In Texas, state jail felonies are distinguishable from all other types of felonies.  If you are convicted of a capital felony, or a felony of the first, second or third degree, you can be sent to the state penitentiary.  Those convicted of misdemeanors serve any time to which they’re sentenced in the county jail.  However, those convicted of state jail felonies can end up in a state jail.  Considered to be the least serious form of felony, state jail felonies are typically

non-violent crimes thought to be too serious to be considered as misdemeanors, but less serious than other felonies that might land you in state prison.  Possession of cocaine or methamphetamine in an amount less than one gram, and certain theft cases are examples of state jail felonies.

The penalty range for state jail felonies is from 180 days to two years in the state jail, and a fine of up to $10,000.  However, unlike other felonies (or, for that matter, misdemeanors), you cannot receive good time credit toward a state jail felony sentence.  For example, the Dallas County typically gives three days credit for each day served.  In other words, if you’re sentenced to 30 days in the county jail on a misdemeanor offense, you will only serve 10 days.  However, state jail felony time is day for day.  Put another way, if you’re sentenced to 180 days in the state jail, you will serve 180 days in the state jail.  The only exception to this rule is that it may be possible to cut 20 percent of your time from your sentence, if you can show that you have diligently applied yourself to a vocational or educational program while in the state jail.


Sec. 12.35.  STATE JAIL FELONY PUNISHMENT. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (c), an individual adjudged guilty of a state jail felony shall be punished by confinement in a state jail for any term of not more than two years or less than 180 days.

(b)  In addition to confinement, an individual adjudged guilty of a state jail felony may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.

(c)  An individual adjudged guilty of a state jail felony shall be punished for a third degree felony if it is shown on the trial of the offense that:

(1)  a deadly weapon as defined by Section 1.07 was used or exhibited during the commission of the offense or during immediate flight following the commission of the offense, and that the individual used or exhibited the deadly weapon or was a party to the offense and knew that a deadly weapon would be used or exhibited; or

(2)  the individual has previously been finally convicted of any felony:

(A)  under Section 20A.03 or 21.02 or listed in Section 3g(a)(1), Article 42.12, Code of Criminal Procedure; or

(B)  for which the judgment contains an affirmative finding under Section 3g(a)(2), Article 42.12, Code of Criminal Procedure.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 593, Sec. 3.48, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 122, Sec. 13, eff. September 1, 2011.

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