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Texas Laws | Penal Code
PENAL CODE
TITLE 9. OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC ORDER AND DECENCY

Amended by: (4789)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 691 (H.B. 359), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2011. (4790)

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 953 (H.B. 1791), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2013. (4791)

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1407 (S.B. 393), Sec. 19, eff. September 1, 2013. (4792)

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1409 (S.B. 1114), Sec. 9, eff. September 1, 2013. (4793)

Sec. 42.02. RIOT. (4794)(Text)

(a) For the purpose of this section, "riot" means the assemblage of seven or more persons resulting in conduct which: (4795)

(1) creates an immediate danger of damage to property or injury to persons; (4796)

(2) substantially obstructs law enforcement or other governmental functions or services; or (4797)

(3) by force, threat of force, or physical action deprives any person of a legal right or disturbs any person in the enjoyment of a legal right. (4798)

(b) A person commits an offense if he knowingly participates in a riot. (4799)

(c) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the assembly was at first lawful and when one of those assembled manifested an intent to engage in conduct enumerated in Subsection (a), the actor retired from the assembly. (4800)

(d) It is no defense to prosecution under this section that another who was a party to the riot has been acquitted, has not been arrested, prosecuted, or convicted, has been convicted of a different offense or of a different type or class of offense, or is immune from prosecution. (4801)

(e) Except as provided in Subsection (f), an offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor. (4802)

(f) An offense under this section is an offense of the same classification as any offense of a higher grade committed by anyone engaged in the riot if the offense was: (4803)

(1) in the furtherance of the purpose of the assembly; or (4804)

(2) an offense which should have been anticipated as a result of the assembly. (4805)

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. (4806)

Sec. 42.03. OBSTRUCTING HIGHWAY OR OTHER PASSAGEWAY. (4807)(Text)

(a) A person commits an offense if, without legal privilege or authority, he intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly: (4808)

(1) obstructs a highway, street, sidewalk, railway, waterway, elevator, aisle, hallway, entrance, or exit to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access, or any other place used for the passage of persons, vehicles, or conveyances, regardless of the means of creating the obstruction and whether the obstruction arises from his acts alone or from his acts and the acts of others; or (4809)

(2) disobeys a reasonable request or order to move issued by a person the actor knows to be or is informed is a peace officer, a fireman, or a person with authority to control the use of the premises: (4810)

(A) to prevent obstruction of a highway or any of those areas mentioned in Subdivision (1); or (4811)

(B) to maintain public safety by dispersing those gathered in dangerous proximity to a fire, riot, or other hazard. (4812)

(b) For purposes of this section, "obstruct" means to render impassable or to render passage unreasonably inconvenient or hazardous. (4813)

(c) An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor. (4814)

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. (4815)

Sec. 42.04. DEFENSE WHEN CONDUCT CONSISTS OF SPEECH OR OTHER EXPRESSION. (4816)(Text)

(a) If conduct that would otherwise violate Section 42.01(a)(5) (Unreasonable Noise), 42.03 (Obstructing Passageway), or 42.055 (Funeral Service Disruptions) consists of speech or other communication, of gathering with others to hear or observe such speech or communication, or of gathering with others to picket or otherwise express in a nonviolent manner a position on social, economic, political, or religious questions, the actor must be ordered to move, disperse, or otherwise remedy the violation prior to his arrest if he has not yet intentionally harmed the interests of others which those sections seek to protect. (4817)

(b) The order required by this section may be given by a peace officer, a fireman, a person with authority to control the use of the premises, or any person directly affected by the violation. (4818)

(c) It is a defense to prosecution under Section 42.01(a)(5), 42.03, or 42.055: (4819)

(1) that in circumstances in which this section requires an order no order was given; (4820)

(2) that an order, if given, was manifestly unreasonable in scope; or (4821)

(3) that an order, if given, was promptly obeyed. (4822)

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. (4823)

Amended by: (4824)

Acts 2006, 79th Leg., 3rd C.S., Ch. 2 (H.B. 97), Sec. 2, eff. May 19, 2006. (4825)

Sec. 42.05. DISRUPTING MEETING OR PROCESSION. (4826)(Text)

(a) A person commits an offense if, with intent to prevent or disrupt a lawful meeting, procession, or gathering, he obstructs or interferes with the meeting, procession, or gathering by physical action or verbal utterance. (4827)

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