State Jail Felonies

The Texas State Legislature in 1993, created the State Jail Division within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) to ease overcrowding in county and state facilities. A State Jail Felony is punishable by up to two years incarceration in state jail and a $10000 fine. 

The goal of the State Jail Division is to provide a community-based facility that offers rehabilitation services to nonviolent offenders. The following are a list of state jail felonies:

  1. Crimes of Dishonesty
    • Theft
    • Theft of services
    • Forgery
    • Fraudulent transfer of a motor vehicle
    • Commercial bribery
  2. Crimes Involving Children and the Vulnerable
    1. Abandoning or endangering a child
    2. Injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual
    3. Interfering with child custody
    4. Agreement to abduct from custody (child under 18 years old)
    5. Criminal nonsupport
  3. Unlawful Use, Access or Divulgence
    • Illegal divulgence of public communications
    • Unlawful use of a criminal instrument
    • Unlawful interception, use, or disclosure of wire, oral, or electronic communications
    • Unlawful use of a pen register or trap and trace device
    • Unlawful access to stored communications
  4. Aiding suicide
  5. Property Crimes
    • Interference with railroad property
    • Graffiti
    • Unauthorized use of a vehicle
    • Trademark counterfeiting
    • Credit card or debit card abuse
    • Hindering secured creditors
    • Credit card transaction record laundering
    • Criminal mischief

Sentencing Options for a State Jail Felony

The sentencing options for a state jail felony include:

For state jail placement the court can impose:

  • a direct sentence with a sentencing range of 180 days up to 2 years; or
  • revocation with a sentencing range of the remainder of the sentence up to 2 years.

For state jail probation with state jail time the court can impose:

  • shock probation with a sentencing range of no less than 75 days; or
  • up-front time with a sentencing range of 90 - 180 days, or up to 1 year for manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance;
  • modified condition of probation with a sentencing range.

For a state jail probation with county jail time the court can impose up-front time with a sentencing range of 0-90 days. For State Jail Probation the court can impose community supervision with a sentencing range of 5 years which can be extended to an additional 5 years by court action.

For state jail probation the court can impose community supervision with a sentencing range of 5 years which can be extended to an additional 5 years by court action.


Additional Resources

Sec. 12.35. State Jail Felony Punishment - Visit the website of the Texas legislature to find statutes that apply to state jail felony offenses and penalties. Find circumstances in which a state jail felony can be punished as a third-degree felony when a deadly weapon was used or exhibited, the individual has a prior felony conviction or under Section 20A.03 or 21.02, Article 42A.054(a), Code of Criminal Procedure; or when the judgment contains an affirmative finding under Article 42A.054(c) or (d).


This article was last updated on Monday, April 10, 2017.

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