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Criminal charges


Criminal offenses under state and federal laws are generally categorized by the seriousness of the crime as felonies (more serious) or misdemeanors (less serious). Felonies are offenses that generally may result in prison sentences of more than one year, and misdemeanors carry sentences of one year or less. The United States Congress sets the penalties for all federal criminal offenses, and thus decides which criminal offenses are felonies and which are misdemeanors. And the state legislature in each state decides which criminal offenses are felonies and which are misdemeanors under state law.

In Texas, criminal offenses are classified into felonies and misdemeanors based on their severity, with felonies being the more serious crimes. Felonies can lead to prison sentences exceeding one year, while misdemeanors typically result in sentences of one year or less. The Texas Penal Code outlines the specific categorizations and penalties for state offenses. For federal offenses, the United States Congress determines the classification and penalties, including which crimes are considered felonies and misdemeanors. The distinction between felonies and misdemeanors at both the state and federal levels affects the nature of the punishment, the court procedures involved, and the long-term consequences for individuals convicted of these crimes.

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