Published on:

New Criminal Laws Start in Texas -Part I

Starting September 1, 2019, Texas’ new criminal laws took effect. These new laws range from new fines in DWI cases to it now being illegal to send unwanted sexually explicit photos—better known as “dick pics”. Some of the highlights from the new laws are as follows:
HB 2048 – Texas now will not impose surcharges for individuals convicted of DWI offenses. However, the new law is not any better. The Texas Transportation Code now imposes fines for the criminal offense. A first offense within 36-month period carries a $3,000 fine; a second or subsequent conviction in a 36-month period is a $4,500 fine; and a first or subsequent DWI where the blood, breath, or urine shows a concentration of 0.16 or more will pay a $6,000 fine.
HB 446 – Texas now allows clubs, brass knuckles, and batons to be carried and are no longer illegal.
HB 1325 – Texas legalized hemp when it has a THC concentration less than 0.3%.
HB2789 – It is now a Class C criminal offense in Texas to send unsolicited “dick pics”. A Class C misdemeanor carries a maximum punishment of up to a $500 fine.
SB 20 – Misdemeanor and State Jail Felony Prostitution cases in Texas now require a judge to give mandatory probation for the offenders. A jury may still give jail time.
HB 37 – Mail theft is now a criminal offense. Depending on the number of addresses someone steals from will determine the level offense. Also, stealing from the elderly or disabled will enhance the punishment.
HB 902 – Assaulting a pregnant woman will now be a felony offense in Texas instead of a misdemeanor.