The Texas Penal Code dates back to 1856, just around a decade after Texas became a state. It underwent significant revision in 1973, in part to consolidate and clarify some of the laws therein, and in part because the original penal code had been written when Texas was a mostly rural, frontier state. The penal code contains the definitions of crimes and classifies them into misdemeanors and felonies accordingly. It’s opening lines echo a general premise of legality found around all 50 United States: that individuals are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Texas Penal Code also proscribes appropriate measures for repeat and habitual offenders. For example, if a person is on trial for a felony and it comes to light that they have a previous felony on their record, they can become imprisoned for life.
The Texas Penal Code is a wide ranging work that covers such serious crimes as robbery, murder manslaughter, theft, and arson. It also covers non-violent crimes such as white collar criminal activity, like embezzlement, tax fraud, and pyramid scheme operations. There are certainly unique attributes to Texas that are not applicable to other parts of the country, such as seemingly lenient Texas laws around gun possession. Even so, there are ways for an individual to be arrested for unlawful possession of a weapon, and the Texas Penal Code governs the terms and definitions around these circumstances.
Speaking of firearms, while Texas is famous for its treatment of gun law, it’s also infamous for its commonly perceived heavy-handedness in terms of prosecuting convicted criminals. The aforementioned and repeat offenders can find that their misdemeanors and felonies quickly scale up to onerous prison sentences and fines, and the state is notorious for executing more criminals than any other. That’s why, if you face criminal charges, it’s imperative that you work with a lawyer such as Mr. Morin, who is familiar with the Penal Code and ways to mitigate a sentence or defend yourself entirely against the prosecution. You know what they say: don’t mess with Texas…and to that we would add: especially the Texas Penal Code.