A Short Reflection on Punishment Enhancements: Repeater Status

Many are already aware that the repeated commission of criminal offenses can result in increased punishment. Sections 12.42, 12.425, and 12.43 of the Texas Penal Code provides for general “repeater” enhancements. These include the following:

  • Class A misdemeanor with prior Class A Misdemeanor Conviction, or Felony conviction:
    • Minimum sentence increased to 90 days
  • Class B misdemeanor with prior Class A or B Misdemeanor Conviction, or any Felony conviction:
    • Minimum sentence increased to 30 days
  • State Jail Felony
    • With two or more prior State Jail Felony Convictions:
      • Punishment enhanced to 2 to 10 years in prison (3rd degree penalty range)
    • With two or more Felony convictions besides State Jail Felonies, with the latter convictions for offenses that occurred after the first conviction became “final”:
      • Punishment enhanced to 2 to 20 years in prison (2nd degree penalty range)
  • Non-State Jail Felonies
    • Prior non-State Jail Felony conviction
      • Punishment enhanced to next higher degree range
        • 3rd -> 2nd
        • 2nd -> 1st
    • Two or more prior non-State Jail Felony conviction, with the latter convictions resulting from offenses that occurred after the first conviction became “final”
      • Can be enhanced to “Habitual” status -> Minimum sentence is 25 years, with max of 99 or life.

Enhanceable Offenses Need an Aggressive Defense!

The above is a list of common enhancements sought by prosecutors for repeat offenders. Often times, these enhancements are merely bargaining tools used by prosecutors to pressure defendants into taking “a good deal.” Should you be charged with such an offense, you need an experienced attorney who will fight against enhancements that might be sought against you. Please call me at (512) 689-4299.