A capital felony charge is the most serious charge you can pick up in Texas. This charge can be punishable by life in prison without parole. In some cases, you may be subject to the death penalty. This type of felony is usually reserved for the most serious crimes. These can include murder, treason, arson leading to death and others.
What constitutes a capital felony?
Felonies of the capital type are classified as acts that are fully intentional and committed under certain circumstances. They can include the commission of treason against the Federal government. They can also include such acts as murdering a police officer, corrections officer, firefighter or judge.
Committing murder for hire or hiring someone to commit a murder also comes under the heading of capital treason. Other examples can include committing the murder of a child under a certain age or committing a murder while attempting to flee from prison. Aggravated kidnapping or robbery can also qualify if the murder is committed under certain conditions.
Who decides what counts as capital felonies?
Felony charges are far more serious than a mere misdemeanor. They will generally involve a penalty beyond a simple fine or up to a year in prison. Receiving bail under these circumstances is not impossible. However, you can usually expect the amount to be much higher than for a misdemeanor.
It will be up to the court to decide if your crime counts as a capital felony. If the answer is yes, a jury will then determine whether it merits the death penalty. In most cases, the vote to impose the penalty must be unanimous. The defendant will then have the right to file an appeal. An appellate court can then make a final decision.