Texas has enacted many new laws which have caught the attention of national media and voters around the country. These laws can impact your life on a day-to-day basis. We will be discussing some of the new criminal laws that could result in unsuspecting Texans being charged with crimes or additional enhancements
Felony Hospital and Roadway Entrance Blocking
It is now a state jail felony to knowingly block an emergency vehicle with its lights and sirens on or obstruct access to a health care or hospital facility. This crime is punishable by up to two years in jail and a maximum fine of up to $10,000. Even if you are sentenced to probation, you will be required to spend at least 10 days in jail.
As of September 1st, Texans over age 21 are now allowed to carry a handgun in public without a license or training. There is no requirement to obtain a license to carry a gun as long as you want to be prohibited from possessing a gun under Texas or federal law. The law also made several requirements regarding firearms. For example, it is now a crime for a gang member to carry a firearm in a vehicle. It is also a crime to carry a firearm while intoxicated.
Financial Abuse of the Elderly
Financial abuse of the elderly is now considered a crime. Financial abuse of the elderly is defined as “knowingly engaging in the wrongful taking, appropriation, obtaining, retention or use of money or other property of an elderly person” by any means, including exploitation of the elderly individual’s finances. This crime is a Class B misdemeanor but can be charged up to a first-degree felony depending on the amount of property taken from the elderly individual.
Impersonating a Private Investigator
It is now a Class A misdemeanor to impersonate a private investigator. Private investigators have to be licensed by the Texas Department of Public Safety see. Impersonating a licensed private investigator with the intent to induce another person to submit to their authority is punishable by up to a year in jail and a maximum fine of $4,000.
Unlawful Use of a Firework
During the extensive protest of 2020, many protesters would use laser pointers or fireworks to injure or abstract law enforcement. Texas has passed a law making it a criminal offense to use fireworks unlawfully. Defendants can be charged for exploding and igniting fireworks with the intent to interfere with official police activity. Using fireworks that are sold to Consumers is a state jail felony. It is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison to use explosive fireworks at a police officer.
Contact a Dallas/Ft. Worth Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with any of these new crimes, or any other crime in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Contact the skilled defense attorneys at Abel law firm as soon as possible to learn more about how we can protect you and your rights.