SB 844 – Under the law prior to the passage of SB 844 a loophole
existed in the Texas Penal Code. Under the Penal Code, an individual commits
an offense if that individual were to evade a peace officer attempting
to place them under arrest or who escapes from custody after they have
been arrested. Additionally, under the Penal Code, a peace officer has
the ability to lawfully detain a person based on a reasonable suspicion
that the person has committed an offense. However, if the person who is
lawfully detained escapes, there is little legal basis for charging that
person with an offense of escape from custody or evading if the escape
occurs outside the peace officers sight. SB 844 makes it an offense for
an individual to escape while they are being lawfully detained.
RADAR JAMMING DEVICES
HB 1116 – Over time numerous devices have been created to help prevent
speeders from being ticketed. The most common device that we are all accustom
to is the radar detector which is designed to pick up radar signals out
of the air. These radar detectors have become less effective, as law enforcement
have become familiarized with how they work. This has spawned the usage
of Lidar/radar jamming devices. Unlike traditional radar detectors, the
jamming devices emit a radio frequency signal that interferes with the
operation of police Lidar/radar by saturating its receiver with noise
or false information. These devices have the potential to damage police
equipment, as well as prevent the police from not only measuring the speed
of the vehicle equipped with the jamming device but also those vehicles
around it. HB 1116 makes it illegal to have a radar jamming device in
POSSESSION OF SPIKES
SB 1416 – Law enforcement officials in South Texas have been tasked
with overcoming a device now being utilized by fleeing suspects. Tire
deflation devices are often used by law enforcement officers to end a
police chase. Recently individuals being pursued by law enforcement officers
have begun throwing down homemade tire deflation devices intended to take
out the police cars tires. These devices pose a danger to not only law
enforcement but also the general public. With the passage of SB 1416,
these devices are now illegal to possess, manufacture, transport, repair or sell.
FAIL TO APPEAR MAY CAUSE YOU INABILITY TO REGISTER YOUR VEHICLE
SB 1386 – Effective 9/1/11.
Authorizes county tax assessor-collector to refuse to register vehicle
owned by person who has failed to appear for criminal proceeding in county. Gives
Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) the same right of refusal. Sets amount
of discretionary fee charged for failing to pay fine and court costs by
due date or
for failure to appear at $20. The $20 fee may only be assessed if county
has contract to provide certain information to DMV. See §§ 502.185, 702.003,
Transp. Code. See also Justices of the Peace and Municipal Judges
HB 253 – Effective 9/1/11.
Lengthens the statute of limitations for the offense of bigamy to ten
years from the date of commission, or ten years from the victim’s
18th birthday, if the victim the defendant purports to marry is younger
than 18 years of age at the time of the offense. In a petition by the
Department of Family and Protective Services
to remove an alleged perpetrator from the home, adds an additional requirement
that the Department state that the parent continuing to reside in the home will
monitor the residence and report any attempt by the alleged perpetrator
to enter the residence. Elevates the failure to comply with the duties
filing a birth certificate or birth record from a Class C misdemeanor
to a Class A misdemeanor. For the offense of bigamy, modifies the existing
what constitutes a first degree felony by raising the age of the victim
to “16 years or younger;” the existing law was “younger
than 16.” See Art. 12.01 Code Crim. Proc., § 262.1015(b) Fam.
Code, § 195.004 Health & Safety Code, § 25.01(e) Penal Code
DEFERRED ADJUDICATION FOR MURDER
HB 371 – Effective 9/1/11.
Prohibits deferred adjudication for most defendants convicted of murder.
See Art. 42.12, Sec. 5(d), Code of Crim. Proc.
CONVICTED-NO CONTACT WITH VICTIMS
HB 1028 – Effective 9/1/11. Authorizes a convicting court to prohibit
a defendant whose sentence includes confinement from contacting the victim
or a member of the victim’s family during the confinement. Provides
that violation of the court’s order may result in loss of good conduct
time and may be considered by a parole
panel. See Arts. 42.24, 42.032, Code of Crim. Proc.; §§ 498.0042,
508.1531, Gov’t Code.
CLASS A MISDEMEANOR FOR BLOOD ALCOHOL OVER .15
HB 1199 – Effective 9/1/11.
Makes a DWI a Class A misdemeanor instead of a Class B misdemeanor if
the defendant’s blood alcohol concentration level is 0.15 or higher.
See § 49.04, Penal Code
EARN HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA = TIME CREDIT IN JAIL
HB 1205 – Effective 9/1/11.
Gives certain defendants “time credits” for completing certain
conditions of community supervision in state jail felony and third degree
felony cases. Relevant conditions of community supervision include earning
a high school diploma, completing a parenting class, and paying court
costs and fines. See Art. 42.12, Sec. 20A, Code of Crim. Proc
IMPERSONATING SOMEONE ELSE ONLINE
HB 1666 – Effective 09/01/11.
Provides a criminal sanction for impersonating another in an email or
on a web page, social network or other internet website, with the intent
to harm, defraud, intimidate or threaten any person.
FIRST OFFENDER PROSTITUTION PROGRAM
HB 1994 – Effective 6/17/11.
Creates first offender prostitution program for defendants charged with
offenses in which defendant offered or agreed to hire a person to engage
in sexual conduct. Requires court, if program is defendant successfully
completes program and certain criteria are met, to enter order of nondisclosure
as if the defendant had received a discharge and dismissal under Section
5(c), Article 42.12, Code of Criminal Procedure. See Chapter 169, Health
and Safety Code
and § 103,0291, Gov’t Code.
CONDITION OF PAROLE-EXIT THE COUNTRY
HB 2734 – Effective 09/01/11.
Mandates a parole panel enter conditions of mandatory supervision on “illegal
criminal aliens” that they leave the United States as soon as possible
after release and not unlawfully
PAROLE ADMINISTRATIVE VIOLATION-NO BLUE WARRANT
HB 2735 – Effective 9/01/11.
Requires a summons to appear rather than a warrant be issued for a person
on parole or mandatory supervision release from the Texas Department of
Criminal Justice for an individual charged only with committing an administrative
violation alleged to have been committed after the third anniversary of
the date the individual was released on parole or mandatory supervision.
There are exceptions for individuals who are required to register under
Art. 62, is on a form of intensive supervision, is an absconder or a threat
to public safety. See §508.251, Gov’t Code
SB 82 – Effective 9/1/11.
Adds an individual with whom a victim has a dating relationship to the
categories of persons covered by the stalking statute; adds stalking convictions
in other states or under federal law to the offenses which can raise the
level of a current offense. Authorizes the offense of stalking to be prosecuted
in any county in which an element of the offense occurred; Ensures stalking
victims are permitted to give testimony in court concerning their relationship
with an alleged perpetrator. See Arts. 13.36, 38.46, Code of Crim. Proc.;
§ 42.072, Penal Code.
CERTAIN SEX OFFENSES EXEMPT FROM REGISTRATION
SB 198 – Effective 9/1/11.
Provides that certain persons convicted of certain sexual offenses are
exempted from registering as a sex offender s. Permits certain young persons who
have been convicted or placed on community supervision for certain offense
involving underage victims to petition the court for release from registration
requirements. See Arts. 42.017, 42.12 (g), 62.301, 62.402, Code of Crim. Proc.
NEW TRIAL MOTION
SB 519 – Effective 9/1/11.
Expands time to make motion for new trial in criminal case in justice
and municipal court from one day to five days. See Art. 45.037, Code of
Crim. Proc. See also Justices of the Peace and Municipal Judges.
FAILURE TO ATTEND SCHOOL
SB 1489 – Effective 9/1/11.
Restricts individuals who can be convicted of failure to attend school
to persons 12 or older and younger than 18. Provides for expunctions of
failure-toattend-school offenses to be obtained in a wider variety of
circumstances. Authorizes courts to dismiss failure-to-attend-school charges
in certain circumstances. See Arts. 45.054, 45.055, Code of Crim. Proc.;
§ 25.094, Educ. Code; § 51.03, Fam. Code. See also Justices
of the Peace and Municipal Judges
BODILY INJURY TO A CHILD
SB 1551 – Effective 9/1/11.
Establishes that when a crime is committed that causes bodily injury to
a child, it may be prosecuted in the county where the offense was committed,
the county where the defendant is apprehended, or the county of the child
or defendant’s residence. Expands the definition of “missing
child” to include a child taken without the permission of the custodian,
unless the taking of the child is prompted by family violence. Establishes
additional affirmative defenses to offenses related to taking children.
See Arts. 13.075, 63.001(3) Code of Crim. Proc., § 25.03(a) Penal Code.
PLEA BY EMAIL OR FAX IF INCARCERATED
SB 1552 – Effective 9/1/11.
Authorizes a court to accept a written plea of guilty or nolo contendere
from a person confined in a penal institution by fax or e-mail. See Art.
27.19, Code of Crim. Proc
HB 1674 – Effective 9/1/11.
Amends statutes concerning enforcement and modification of child support
payments related to medical support payments, child support liens, and
receipt of criminal history information. Removes certain requirements
for a Child Support Review Order, establishes a payment incentive program
to promote payment by obligors who are delinquent in paying assigned child
support arrears, and provides that an individual who has failed to pay
child support for six months or more may be denied the issuance of a license.
See §§ 154.187(c), 154.303(b), 156.401, 157.162, 157.263, 157.311(1)
and (4), 157.317(a), 157.3271, 158.203(b) and (b-1), 158.503, 231.015,
231.124, 231.307, 232.0135, 232.014(a), 233.012, 233.013, Fam. Code; §
1108.101, Ins. Code; § 411.1271(b-1) and (c), Gov’t Code, §
34.04(a), Tax Code; and Art. 59.06, Code of Crim, Proc.
UNDER 17 FINE AND COURT COSTS
HB 350 – Effective 9/1/11.
Permits judge to require convicted criminal defendant younger than 17
to satisfy fine and court costs by performing community service or attending
tutoring. Only applies to convictions for Class C misdemeanors occurring
in building or on grounds of secondary school in which defendant is enrolled.
See Art. 45.0492, Code of Crim. Proc. See also Costs, Fees, Fines and