – between six months and two years in state jail, as opposed to state prison
- Third-degree felony – two to 10 years in state prison
- Second-degree felony – two to 20 years in state prison
- First-degree felony – five to 99 years or life imprisonment
- Capital felony – the death penalty or life imprisonment for juvenile offenders
A criminal defense attorney in Allen can go into further detail about what other possible consequences might come with a certain charge during a private consultation.