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A State Jail Felony in Texas is an offense that is punishable by confinement in a state jail facility for six months to two years.

One of the most common questions an attorney gets is whether an individual charged with a state jail felony may be punished pursuant to 12.44. No one has a right to a “12.44,” but there are occasions when an individual is allowed to serve misdemeanor time and receive a state jail felony conviction pursuant to Penal Code Section 12.44.

Unlike time served in county jails or the Texas Department of Corrections, a State Jail sentence must be served day for day. An inmate cannot earn good time credit to be released early.

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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.

Sec. 12.425. PENALTIES FOR REPEAT AND HABITUAL FELONY OFFENDERS ON TRIAL FOR STATE JAIL FELONY

(a) If it is shown on the trial of a state jail felony punishable under Section 12.35(a) that the defendant has previously been finally convicted of two state jail felonies punishable under Section 12.35(a), on conviction the defendant shall be punished for a felony of the third degree.

(b) If it is shown on the trial of a state jail felony punishable under Section 12.35(a) that the defendant has previously been finally convicted of two felonies other than a state jail felony punishable under Section 12.35(a), and the second previous felony conviction is for an offense that occurred subsequent to the first previous conviction having become final, on conviction the defendant shall be punished for a felony of the second degree.

(c) If it is shown on the trial of a state jail felony for which punishment may be enhanced under Section 12.35(c) that the defendant has previously been finally convicted of a felony other than a state jail felony punishable under Section 12.35(a), on conviction the defendant shall be punished for a felony of the second degree.

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