What is a 12.44? Felony to Misdemeanor

What is a 12.44(a) or a 12.44(b)?

A 12.44(a) or a 12.44(b) refers to the Texas Penal Code Chapter 12 on the reduction of state jail felony punishment to misdemeanor punishment. Texas Penal Code section 12.44(a) occurs when the court allows the defendant to serve a state felony punishment that would have been in a state jail as a misdemeanor in a county jail. Texas Penal Code section 12.44(b) occurs when, at the request of the prosecuting attorney, the prosecuting attorney may be allowed to try the state jail felony as a Class A misdemeanor. The duration of the sentence is typically the same as if the case were tried as a felony. While a 12.44(a) is an improvement in the quality of life for the defendant, a 12.44(b) is much better on the record of the defendant because they can finish their sentence without adding a felony to their record. This removes the felony from the record of the defendant!


(a) A court may punish a defendant who is convicted of a state jail felony by imposing the confinement permissible as punishment for a Class A misdemeanor if, after considering the gravity and circumstances of the felony committed and the history, character, and rehabilitative needs of the defendant, the court finds that such punishment would best serve the ends of justice.

(b) At the request of the prosecuting attorney, the court may authorize the prosecuting attorney to prosecute a state jail felony as a Class A misdemeanor.

This change of a felony to a misdemeanor was enacted into law in 1973 and the last amendment was effected September 1, 2005 and remains current.

If you’re looking to see if your case can be tried as a Class A misdemeanor instead of a felony, then you need attorneys in Texas that know the prosecutors and/or have experience in persuading prosecutors that they’ll never win a felony case. All of our attorneys at Cofer Luster Criminal Defense Lawyers , P.C. have tried cases as prosecutors in Texas and know many techniques used to convince prosecutors to use a 12.44(b). Get the help you need with your case today by calling Cody, James, and Daniel at Cofer Luster Criminal Defense Lawyers , P.C. in Fort Worth, TX at (682) 777-3336.