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What is a Class C Misdemeanor?

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Class C Misdemeanor Penalties

A Class C misdemeanor offense is the most basic offense and does not include a jail term, only a fine of not more than $500. It has the lowest fine of the misdemeanor classes. Any offense that is designated as a misdemeanor that does not have a set punishment is deemed a Class C misdemeanor. Conviction of this class of misdemeanor does not result in any legal disability or disadvantage, meaning, under normal circumstances, you won't lose any freedoms or privileges.

Class C Misdemeanor Enhanced Penalties

Habitual offenders face enhanced penalties if they have three previous convictions, in any combination, of disorderly conduct or public intoxication and each offense was committed within 24 months of the date of the current offense.The enhanced penalty is a fine of not more than $2,000 and/or a jail sentence of up to 180 days.

Should a corporation or association be found guilty of a Class C misdemeanor the court may sentence them to pay a fine of up to $2,000 or an amount of double the amount gained by the corporation or lost or damaged by the victim(s).

If the basis of any Class C misdemeanor crime is bias or prejudice, the court will enhance the punishment to the next highest classification of Class B misdemeanor which carries a minimum 180 day jail term and a fine of up to $2,000.

Examples of Class C Misdemeanor Crimes

The following are examples of common Class C Misdemeanor crimes:

  • certain types of assault
  • aiding suicide
  • leaving a child in a vehicle
  • criminal mischief
  • reckless damage or destruction
  • criminal trespass
  • theft, if value of property is under $50
  • issuance of bad checks
  • illegal recruitment of an athlete
  • insurance fraud if value of claim is under $50
  • false reporting of missing child or person
  • disorderly conduct

As with any crime, penalties can be increased or reduced based on aggravated circumstances, the history and character of the accused, as well as any mitigating circumstances.

*The laws and penalties regarding misdemeanor classes and offenses vary for each state, however Texas law presents a fair and clear representation of penal law, and is used in this article to offer a basic understanding of the Class C misdemeanor. The information contained in this article should not be construed as legal advice, and those accused of any misdemeanor should seek legal counsel immediately.

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