A Class C misdemeanor is the lowest level of criminal offense in Texas. It is punishable by a fine only. The maximum penalty for a Class C misdemeanor is $500. Jail time is not possible as punishment for a Class C misdemeanor in Texas, however an officer may arrest you for most Class C offenses other than speeding. While that may seem counterintuitive and unfair, the issue made its way all the way up to the United States Supreme Court, and the Court affirmed the right of officers to arrest for Class C offenses in Texas. See Atwater v. City of Lago Vista, 532 U.S. 318, 319 (2001).
If you pay a Class C citation, that will result in a conviction on your record. If you have been arrested for a Class C misdemeanor, you may find it worthwhile to hire an attorney to represent you to ensure that the Class C offense such as Assault by Contact or Public Intoxication is resolved in a manner that allows for an expunction. Most jurisdictions will not object to an expunction on a Class C misdemeanor immediately upon dismissal.
What are common Class C misdemeanors in Texas?
Common Class C misdemeanors in Texas include:
Assault by Contact
Do I need an attorney for a Class C ticket in Texas?
While we generally leave Class C matters to “ticket attorneys,” every year we handle a handful of Class C charges in the North Texas area, for individuals who are not concerned about the potential of the $500 fine but are concerned about keeping the matter off their record.
Handled correctly, a criminal defense attorney may be able to get a Class C citation dismissed and ultimately expunged. This entire process may cost $3,500-$5,000 so it is not for everyone. University students, professionals, and individuals who have specific career or licensing goals may find hiring a criminal defense attorney is a worthwhile endeavor.
What are the misdemeanor punishment ranges in Texas?
|Class B||$0-2,000||0-180 days|
|Class B Enhanced||$0-2,000||30-180 days|
|Class A||$0-4,000||0-1 year|
|Class A Enhanced||$0-4,000||90-1 year|