New Texas Criminal Laws Coming our Way in September!

Beginning in September, several new laws will take into effect in Texas. Here are a couple that will affect us:

  • NO more Texting and Driving!! Starting September 1, Texas will have a statewide ban that will not allow motorist to read, write, or send a text message while operating a car unless the car is stopped. If you are found committing this act, you may be fined $25-$99 for the first offense. The law does allow you use your phone to access your stereo system and/or GPS.
  • Machetes and Swords in Public? Taking effect September 1, you can now carry a sword, machete, spear, bowie knives, or any knife longer than 5.5 inches in public! Of course you have to stay away from hospitals, jails, parks, schools, bars, sporting events, and churches. Children under the age of 18 cannot carry a long knife unless he/she is under the supervision of an adult.
  • David’s Law aka No More Cyberbullying- It is now a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable with up to a year in jail and up to a $4,000 fine, to electronically harass or cyberbully someone under the age of 18 through text messages, social media sites, websites, or any means with the intent to cause them to commit suicide or to harm themselves. The law allows courts to subpoena the sites to unmask the anonymous person and it requires public schools to report and intervene in any suspected cyberbullying case. This new law will also allow the victims to obtain temporary restraining orders against social media accounts used to harass or bully them and to sue the cyberbullies’ parents for not intervening.
  • Second Chance for First Time DWI offenders- If you were charged with a Class B Misdemeanor DWI and successfully completed probation or your jail time, you can now seek to non-disclose the arrest! See my previous blog post for a thorough explanation!
  • Drone flyers beware! Stay clear of correctional facilities, United States Immigration and Custom Enforcement detention centers, and sports venue or you can be facing a Class B Misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and up to a $2,000 fine. The purpose of this law is to protect the public from weapons that could be carried on the drones and drugs or contrabands that could be delivered to inmates.
  • “The Police Protection Act” makes attacking a police officer a Hate Crime- The legislators have now expanded the state’s hate crime statute to offer police and judges the same protections against bias and prejudice currently provided to individuals on account of their race, gender, disability, religion, age and sexual preference. This new law will enhance the penalties when an officer or judge is the victim. The penalties for threatening a police officer increased from a misdemeanor to a State Jail Felony, punishable by 180 days to 2 years in a state jail facility and a fine up to $10,000. Unlawfully restraining or assaulting a police officer or judge is a Second Degree Felony punishable by 2-20 years in the Texas Department of Corrections and a fine up to $10,000. Any crime that results in serious bodily injury against a police officer or judge is a First Degree Felony, punishable by 5-99 years in the Texas Department of Corrections and a fine up to $10,000.

Contact the lawyers at the Law Office of Patrick J McLain, PLLC if you are charged with a State or Federal crime. We can help defend you against various crimes and will fight vigorously to protect your legal rights. You can call us 24/7 by calling (214) 416-9100 or visit our law office at 3316 Oak Grove Ave St #200e, Dallas, Texas 75204. Don’t wait before it is too late!

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