Law:Title 4. Inchoate Offenses (Texas)

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Contents

Chapter 15. Preparatory Offenses

Section  15.01.  Criminal Attempt.

(a) A person commits an offense if, with specific intent to commit an offense, he does an act amounting to more than mere preparation that tends but fails to effect the commission of the offense intended.

(b)  If a person attempts an offense that may be aggravated, his conduct constitutes an attempt to commit the aggravated offense if an element that aggravates the offense accompanies the attempt.

(c)  It is no defense to prosecution for criminal attempt that the offense attempted was actually committed.

(d)  An offense under this section is one category lower than the offense attempted, and if the offense attempted is a state jail felony, the offense is a Class A misdemeanor.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 478, ch. 203, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1975; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.



Section  15.02.  Criminal Conspiracy.

(a) A person commits criminal conspiracy if, with intent that a felony be committed:

(1)  he agrees with one or more persons that they or one or more of them engage in conduct that would constitute the offense; and

(2)  he or one or more of them performs an overt act in pursuance of the agreement.

(b)  An agreement constituting a conspiracy may be inferred from acts of the parties.

(c)  It is no defense to prosecution for criminal conspiracy that:

(1)  one or more of the coconspirators is not criminally responsible for the object offense;

(2)  one or more of the coconspirators has been acquitted, so long as two or more coconspirators have not been acquitted;

(3)  one or more of the coconspirators has not been prosecuted or convicted, has been convicted of a different offense, or is immune from prosecution;

(4)  the actor belongs to a class of persons that by definition of the object offense is legally incapable of committing the object offense in an individual capacity; or

(5)  the object offense was actually committed.

(d)  An offense under this section is one category lower than the most serious felony that is the object of the conspiracy, and if the most serious felony that is the object of the conspiracy is a state jail felony, the offense is a Class A misdemeanor.

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.



Section  15.03.  Criminal Solicitation.

(a) A person commits an offense if, with intent that a capital felony or felony of the first degree be committed, he requests, commands, or attempts to induce another to engage in specific conduct that, under the circumstances surrounding his conduct as the actor believes them to be, would constitute the felony or make the other a party to its commission.

(b)  A person may not be convicted under this section on the uncorroborated testimony of the person allegedly solicited and unless the solicitation is made under circumstances strongly corroborative of both the solicitation itself and the actor's intent that the other person act on the solicitation.

(c)  It is no defense to prosecution under this section that:

(1)  the person solicited is not criminally responsible for the felony solicited;

(2)  the person solicited has been acquitted, has not been prosecuted or convicted, has been convicted of a different offense or of a different type or class of offense, or is immune from prosecution;

(3)  the actor belongs to a class of persons that by definition of the felony solicited is legally incapable of committing the offense in an individual capacity; or

(4)  the felony solicited was actually committed.

(d)  An offense under this section is:

(1)  a felony of the first degree if the offense solicited is a capital offense; or

(2)  a felony of the second degree if the offense solicited is a felony of the first degree.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 462, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.



Section  15.031.  Criminal Solicitation Of A Minor. (a

) A person commits an offense if, with intent that an offense listed by Section 3g(a)(1), Article 42.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, be committed, the person requests, commands, or attempts to induce a minor to engage in specific conduct that, under the circumstances surrounding the actor's conduct as the actor believes them to be, would constitute an offense listed by Section 3g(a)(1), Article 42.12, or make the minor a party to the commission of an offense listed by Section 3g(a)(1), Article 42.12.

(b)  A person commits an offense if, with intent that an offense under Section 21.02, 21.11, 22.011, 22.021, or 43.25 be committed, the person by any means requests, commands, or attempts to induce a minor or another whom the person believes to be a minor to engage in specific conduct that, under the circumstances surrounding the actor's conduct as the actor believes them to be, would constitute an offense under one of those sections or would make the minor or other believed by the person to be a minor a party to the commission of an offense under one of those sections.

(c)  A person may not be convicted under this section on the uncorroborated testimony of the minor allegedly solicited unless the solicitation is made under circumstances strongly corroborative of both the solicitation itself and the actor's intent that the minor act on the solicitation.

(d)  It is no defense to prosecution under this section that:

(1)  the minor solicited is not criminally responsible for the offense solicited;

(2)  the minor solicited has been acquitted, has not been prosecuted or convicted, has been convicted of a different offense or of a different type or class of offense, or is immune from prosecution;

(3)  the actor belongs to a class of persons that by definition of the offense solicited is legally incapable of committing the offense in an individual capacity; or

(4)  the offense solicited was actually committed.

(e)  An offense under this section is one category lower than the solicited offense, except that an offense under this section is the same category as the solicited offense if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the actor:

(1)  was at the time of the offense 17 years of age or older and a member of a criminal street gang, as defined by Section 71.01; and

(2)  committed the offense with the intent to:

(A)  further the criminal activities of the criminal street gang; or

(B)  avoid detection as a member of a criminal street gang.

(f)  In this section, "minor" means an individual younger than 17 years of age.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 79, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1415, Sec. 22(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 593, Sec. 3.49, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1130, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  15.04.  Renunciation Defense.

(a) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under Section 15.01 that under circumstances manifesting a voluntary and complete renunciation of his criminal objective the actor avoided commission of the offense attempted by abandoning his criminal conduct or, if abandonment was insufficient to avoid commission of the offense, by taking further affirmative action that prevented the commission.

(b)  It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under Section 15.02 or 15.03 that under circumstances manifesting a voluntary and complete renunciation of his criminal objective the actor countermanded his solicitation or withdrew from the conspiracy before commission of the object offense and took further affirmative action that prevented the commission of the object offense.

(c)  Renunciation is not voluntary if it is motivated in whole or in part:

(1)  by circumstances not present or apparent at the inception of the actor's course of conduct that increase the probability of detection or apprehension or that make more difficult the accomplishment of the objective; or

(2)  by a decision to postpone the criminal conduct until another time or to transfer the criminal act to another but similar objective or victim.

(d)  Evidence that the defendant renounced his criminal objective by abandoning his criminal conduct, countermanding his solicitation, or withdrawing from the conspiracy before the criminal offense was committed and made substantial effort to prevent the commission of the object offense shall be admissible as mitigation at the hearing on punishment if he has been found guilty of criminal attempt, criminal solicitation, or criminal conspiracy; and in the event of a finding of renunciation under this subsection, the punishment shall be one grade lower than that provided for the offense committed.

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.



Section  15.05.  No Offense.

Attempt or conspiracy to commit, or solicitation of, a preparatory offense defined in this chapter is not an offense.

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.

Chapter 16. Criminal Instruments, Interception Of Wire Or Oral Communication, And Installation Of Tracking Device

Section  16.01.  Unlawful Use Of Criminal Instrument.

(a) A person commits an offense if:

(1)  he possesses a criminal instrument with intent to use it in the commission of an offense; or

(2)  with knowledge of its character and with intent to use or aid or permit another to use in the commission of an offense, he manufactures, adapts, sells, installs, or sets up a criminal instrument.

(b)  For the purpose of this section, "criminal instrument" means anything, the possession, manufacture, or sale of which is not otherwise an offense, that is specially designed, made, or adapted for use in the commission of an offense.

(c)  An offense under Subsection (a)(1) is one category lower than the offense intended. An offense under Subsection (a)(2) is a state jail felony.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 913, ch. 342, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1975; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.



Section  16.02.  Unlawful Interception, Use, Or Disclosure Of Wire, Oral, Or Electronic Communications.

(a) In this section, "computer trespasser," "covert entry," "communication common carrier," "contents," "electronic communication," "electronic, mechanical, or other device," "immediate life-threatening situation," "intercept," "investigative or law enforcement officer," "member of a law enforcement unit specially trained to respond to and deal with life-threatening situations," "oral communication," "protected computer," "readily accessible to the general public," and "wire communication" have the meanings given those terms in Article 18.20, Code of Criminal Procedure.

(b)  A person commits an offense if the person:

(1)  intentionally intercepts, endeavors to intercept, or procures another person to intercept or endeavor to intercept a wire, oral, or electronic communication;

(2)  intentionally discloses or endeavors to disclose to another person the contents of a wire, oral, or electronic communication if the person knows or has reason to know the information was obtained through the interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication in violation of this subsection;

(3)  intentionally uses or endeavors to use the contents of a wire, oral, or electronic communication if the person knows or is reckless about whether the information was obtained through the interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication in violation of this subsection;

(4)  knowingly or intentionally effects a covert entry for the purpose of intercepting wire, oral, or electronic communications without court order or authorization; or

(5)  intentionally uses, endeavors to use, or procures any other person to use or endeavor to use any electronic, mechanical, or other device to intercept any oral communication when the device:

(A)  is affixed to, or otherwise transmits a signal through a wire, cable, or other connection used in wire communications; or

(B)  transmits communications by radio or interferes with the transmission of communications by radio.

(c)  It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under Subsection (b) that:

(1)  an operator of a switchboard or an officer, employee, or agent of a communication common carrier whose facilities are used in the transmission of a wire or electronic communication intercepts a communication or discloses or uses an intercepted communication in the normal course of employment while engaged in an activity that is a necessary incident to the rendition of service or to the protection of the rights or property of the carrier of the communication, unless the interception results from the communication common carrier's use of service observing or random monitoring for purposes other than mechanical or service quality control checks;

(2)  an officer, employee, or agent of a communication common carrier provides information, facilities, or technical assistance to an investigative or law enforcement officer who is authorized as provided by this section to intercept a wire, oral, or electronic communication;

(3)  a person acting under color of law intercepts:

(A)  a wire, oral, or electronic communication, if the person is a party to the communication or if one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to the interception;

(B)  a wire, oral, or electronic communication, if the person is acting under the authority of Article 18.20, Code of Criminal Procedure; or

(C)  a wire or electronic communication made by a computer trespasser and transmitted to, through, or from a protected computer, if:

(i)  the interception did not acquire a communication other than one transmitted to or from the computer trespasser;

(ii)  the owner of the protected computer consented to the interception of the computer trespasser's communications on the protected computer; and

(iii)  actor was lawfully engaged in an ongoing criminal investigation and the actor had reasonable suspicion to believe that the contents of the computer trespasser's communications likely to be obtained would be material to the investigation;

(4)  a person not acting under color of law intercepts a wire, oral, or electronic communication, if:

(A)  the person is a party to the communication; or

(B)  one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to the interception, unless the communication is intercepted for the purpose of committing an unlawful act;

(5)  a person acting under color of law intercepts a wire, oral, or electronic communication if:

(A)  oral or written consent for the interception is given by a magistrate before the interception;

(B)  an immediate life-threatening situation exists;

(C)  the person is a member of a law enforcement unit specially trained to:

(i)  respond to and deal with life-threatening situations; or

(ii)  install electronic, mechanical, or other devices; and

(D)  the interception ceases immediately on termination of the life-threatening situation;

(6)  an officer, employee, or agent of the Federal Communications Commission intercepts a communication transmitted by radio or discloses or uses an intercepted communication in the normal course of employment and in the discharge of the monitoring responsibilities exercised by the Federal Communications Commission in the enforcement of Chapter 5, Title 47, United States Code;

(7)  a person intercepts or obtains access to an electronic communication that was made through an electronic communication system that is configured to permit the communication to be readily accessible to the general public;

(8)  a person intercepts radio communication, other than a cordless telephone communication that is transmitted between a cordless telephone handset and a base unit, that is transmitted:

(A)  by a station for the use of the general public;

(B)  to ships, aircraft, vehicles, or persons in distress;

(C)  by a governmental, law enforcement, civil defense, private land mobile, or public safety communications system that is readily accessible to the general public, unless the radio communication is transmitted by a law enforcement representative to or from a mobile data terminal;

(D)  by a station operating on an authorized frequency within the bands allocated to the amateur, citizens band, or general mobile radio services; or

(E)  by a marine or aeronautical communications system;

(9)  a person intercepts a wire or electronic communication the transmission of which causes harmful interference to a lawfully operating station or consumer electronic equipment, to the extent necessary to identify the source of the interference;

(10)  a user of the same frequency intercepts a radio communication made through a system that uses frequencies monitored by individuals engaged in the provision or the use of the system, if the communication is not scrambled or encrypted; or

(11)  a provider of electronic communications service records the fact that a wire or electronic communication was initiated or completed in order to protect the provider, another provider furnishing service towards the completion of the communication, or a user of that service from fraudulent, unlawful, or abusive use of the service.

(d)  A person commits an offense if the person:

(1)  intentionally manufactures, assembles, possesses, or sells an electronic, mechanical, or other device knowing or having reason to know that the device is designed primarily for nonconsensual interception of wire, electronic, or oral communications and that the device or a component of the device has been or will be used for an unlawful purpose; or

(2)  places in a newspaper, magazine, handbill, or other publication an advertisement of an electronic, mechanical, or other device:

(A)  knowing or having reason to know that the device is designed primarily for nonconsensual interception of wire, electronic, or oral communications;

(B)  promoting the use of the device for the purpose of nonconsensual interception of wire, electronic, or oral communications; or

(C)  knowing or having reason to know that the advertisement will promote the use of the device for the purpose of nonconsensual interception of wire, electronic, or oral communications.

(e)  It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under Subsection (d) that the manufacture, assembly, possession, or sale of an electronic, mechanical, or other device that is designed primarily for the purpose of nonconsensual interception of wire, electronic, or oral communication is by:

(1)  a communication common carrier or a provider of wire or electronic communications service or an officer, agent, or employee of or a person under contract with a communication common carrier or provider acting in the normal course of the provider's or communication carrier's business;

(2)  an officer, agent, or employee of a person under contract with, bidding on contracts with, or doing business with the United States or this state acting in the normal course of the activities of the United States or this state;

(3)  a member of the Department of Public Safety who is specifically trained to install wire, oral, or electronic communications intercept equipment; or

(4)  a member of a local law enforcement agency that has an established unit specifically designated to respond to and deal with life-threatening situations.

(e-1)  It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (d)(1) that the electronic, mechanical, or other device is possessed by a person authorized to possess the device under Section 500.008, Government Code, or Section 61.0455, Human Resources Code.

(f)  An offense under this section is a felony of the second degree, unless the offense is committed under Subsection (d) or (g), in which event the offense is a state jail felony.

(g)  A person commits an offense if, knowing that a government attorney or an investigative or law enforcement officer has been authorized or has applied for authorization to intercept wire, electronic, or oral communications, the person obstructs, impedes, prevents, gives notice to another of, or attempts to give notice to another of the interception.

(h)  Repealed by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 889, Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 2005.

Added by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 738, ch. 275, Sec. 2, eff. Aug. 31, 1981. Amended by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 4878, ch. 864, Sec. 1 to 3, eff. June 19, 1983; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1166, Sec. 16, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 790, Sec. 16, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1051, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1270, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 889, Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 2005.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1169, Sec. 9, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  16.03.  Unlawful Use Of Pen Register Or Trap And Trace Device.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly installs or uses a pen register or trap and trace device to record or decode electronic or other impulses for the purpose of identifying telephone numbers dialed or otherwise transmitted on a telephone line.

(b)  In this section, "authorized peace officer," "communications common carrier," "pen register," and "trap and trace device" have the meanings assigned by Article 18.21, Code of Criminal Procedure.

(c)  It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under Subsection (a) that the actor is:

(1)  an officer, employee, or agent of a communications common carrier and the actor installs or uses a device or equipment to record a number dialed from or to a telephone instrument in the normal course of business of the carrier for purposes of:

(A)  protecting property or services provided by the carrier; or

(B)  assisting another who the actor reasonably believes to be a peace officer authorized to install or use a pen register or trap and trace device under Article 18.21, Code of Criminal Procedure;

(2)  an officer, employee, or agent of a lawful enterprise and the actor installs or uses a device or equipment while engaged in an activity that:

(A)  is a necessary incident to the rendition of service or to the protection of property of or services provided by the enterprise; and

(B)  is not made for the purpose of gathering information for a law enforcement agency or private investigative agency, other than information related to the theft of communication or information services provided by the enterprise; or

(3)  a person authorized to install or use a pen register or trap and trace device under Article 18.21, Code of Criminal Procedure.

(d)  An offense under this section is a state jail felony.

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 587, Sec. 6, eff. Aug. 26, 1985. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 958, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1051, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  16.04.  Unlawful Access To Stored Communications.

(a) In this section, "electronic communication," "electronic storage," "user," and "wire communication" have the meanings assigned to those terms in Article 18.21, Code of Criminal Procedure.

(b)  A person commits an offense if the person obtains, alters, or prevents authorized access to a wire or electronic communication while the communication is in electronic storage by:

(1)  intentionally obtaining access without authorization to a facility through which a wire or electronic communications service is provided; or

(2)  intentionally exceeding an authorization for access to a facility through which a wire or electronic communications service is provided.

(c)  Except as provided by Subsection (d), an offense under Subsection (b) is a Class A misdemeanor.

(d)  If committed to obtain a benefit or to harm another, an offense is a state jail felony.

(e)  It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under Subsection (b) that the conduct was authorized by:

(1)  the provider of the wire or electronic communications service;

(2)  the user of the wire or electronic communications service;

(3)  the addressee or intended recipient of the wire or electronic communication; or

(4)  Article 18.21, Code of Criminal Procedure.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 958, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1051, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  16.05.  Illegal Divulgence Of Public Communications.

(a) In this section, "electronic communication," "electronic communications service," and "electronic communications system" have the meanings given those terms in Article 18.20, Code of Criminal Procedure.

(b)  A person who provides electronic communications service to the public commits an offense if the person knowingly divulges the contents of a communication to another who is not the intended recipient of the communication.

(c)  It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under Subsection (b) that the actor divulged the contents of the communication:

(1)  as authorized by federal or state law;

(2)  to a person employed, authorized, or whose facilities are used to forward the communication to the communication's destination; or

(3)  to a law enforcement agency if the contents reasonably appear to pertain to the commission of a crime.

(d)  Except as provided by Subsection (e), an offense under Subsection (b) that involves a scrambled or encrypted radio communication is a state jail felony.

(e)  If committed for a tortious or illegal purpose or to gain a benefit, an offense under Subsection (b) that involves a radio communication that is not scrambled or encrypted:

(1)  is a Class A misdemeanor if the communication is not a public land mobile radio service communication or a paging service communication; or

(2)  is a Class C misdemeanor if the communication is a public land mobile radio service communication or a paging service communication.

(f)  Repealed by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1051, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1166, Sec. 17, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Renumbered from Penal Code Sec. 16.04 by Acts 1990, 71st Leg., 6th C.S., ch. 12, Sec. 2(24), eff. Sept. 6, 1990. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1051, Sec. 12, 13, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  16.06.  Unlawful Installation Of Tracking Device.

(a) In this section:

(1)  "Electronic or mechanical tracking device" means a device capable of emitting an electronic frequency or other signal that may be used by a person to identify, monitor, or record the location of another person or object.

(2)  "Motor vehicle" has the meaning assigned by Section 501.002, Transportation Code.

(b)  A person commits an offense if the person knowingly installs an electronic or mechanical tracking device on a motor vehicle owned or leased by another person.

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

(d)  It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the person:

(1)  obtained the effective consent of the owner or lessee of the motor vehicle before the electronic or mechanical tracking device was installed;

(2)   assisted another whom the person reasonably believed to be a peace officer authorized to install the device in the course of a criminal investigation or pursuant to an order of a court to gather information for a law enforcement agency; or

(3)  was a private investigator licensed under Chapter 1702, Occupations Code, who installed the device:

(A)  with written consent:

(i)  to install the device given by the owner or lessee of the motor vehicle; and

(ii)  to enter private residential property, if that entry was necessary to install the device, given by the owner or lessee of the property; or

(B)  pursuant to an order of or other authorization from a court to gather information.

(e)  This section does not apply to a peace officer who installed the device in the course of a criminal investigation or pursuant to an order of a court to gather information for a law enforcement agency.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 728, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.828, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1122, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.


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