Law:Title 8. Offenses Against Public Administration (Texas)

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Contents

Chapter 36. Bribery And Corrupt Influence

Section  36.01.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "Custody" means:

(A)  detained or under arrest by a peace officer; or

(B)  under restraint by a public servant pursuant to an order of a court.

(2)  "Party official" means a person who holds any position or office in a political party, whether by election, appointment, or employment.

(3)  "Benefit" means anything reasonably regarded as pecuniary gain or pecuniary advantage, including benefit to any other person in whose welfare the beneficiary has a direct and substantial interest.

(4)  "Vote" means to cast a ballot in an election regulated by law.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 915, ch. 342, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 1975; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3237, ch. 558, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 67, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 304, Sec. 4.01, eff. Jan. 1, 1992; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 565, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.



Section  36.02.  Bribery.

(a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly offers, confers, or agrees to confer on another, or solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept from another:

(1)  any benefit as consideration for the recipient's decision, opinion, recommendation, vote, or other exercise of discretion as a public servant, party official, or voter;

(2)  any benefit as consideration for the recipient's decision, vote, recommendation, or other exercise of official discretion in a judicial or administrative proceeding;

(3)  any benefit as consideration for a violation of a duty imposed by law on a public servant or party official; or

(4)  any benefit that is a political contribution as defined by Title 15, Election Code, or that is an expenditure made and reported in accordance with Chapter 305, Government Code, if the benefit was offered, conferred, solicited, accepted, or agreed to pursuant to an express agreement to take or withhold a specific exercise of official discretion if such exercise of official discretion would not have been taken or withheld but for the benefit; notwithstanding any rule of evidence or jury instruction allowing factual inferences in the absence of certain evidence, direct evidence of the express agreement shall be required in any prosecution under this subdivision.

(b)  It is no defense to prosecution under this section that a person whom the actor sought to influence was not qualified to act in the desired way whether because he had not yet assumed office or he lacked jurisdiction or for any other reason.

(c)  It is no defense to prosecution under this section that the benefit is not offered or conferred or that the benefit is not solicited or accepted until after:

(1)  the decision, opinion, recommendation, vote, or other exercise of discretion has occurred; or

(2)  the public servant ceases to be a public servant.

(d)  It is an exception to the application of Subdivisions (1), (2), and (3) of Subsection (a) that the benefit is a political contribution as defined by Title 15, Election Code, or an expenditure made and reported in accordance with Chapter 305, Government Code.

(e)  An offense under this section is a felony of the second degree.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 915, ch. 342, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 1975; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3237, ch. 558, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1983; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 304, Sec. 4.02, eff. Jan. 1, 1992; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.



Section  36.03.  Coercion Of Public Servant Or Voter.

(a) A person commits an offense if by means of coercion he:

(1)  influences or attempts to influence a public servant in a specific exercise of his official power or a specific performance of his official duty or influences or attempts to influence a public servant to violate the public servant's known legal duty; or

(2)  influences or attempts to influence a voter not to vote or to vote in a particular manner.

(b)  An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor unless the coercion is a threat to commit a felony, in which event it is a felony of the third degree.

(c)  It is an exception to the application of Subsection (a)(1) of this section that the person who influences or attempts to influence the public servant is a member of the governing body of a governmental entity, and that the action that influences or attempts to influence the public servant is an official action taken by the member of the governing body. For the purposes of this subsection, the term "official action" includes deliberations by the governing body of a governmental entity.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 67, Sec. 1, 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.



Section  36.04.  Improper Influence.

(a) A person commits an offense if he privately addresses a representation, entreaty, argument, or other communication to any public servant who exercises or will exercise official discretion in an adjudicatory proceeding with an intent to influence the outcome of the proceeding on the basis of considerations other than those authorized by law.

(b)  For purposes of this section, "adjudicatory proceeding" means any proceeding before a court or any other agency of government in which the legal rights, powers, duties, or privileges of specified parties are determined.

(c)  An offense under this section 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  36.05.  Tampering With Witness.

(a) A person commits an offense if, with intent to influence the witness, he offers, confers, or agrees to confer any benefit on a witness or prospective witness in an official proceeding or coerces a witness or prospective witness in an official proceeding:

(1)  to testify falsely;

(2)  to withhold any testimony, information, document, or thing;

(3)  to elude legal process summoning him to testify or supply evidence;

(4)  to absent himself from an official proceeding to which he has been legally summoned; or

(5)  to abstain from, discontinue, or delay the prosecution of another.

(b)  A witness or prospective witness in an official proceeding commits an offense if he knowingly solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept any benefit on the representation or understanding that he will do any of the things specified in Subsection (a).

(c)  It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(5) that the benefit received was:

(1)  reasonable restitution for damages suffered by the complaining witness as a result of the offense; and

(2)  a result of an agreement negotiated with the assistance or acquiescence of an attorney for the state who represented the state in the case.

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

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; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 721, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  36.06.  Obstruction Or Retaliation.

(a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly harms or threatens to harm another by an unlawful act:

(1)  in retaliation for or on account of the service or status of another as a:

(A)  public servant, witness, prospective witness, or informant; or

(B)  person who has reported or who the actor knows intends to report the occurrence of a crime; or

(2)  to prevent or delay the service of another as a:

(A)  public servant, witness, prospective witness, or informant; or

(B)  person who has reported or who the actor knows intends to report the occurrence of a crime.

(b)  In this section:

(1)  "Honorably retired peace officer" means a peace officer who:

(A)  did not retire in lieu of any disciplinary action;

(B)  was eligible to retire from a law enforcement agency or was ineligible to retire only as a result of an injury received in the course of the officer's employment with the agency; and

(C)  is entitled to receive a pension or annuity for service as a law enforcement officer or is not entitled to receive a pension or annuity only because the law enforcement agency that employed the officer does not offer a pension or annuity to its employees.

(2)  "Informant" means a person who has communicated information to the government in connection with any governmental function.

(3)  "Public servant" includes an honorably retired peace officer.

(c)  An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree unless the victim of the offense was harmed or threatened because of the victim's service or status as a juror, in which event the offense is a felony of the second degree.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3238, ch. 558, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1983; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 557, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 239, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 835, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 246, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  36.07.  Acceptance Of Honorarium.

(a) A public servant commits an offense if the public servant solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept an honorarium in consideration for services that the public servant would not have been requested to provide but for the public servant's official position or duties.

(b)  This section does not prohibit a public servant from accepting transportation and lodging expenses in connection with a conference or similar event in which the public servant renders services, such as addressing an audience or engaging in a seminar, to the extent that those services are more than merely perfunctory, or from accepting meals in connection with such an event.

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

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 304, Sec. 4.03, eff. Jan. 1, 1992. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.



Section  36.08.  Gift To Public Servant By Person Subject To His Jurisdiction.

(a) A public servant in an agency performing regulatory functions or conducting inspections or investigations commits an offense if he solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept any benefit from a person the public servant knows to be subject to regulation, inspection, or investigation by the public servant or his agency.

(b)  A public servant in an agency having custody of prisoners commits an offense if he solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept any benefit from a person the public servant knows to be in his custody or the custody of his agency.

(c)  A public servant in an agency carrying on civil or criminal litigation on behalf of government commits an offense if he solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept any benefit from a person against whom the public servant knows litigation is pending or contemplated by the public servant or his agency.

(d)  A public servant who exercises discretion in connection with contracts, purchases, payments, claims, or other pecuniary transactions of government commits an offense if he solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept any benefit from a person the public servant knows is interested in or likely to become interested in any contract, purchase, payment, claim, or transaction involving the exercise of his discretion.

(e)  A public servant who has judicial or administrative authority, who is employed by or in a tribunal having judicial or administrative authority, or who participates in the enforcement of the tribunal's decision, commits an offense if he solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept any benefit from a person the public servant knows is interested in or likely to become interested in any matter before the public servant or tribunal.

(f)  A member of the legislature, the governor, the lieutenant governor, or a person employed by a member of the legislature, the governor, the lieutenant governor, or an agency of the legislature commits an offense if he solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept any benefit from any person.

(g)  A public servant who is a hearing examiner employed by an agency performing regulatory functions and who conducts hearings in contested cases commits an offense if the public servant solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept any benefit from any person who is appearing before the agency in a contested case, who is doing business with the agency, or who the public servant knows is interested in any matter before the public servant. The exception provided by Sec. 36.10(b) does not apply to a benefit under this subsection.

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

(i)  A public servant who receives an unsolicited benefit that the public servant is prohibited from accepting under this section may donate the benefit to a governmental entity that has the authority to accept the gift or may donate the benefit to a recognized tax-exempt charitable organization formed for educational, religious, or scientific purposes.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 915, ch. 342, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 1975; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3238, ch. 558, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1983; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 304, Sec. 4.04, eff. Jan. 1, 1992; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.



Section  36.09.  Offering Gift To Public Servant.

(a) A person commits an offense if he offers, confers, or agrees to confer any benefit on a public servant that he knows the public servant is prohibited by law from accepting.

(b)  An offense under this section 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  36.10.  Non-applicable.

(a) Sections 36.08 (Gift to Public Servant) and 36.09 (Offering Gift to Public Servant) do not apply to:

(1)  a fee prescribed by law to be received by a public servant or any other benefit to which the public servant is lawfully entitled or for which he gives legitimate consideration in a capacity other than as a public servant;

(2)  a gift or other benefit conferred on account of kinship or a personal, professional, or business relationship independent of the official status of the recipient; or

(3)  a benefit to a public servant required to file a statement under Chapter 572, Government Code, or a report under Title 15, Election Code, that is derived from a function in honor or appreciation of the recipient if:

(A)  the benefit and the source of any benefit in excess of $50 is reported in the statement; and

(B)  the benefit is used solely to defray the expenses that accrue in the performance of duties or activities in connection with the office which are nonreimbursable by the state or political subdivision;

(4)  a political contribution as defined by Title 15, Election Code;

(5)  a gift, award, or memento to a member of the legislative or executive branch that is required to be reported under Chapter 305, Government Code;

(6)  an item with a value of less than $50, excluding cash or a negotiable instrument as described by Section 3.104, Business & Commerce Code; or

(7)  an item issued by a governmental entity that allows the use of property or facilities owned, leased, or operated by the governmental entity.

(b)  Section 36.08 (Gift to Public Servant) does not apply to food, lodging, transportation, or entertainment accepted as a guest and, if the donee is required by law to report those items, reported by the donee in accordance with that law.

(c)  Section 36.09 (Offering Gift to Public Servant) does not apply to food, lodging, transportation, or entertainment accepted as a guest and, if the donor is required by law to report those items, reported by the donor in accordance with that law.

(d)  Section 36.08 (Gift to Public Servant) does not apply to a gratuity accepted and reported in accordance with Section 11.0262, Parks and Wildlife Code. Section 36.09 (Offering Gift to Public Servant) does not apply to a gratuity that is offered in accordance with Section 11.0262, Parks and Wildlife Code.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 915, ch. 342, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 1975; Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 2707, ch. 738, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1982; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3240, ch. 558, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1983; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 472, Sec. 60, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 304, Sec. 4.05, eff. Jan. 1, 1992; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 5.95(38), eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 639, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Chapter 37. Perjury And Other Falsification

Section  37.01.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "Court record" means a decree, judgment, order, subpoena, warrant, minutes, or other document issued by a court of:

(A)  this state;

(B)  another state;

(C)  the United States;

(D)  a foreign country recognized by an act of congress or a treaty or other international convention to which the United States is a party;

(E)  an Indian tribe recognized by the United States; or

(F)  any other jurisdiction, territory, or protectorate entitled to full faith and credit in this state under the United States Constitution.

(2)  "Governmental record" means:

(A)  anything belonging to, received by, or kept by government for information, including a court record;

(B)  anything required by law to be kept by others for information of government;

(C)  a license, certificate, permit, seal, title, letter of patent, or similar document issued by government, by another state, or by the United States;

(D)  a standard proof of motor vehicle liability insurance form described by Section 601.081, Transportation Code, a certificate of an insurance company described by Section 601.083 of that code, a document purporting to be such a form or certificate that is not issued by an insurer authorized to write motor vehicle liability insurance in this state, an electronic submission in a form described by Section 502.153(i), Transportation Code, or an evidence of financial responsibility described by Section 601.053 of that code;

(E)  an official ballot or other election record; or

(F)  the written documentation a mobile food unit is required to obtain under Section 437.0074, Health and Safety Code.

(3)  "Statement" means any representation of fact.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 113, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 189, Sec. 5, eff. May 21, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 823, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 659, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 393, Sec. 21, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1276, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  37.02.  Perjury.

(a) A person commits an offense if, with intent to deceive and with knowledge of the statement's meaning:

(1)  he makes a false statement under oath or swears to the truth of a false statement previously made and the statement is required or authorized by law to be made under oath; or

(2)  he makes a false unsworn declaration under Chapter 132, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.

(b)  An offense under this section 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  37.03.  Aggravated Perjury.

(a) A person commits an offense if he commits perjury as defined in Section 37.02, and the false statement:

(1)  is made during or in connection with an official proceeding; and

(2)  is material.

(b)  An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree.

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  37.04.  Materiality.

(a) A statement is material, regardless of the admissibility of the statement under the rules of evidence, if it could have affected the course or outcome of the official proceeding.

(b)  It is no defense to prosecution under Section 37.03 (Aggravated Perjury) that the declarant mistakenly believed the statement to be immaterial.

(c)  Whether a statement is material in a given factual situation is a question of law.

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  37.05.  Retraction.

It is a defense to prosecution under Section 37.03 (Aggravated Perjury) that the actor retracted his false statement:

(1)  before completion of the testimony at the official proceeding; and

(2)  before it became manifest that the falsity of the statement would be exposed.

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  37.06.  Inconsistent Statements.

An information or indictment for perjury under Section 37.02 or aggravated perjury under Section 37.03 that alleges that the declarant has made statements under oath, both of which cannot be true, need not allege which statement is false. At the trial the prosecution need not prove which statement is false.

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  37.07.  Irregularities No Defense.

(a) It is no defense to prosecution under Section 37.02 (Perjury) or 37.03 (Aggravated Perjury) that the oath was administered or taken in an irregular manner, or that there was some irregularity in the appointment or qualification of the person who administered the oath.

(b)  It is no defense to prosecution under Section 37.02 (Perjury) or 37.03 (Aggravated Perjury) that a document was not sworn to if the document contains a recital that it was made under oath, the declarant was aware of the recital when he signed the document, and the document contains the signed jurat of a public servant authorized to administer oaths.

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  37.08.  False Report To Peace Officer Or Law Enforcement Employee.

(a) A person commits an offense if, with intent to deceive, he knowingly makes a false statement that is material to a criminal investigation and makes the statement to:

(1)  a peace officer conducting the investigation; or

(2)  any employee of a law enforcement agency that is authorized by the agency to conduct the investigation and that the actor knows is conducting the investigation.

(b)  In this section, "law enforcement agency" has the meaning assigned by Article 59.01, Code of Criminal Procedure.

(c)  An offense under this section is a Class B 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; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 925, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  37.081.  False Report Regarding Missing Child Or Missing Person.

(a) A person commits an offense if, with intent to deceive, the person knowingly:

(1)  files a false report of a missing child or missing person with a law enforcement officer or agency; or

(2)  makes a false statement to a law enforcement officer or other employee of a law enforcement agency relating to a missing child or missing person.

(b)  An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 200, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  37.09.  Tampering With Or Fabricating Physical Evidence.

(a) A person commits an offense if, knowing that an investigation or official proceeding is pending or in progress, he:

(1)  alters, destroys, or conceals any record, document, or thing with intent to impair its verity, legibility, or availability as evidence in the investigation or official proceeding; or

(2)  makes, presents, or uses any record, document, or thing with knowledge of its falsity and with intent to affect the course or outcome of the investigation or official proceeding.

(b)  This section shall not apply if the record, document, or thing concealed is privileged or is the work product of the parties to the investigation or official proceeding.

(c)  An offense under Subsection (a) or Subsection (d)(1) is a felony of the third degree, unless the thing altered, destroyed, or concealed is a human corpse, in which case the offense is a felony of the second degree. An offense under Subsection (d)(2) is a Class A misdemeanor.

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

(1)  knowing that an offense has been committed, alters, destroys, or conceals any record, document, or thing with intent to impair its verity, legibility, or availability as evidence in any subsequent investigation of or official proceeding related to the offense; or

(2)  observes a human corpse under circumstances in which a reasonable person would believe that an offense had been committed, knows or reasonably should know that a law enforcement agency is not aware of the existence of or location of the corpse, and fails to report the existence of and location of the corpse to a law enforcement agency.

(e)  In this section, "human corpse" has the meaning assigned by Section 42.08.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 565, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1284, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 287, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  37.10.  Tampering With Governmental Record.

(a) A person commits an offense if he:

(1)  knowingly makes a false entry in, or false alteration of, a governmental record;

(2)  makes, presents, or uses any record, document, or thing with knowledge of its falsity and with intent that it be taken as a genuine governmental record;

(3)  intentionally destroys, conceals, removes, or otherwise impairs the verity, legibility, or availability of a governmental record;

(4)  possesses, sells, or offers to sell a governmental record or a blank governmental record form with intent that it be used unlawfully;

(5)  makes, presents, or uses a governmental record with knowledge of its falsity; or

(6)  possesses, sells, or offers to sell a governmental record or a blank governmental record form with knowledge that it was obtained unlawfully.

(b)  It is an exception to the application of Subsection (a)(3) that the governmental record is destroyed pursuant to legal authorization or transferred under Section 441.204, Government Code. With regard to the destruction of a local government record, legal authorization includes compliance with the provisions of Subtitle C, Title 6, Local Government Code.

(c)(1)  Except as provided by Subdivisions (2), (3), and (4) and by Subsection (d), an offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor unless the actor's intent is to defraud or harm another, in which event the offense is a state jail felony.

(2)  An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the governmental record was:

(A)  a public school record, report, or assessment instrument required under Chapter 39, Education Code, or was a license, certificate, permit, seal, title, letter of patent, or similar document issued by government, by another state, or by the United States, unless the actor's intent is to defraud or harm another, in which event the offense is a felony of the second degree;

(B)  a written report of a medical, chemical, toxicological, ballistic, or other expert examination or test performed on physical evidence for the purpose of determining the connection or relevance of the evidence to a criminal action; or

(C)  a written report of the certification, inspection, or maintenance record of an instrument, apparatus, implement, machine, or other similar device used in the course of an examination or test performed on physical evidence for the purpose of determining the connection or relevance of the evidence to a criminal action.

(3)  An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the governmental record is a governmental record that is required for enrollment of a student in a school district and was used by the actor to establish the residency of the student.

(4)  An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the governmental record is a written appraisal filed with an appraisal review board under Section 41.43(a-1), Tax Code, that was performed by a person who had a contingency interest in the outcome of the appraisal review board hearing.

(d)  An offense under this section, if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the governmental record is described by Section 37.01(2)(D), is:

(1)  a Class B misdemeanor if the offense is committed under Subsection (a)(2) or Subsection (a)(5) and the defendant is convicted of presenting or using the record;

(2)  a felony of the third degree if the offense is committed under:

(A)  Subsection (a)(1), (3), (4), or (6); or

(B)  Subsection (a)(2) or (5) and the defendant is convicted of making the record; and

(3)  a felony of the second degree, notwithstanding Subdivisions (1) and (2), if the actor's intent in committing the offense was to defraud or harm another.

(e)  It is an affirmative defense to prosecution for possession under Subsection (a)(6) that the possession occurred in the actual discharge of official duties as a public servant.

(f)  It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(1), (a)(2), or (a)(5) that the false entry or false information could have no effect on the government's purpose for requiring the governmental record.

(g)  A person is presumed to intend to defraud or harm another if the person acts with respect to two or more of the same type of governmental records or blank governmental record forms and if each governmental record or blank governmental record form is a license, certificate, permit, seal, title, or similar document issued by government.

(h)  If conduct that constitutes an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under Section 32.48 or 37.13, the actor may be prosecuted under any of those sections.

(i)  With the consent of the appropriate local county or district attorney, the attorney general has concurrent jurisdiction with that consenting local prosecutor to prosecute an offense under this section that involves the state Medicaid program.

(j)  It is not a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(2) that the record, document, or thing made, presented, or used displays or contains the statement "NOT A GOVERNMENT DOCUMENT" or another substantially similar statement intended to alert a person to the falsity of the record, document, or thing, unless the record, document, or thing displays the statement diagonally printed clearly and indelibly on both the front and back of the record, document, or thing in solid red capital letters at least one-fourth inch in height.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1248, Sec. 66, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 113, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 565, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 189, Sec. 6, eff. May 21, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 823, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 659, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 718, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 771, Sec. 3, eff. June 13, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 198, Sec. 2.139, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 257, Sec. 16, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1364, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1085, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 73, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1130, Sec. 31, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  37.101.  Fraudulent Filing Of Financing Statement.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly presents for filing or causes to be presented for filing a financing statement that the person knows:

(1)  is forged;

(2)  contains a material false statement; or

(3)  is groundless.

(b)  An offense under Subsection (a)(1) is a felony of the third degree, unless it is shown on the trial of the offense that the person had previously been convicted under this section on two or more occasions, in which event the offense is a felony of the second degree. An offense under Subsection (a)(2) or (a)(3) is a Class A misdemeanor, unless the person commits the offense with the intent to defraud or harm another, in which event the offense is a state jail felony.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 189, Sec. 10, eff. May 21, 1997.



Section  37.11.  Impersonating Public Servant.

(a) A person commits an offense if he:

(1)  impersonates a public servant with intent to induce another to submit to his pretended official authority or to rely on his pretended official acts; or

(2)  knowingly purports to exercise any function of a public servant or of a public office, including that of a judge and court, and the position or office through which he purports to exercise a function of a public servant or public office has no lawful existence under the constitution or laws of this state or of the United States.

(b)  An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree.

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; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 189, Sec. 7, eff. May 21, 1997.



Section  37.12.  False Identification As Peace Officer; Misrepresentation Of Property.

(a) A person commits an offense if:

(1)  the person makes, provides to another person, or possesses a card, document, badge, insignia, shoulder emblem, or other item bearing an insignia of a law enforcement agency that identifies a person as a peace officer or a reserve law enforcement officer; and

(2)  the person who makes, provides, or possesses the item bearing the insignia knows that the person so identified by the item is not commissioned as a peace officer or reserve law enforcement officer as indicated on the item.

(b)  It is a defense to prosecution under this section that:

(1)  the card, document, badge, insignia, shoulder emblem, or other item bearing an insignia of a law enforcement agency clearly identifies the person as an honorary or junior peace officer or reserve law enforcement officer, or as a member of a junior posse;

(2)  the person identified as a peace officer or reserve law enforcement officer by the item bearing the insignia was commissioned in that capacity when the item was made; or

(3)  the item was used or intended for use exclusively for decorative purposes or in an artistic or dramatic presentation.

(c)  In this section, "reserve law enforcement officer" has the same meaning as is given that term in Section 1701.001, Occupations Code.

(d)  A person commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly misrepresents an object as property belonging to a law enforcement agency.

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

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 5672, ch. 1075, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 514, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.831, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  37.13.  Record Of A Fraudulent Court.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person makes, presents, or uses any document or other record with:

(1)  knowledge that the document or other record is not a record of a court created under or established by the constitution or laws of this state or of the United States; and

(2)  the intent that the document or other record be given the same legal effect as a record of a court created under or established by the constitution or laws of this state or of the United States.

(b)  An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor, except that the offense is a felony of the third degree if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has previously been convicted under this section on two or more occasions.

(c)  If conduct that constitutes an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under Section 32.48 or 37.10, the actor may be prosecuted under any of those sections.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 189, Sec. 8, eff. May 21, 1997.


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