How Serious is a Class C Misdemeanor?
What Is a Class C Misdemeanor?
A Class C misdemeanor is the least serious of all crimes charged in Texas. When convicted of a Class C misdemeanor, there isn’t any chance of having to serve a jail sentence. There is, however, a fine that could be as high as $500. Examples of Class C misdemeanors are traffic tickets, disorderly conduct, simple assault and theft of less than $50.
A Class C misdemeanor can be a much more serious affair. For example, this will be the case if you were convicted of disorderly conduct or public intoxication three times in a row. This can also occur if you were convicted of any combination of disorderly conduct and public intoxication. If this is the case and the convictions occurred within two years of the current offense, the following penalties will apply:
- A 180-day jail term
- A $2,000 fine
- Both a jail sentence and a fine
How Can a Class C misdemeanor Affect Your Driving Record?
Traffic tickets add points to your driving record. For example, a speeding ticket or a ticket for reckless driving could each add two points to your driving record. If a crash occurred during this time, the DMV would add another point. These points will remain on your record for three years.
According to the Texas Driver Responsibility Law, if you are issued six traffic tickets within a three-year period, the Texas Department of Public Safety will inform you that you must pay a fine. The first six points will cost you $100, and each point after that will cost you $25.
Some traffic violations do not add points to your driving record, but they can lead to large surcharges. For example, a ticket for driving without maintaining financial responsibility will cost you a $250 surcharge that you must pay for three years. A DWI will cost you $1,000 every year for three years. If you get a second DWI, this annual fee increases to $1,500.
Points Affect Car Insurance Rates
The length of time that these points remain on your driving record will be the length of time that they will affect your car insurance rates. If you have full coverage, you can expect to pay an additional $600 in Texas. In contrast, if you have the minimum amount of coverage, this will increase your rate by $270.
Points Lead to License Suspensions
If you receive at least four tickets for moving traffic violations within a one-year period, the DMV may suspend your license. If you receive at least seven tickets for moving traffic violations within a two-year period, this will also lead to suspension of your driver’s license.
If you or a loved one need to seek the advice of a traffic lawyer, contact us at Smith & Vinson Law Firm.