Gang Free Zones in Texas Law
Texas law establishes gang free zones near schools, shopping malls and child day care centers. These laws are intended to discourage gang related criminal activity where people assemble en masse, students assemble for learning, or children are being cared for.
Specifically gang free zones occur within 1000 feet of any school, youth centers (child care) or playgrounds, within 300 feet of any shopping mall, movie theater, public swimming pool, video arcade or school bus.
Texas law provides for enhanced penalties for certain criminal activities that occur within a gang free zone. The penalties for these crimes are escalated to the next highest category of offense if they are committed within a gang free zone.
Recently,Texas amended gang free zones law to require that information about gang free zones be distributed to parents and/or the guardians of children in public or private school systems, as well as child care centers.
The area that falls within a zone can vary a bit depending on the type of location. Municipal and county engineers produce and update maps for the purposes of establishing zones. Parents and guardians of small children may contact their local municipality or courthouse to obtain a copy of these maps.
John Q. Lawyer
Attorney at Law
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