By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal
Felonies are punishable by possible jail over 1 year and misdemeanors are punishable for 1 year or less under Texas law.
Beyond that, Felonies obviously carry a somewhat more negative stigma meaning it is more difficult to be hired for a job, get a loan, or even be allowed to coach your child’s athletic team.
Felonies also carry more collateral consequences — or consequences which aren’t directly related to criminal punishment itself than misdemeanors. For example, being a felon can make firearm possession illegal, can prohibit you from holding public office or even from voting.
Felonies typically have more adverse immigration consequences than misdemeanors though immigration courts tend to use their own guidelines when determining the severity of a crime.
Crimes of Moral Terptitude
Some misdemeanors can have consequences every bit as severe as felonies. Examples can be theft charges which can make professional licensing more difficult. A theft charge on someone’s record can cause someone to lose job opportunities where trust is required such as an being a bookkeeper or sales clerk.
Affirmative findings of family violence can also carry felony-like consequences for the purposes of future enhancement or the denial of 2nd Amendment firearm rights.
*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. For legal advice about any situation you should consult an attorney directly.