The three main types of correctional facilities in Texas include county jails, state jails and prisons. You’ll often hear people using the terms jail and prison interchangeable, but, in fact, they are quite different. In Texas, correctional facilities differ in the type of offenders they house. County jails house most misdemeanor offenders, but we’ll focus on state jails and prisons in this post.
Texas State Jails and Texas Prisons
Texas state jails and prisons both house felony offenders. But those facing Texas felony charges might not know where they will go if convicted and sentenced to incarceration. Likewise, they may not know the difference between state jails and prisons. In reality, those differences can be significant depending on where you’re headed.
Where Do Felons Go?
Texas classifies felonies as state jail felonies, third-degree felonies, second-degree felonies, first-degree felonies or capital felonies. State jails house those with state jail felony convictions. Examples of state jail felonies include possession of a controlled substance under one gram and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. State prisons house those with higher degree felonies.
Felony designations determine where the offender will serve his or her sentence of incarceration. Unfortunately, they do not always correlate with the level of comfort the inmate will encounter. Put simply, neither sentences in state jails or state prisons are pleasant. State jails might offer more programs and amenities to inmates if resources are available. But when it comes to state prisons, those resources are increasingly scarce. These designations also segregate more serious felony offenders from minor felony offenders. This allows the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to better allocate funds to house inmates based on their offense category.
Fight Your Felony Charges Head on With an Experienced Attorney
If you are facing charges for a Texas felony, make sure you discuss your case in detail with a seasoned criminal defense attorney in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. An attorney can advise you on what type of felony charge you are facing. He or she may also be able to help you avoid a prison sentence by reducing your charge to a state jail felony or (better still) a misdemeanor. Every case is different, however, so consult with an attorney for personalized legal advice.
If you’re facing felony charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action to protect your rights. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.