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Texas Laws | Penal Code

PENAL CODE (1)(Text)

TITLE 1. INTRODUCTORY PROVISIONS (2)(Text)

Updated: 08/03/2018 at 19:53:01. Including revisions from the 2017 Texas Legislature. (3)

CHAPTER 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS (4)(Text)

Sec. 1.01. SHORT TITLE. (5)(Text)

This code shall be known and may be cited as the Penal Code. (6)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (7)

Sec. 1.02. OBJECTIVES OF CODE. (8)(Text)

The general purposes of this code are to establish a system of prohibitions, penalties, and correctional measures to deal with conduct that unjustifiably and inexcusably causes or threatens harm to those individual or public interests for which state protection is appropriate. To this end, the provisions of this code are intended, and shall be construed, to achieve the following objectives: (9)

(1) to insure the public safety through: (10)

(A) the deterrent influence of the penalties hereinafter provided; (11)

(B) the rehabilitation of those convicted of violations of this code; and (12)

(C) such punishment as may be necessary to prevent likely recurrence of criminal behavior; (13)

(2) by definition and grading of offenses to give fair warning of what is prohibited and of the consequences of violation; (14)

(3) to prescribe penalties that are proportionate to the seriousness of offenses and that permit recognition of differences in rehabilitation possibilities among individual offenders; (15)

(4) to safeguard conduct that is without guilt from condemnation as criminal; (16)

(5) to guide and limit the exercise of official discretion in law enforcement to prevent arbitrary or oppressive treatment of persons suspected, accused, or convicted of offenses; and (17)

(6) to define the scope of state interest in law enforcement against specific offenses and to systematize the exercise of state criminal jurisdiction. (18)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (19)

Sec. 1.03. EFFECT OF CODE. (20)(Text)

(a) Conduct does not constitute an offense unless it is defined as an offense by statute, municipal ordinance, order of a county commissioners court, or rule authorized by and lawfully adopted under a statute. (21)

(b) The provisions of Titles 1, 2, and 3 apply to offenses defined by other laws, unless the statute defining the offense provides otherwise; however, the punishment affixed to an offense defined outside this code shall be applicable unless the punishment is classified in accordance with this code. (22)

(c) This code does not bar, suspend, or otherwise affect a right or liability to damages, penalty, forfeiture, or other remedy authorized by law to be recovered or enforced in a civil suit for conduct this code defines as an offense, and the civil injury is not merged in the offense. (23)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (24)

Sec. 1.04. TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION. (25)(Text)

(a) This state has jurisdiction over an offense that a person commits by his own conduct or the conduct of another for which he is criminally responsible if: (26)

(1) either the conduct or a result that is an element of the offense occurs inside this state; (27)

(2) the conduct outside this state constitutes an attempt to commit an offense inside this state; (28)

(3) the conduct outside this state constitutes a conspiracy to commit an offense inside this state, and an act in furtherance of the conspiracy occurs inside this state; or (29)

(4) the conduct inside this state constitutes an attempt, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit, or establishes criminal responsibility for the commission of, an offense in another jurisdiction that is also an offense under the laws of this state. (30)

(b) If the offense is criminal homicide, a "result" is either the physical impact causing death or the death itself. If the body of a criminal homicide victim is found in this state, it is presumed that the death occurred in this state. If death alone is the basis for jurisdiction, it is a defense to the exercise of jurisdiction by this state that the conduct that constitutes the offense is not made criminal in the jurisdiction where the conduct occurred. (31)

(c) An offense based on an omission to perform a duty imposed on an actor by a statute of this state is committed inside this state regardless of the location of the actor at the time of the offense. (32)

(d) This state includes the land and water and the air space above the land and water over which this state has power to define offenses. (33)

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. (34)

Sec. 1.05. CONSTRUCTION OF CODE. (35)(Text)

(a) The rule that a penal statute is to be strictly construed does not apply to this code. The provisions of this code shall be construed according to the fair import of their terms, to promote justice and effect the objectives of the code. (36)

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