|IMPROPER PHOTOGRAPHY OR VISUAL
A person commits a State Jail Felony if the electronic means, visually records another without that person's consent and
with person photographs, videotapes, or by other the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person. This new offense does not require nudity, pornography, or lewd images. It is a crime if photographs are taken without permission and the images are intended to cause someone to become sexually
|FORFEITURE AND CONTRABAND:
Many sexual offenses against children involve the use of computers and several of these offenses involve the possession of child pornography or the enticement of children over the Internet. The new law expands
the definition of "contraband" to include property used in the commission of a felony involving the possession or promotion of child pornography, indecency with a child, sexual performance by a child, or certain criminal solicitation of a minor offenses.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS IF YOU ARE ARRESTED:
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to know the accusation against you and of any affidavit filed therewith;
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to retain counsel;
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to remain silent;
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to have an attorney present to advise you prior to and during any questioning;
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to terminate an interview at any time;
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to request the appointment of counsel if you are indigent and cannot afford counsel;
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to be informed by a magistrate that you are not required to make a statement and that any statement you make may be used against you;
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to a reasonable time and opportunity to consult counsel;
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to be admitted to bail if allowed by law.
|USING CHILDREN TO SELL
There is some concern that some adults recruit minors to sell drugs to school-age children. The new law increases the penalty for adults who use children under 18 years of age to commit or assist in the commission of the manufacture or delivery of certain illegal drugs. If the defendant used or threatened to use force against the child or another to gain the child's assistance, the offense is a felony of the first degree. Punishment under this offense can not be run concurrently with any other sentence.
Prostitution occurs when a person knowingly engages in or offers or agrees to engage in sexual conduct for a fee, or solicits another in a public place to engage in sexual conduct for hire. The new law makes prostitution a State Jail Felony if a person has been previously convicted of prostitution three or more times. In some cases, a State Jail Felony can be enhanced to a second degree felony (up to twenty years in prison and a $10,00000 fine) if a defendant has two prior felony convictions. It is a Third Degree Felony for the act above if the person in jail or prison has been convicted and attempts contact.
PROHIBITED RIDING IN THE TRUCK
Texas law now prohibits a child under the age of 18 from riding in the bed of a truck or trailer at any speed. There are several defenses to prosecution under this section including that the person was: "operating a vehicle that is the only vehicle owned or operated by the members of a household."
INTERFERENCE WITH POLICE SERVICE
It is a Class C misdemeanor if a person recklessly teases, torments, or strikes a police service animal. It is a Class B misdemeanor if a person throws an object or substance at a police service animal. It is a Class A misdemeanor if a person interferes with or blocks a police service animal, or interferes with or obstructs the handler or rider of a police service animal in the manner that restricts the rider's control of the animal. This includes releasing the animal from its area, or entering the area of control of the animal without consent of the rider, including placing food or any other object into that area. It is a State Jail Felony if a person injures, tries to injure, or tries to kill a police service animal. It is a Third Degree Felony if a police service animal dies as a result of the conduct of any person intending to injure the animal.
UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF METAL OR BODY ARMOR BY
It is a Third Degree Felony for a person who has been convicted of a felony to possess metal or body armor. "Metal or body armor" means any body covering manifestly designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of protecting a person against gunfire.
IMPROPER COMMUNICATION WITH
If a person has been charged with a sex offense and is in jail or prison, it is a Class A misdemeanor if that person contacts in any manner the victim who is under 17 years old or contacts the victim's family without consent of the victim or the victim's parent or guardian.
Hate crimes are acts committed by a defendant who intentionally selected a victim because of the victim's race, color, disability, religion, national origin or ancestry, age, gender, or sexual preference. Generally, the punishment for the offense is increased to the punishment prescribed for the next highest category of offense. The new law enhances penalties for crimes motivated by hate, prejudice, or bias.
It is now an offense if a person commits harassment by email or electronic communication.
ILLEGAL USE OF NITROUS
Nitrous oxide and ketamine belong to a group of drugs known as dissociative anaesthetics, which separate perception from sensation and may lead to dependency and health complications. Although the drugs have legitimate legal uses, they are often abused by teenagers. The new law makes the possession or use of nitrous oxide by a person and the sale or delivery of nitrous oxide to a minor a class B misdemeanor under certain conditions.
BE CAREFUL!!! IF YOU ARE IN JAIL CHARGED WITH A SEX OFFENSE, SIMPLY CALLING THE ALLEGED VICTIM OR THEIR FAMILY CAN LEAD TO ADDITIONAL CRIMINAL CHARGES. THERE IS NO EXCEPTION FOR YOUR OWN FAMILY MEMBERS.
PROTECTIVE ORDERS EXPANDED TO DATING
Formerly, protective orders applied only to married couples, couples with a child, or cohabitating couples. There have been recent incidents of domestic violence related murders where the victims have been unable to obtain a protective order because the victim did not meet the above criteria. The new law enables individuals, who have had a continuous social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with an abusive partner, to apply for an order to protect the victim and the victim's child. Because dating relationships are difficult to define, I have provided you below with the language of the new statute: DATING VIOLENCE (a) "Dating violence" means an act by an individual that is against another individual with whom that person has or had a dating relationship with and that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the individual in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself. (b) For purposes of this title, "dating relationship" means a relationship between individuals who have or have had a continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on consideration of: (1) the length of the relationship; (2) the nature of the relationship; and (3) the frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. (c) A casual acquaintanceship or ordinary fraternization in a business or social context does not constitute a "dating relationship" under Subsection (b).
David B. Frank
Attorney And Counselor At Law
The Penthouse Condominiums
1212 Guadalupe Street, Suite 103
Austin, Texas 78701
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