Posted on 5/19/16

The Texas Legislature passed several new laws in the first half of the year, many of which are criminal. This was an active session with new laws passed relating to open carry, drug manufacturing, and pornography. Following is a summary of what is new in Texas law.

New Open Carry Laws

The open carry law has been modified as of January 1, 2016. Beginning this year, House Bill 910 allows people with concealed handgun licenses to openly carry a firearm in their waistbands, in a holster, or in a girder. Senate Bill No. 11 is also related to guns, and it amends the Texas Government and Penal Codes. Senate Bill No. 11 allows people who are licensed handgun holders to carry a concealed weapon on public and private universities. This law will take effect on August 1, 2016. That law also makes concealed handgun permits valid identification in the state of Texas.

Enhanced Penalties for Repeat Drug Manufacturing Offenders

Texas continues to have some of the toughest drug laws in the nation. In the past, delivering and manufacturing controlled substances was a Class A misdemeanor. That law was changed so that in the event of a second or subsequent offense, the crime becomes a felony and carries a prison sentence. Two prior convictions for this crime make it a third-degree felony.

No More Revenge Porn

Revenge porn is now actionable in Texas in criminal and civil court. If intimate photographs were disclosed without the subject’s consent, the person had reason to believe the information would not be disclosed, and it causes harm, and revealed the identity of the subject, then you can bring criminal and civil charges against the offending person. This new law went into effect in September 2015.

Extended Statute of Limitations for Sex Crimes Victims

House bill 189 increases the amount of time victims of sexual abuse have to report their abuse. There is a five-year statute of limitations on crimes like human trafficking, prostitution, and aggravated assault. If the victim is a child, however, then there is a 15-year statute of limitations to file a claim. Finally, if an abuser is alleged to have committed a similar sexual offense against five or more victims, there is no statute of limitations.

Criminal Dissemination of Confidential Health Information

Texas made it a crime to disseminate the confidential health information of another person with the intent to violate provisions of the law. If a healthcare official violates this law, it will be charged as a Class A misdemeanor.

Do You Need to Call a Dallas County Defense Attorney?

If you or a loved one is being charged with one on of these new criminal laws, we can help you. Call or contact the office today for a free and confidential consultation on your case.

Flower Mound Office

Phone: 972.584.7837

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