Abuse of Corpse

Chapter 42 of the Texas Penal Code defines disorderly conduct and other related charges.

“Abuse of Corpse”, as per § 42.08 of the Texas Penal Code, occurs when a person, without legal authority, knowingly:

1. disinters, disturbs, damages, dissects, in whole or in part, carries away, or treats in an offensive manner a human corpse;

2. conceals a human corpse knowing it to be illegally disinterred;

3. sells or buys a human corpse or in any way traffics in a human corpse;

4. transmits or conveys, or procures to be transmitted or conveyed, a human corpse to a place outside the state; or

5. vandalizes, damages, or treats in an offensive manner the space in which a human corpse has been interred or otherwise permanently laid to rest.

An offense under this section is a state jail felony, except that an offense under Subsection 5) is a Class A misdemeanor.

In this section, "human corpse" includes:

  • any portion of a human corpse;
  • the cremated remains of a human corpse; or
  • any portion of the cremated remains of a human corpse.

Punishment Range

Misdemeanor A

  • Confinement in jail for a term not to exceed one year
  • Fine not to exceed $4,000
  • Both such fine and confinement

State Jail Felony

  • Confinement in a state jail for not more than two years and not less than 180 days
  • In addition to confinement, may receive a fine not to exceed $10,000

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