Texas Penal Code 36.07 – Acceptance of Honorarium
WHAT IS ACCEPTANCE OF HONORARIUM IN TEXAS?
The Texas law against acceptance of honorarium prohibits public servants, including judges, legislators, and police officers, from accepting honoraria for their services as public servants.
- What is an “honorarium”? An honorarium includes a payment or reward, usually in recognition of services on which custom or propriety forbids any fixed business price to be set. It may be a free gift or gratuitous payment, as well as compensation. The term “benefit” encompasses “honorarium.”
WHAT IS THE ACCEPTANCE OF HONORARIUM LAW IN TEXAS?
Tex. Penal Code § 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.
WHAT IS THE PENALTY CLASS FOR ACCEPTANCE OF HONORARIUM IN TEXAS?
Acceptance of honorarium is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in county jail.
WHAT IS THE PUNISHMENT RANGE FOR ACCEPTANCE OF HONORARIUM IN TEXAS?
The punishment range for accepting an honorarium, a Class A misdemeanor in Texas, is up to one year in jail, and up to a $4,000 fine.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR ACCEPTANCE OF HONORARIUM IN TEXAS?
A person charged with acceptance of honorarium may be eligible for probation after a conviction, or deferred adjudication without a conviction, for up to two years.
WHAT ARE THE DEFENSES TO ACCEPTANCE OF HONORARIUM IN TEXAS?
A person accused of accepting a prohibited honorarium may argue any compensation was legal under the statute. For example, while a legislator or judge may not accept a fee for a speaking engagement he was only asked to do because of his official position, he may accept reimbursement for transportation and lodging expenses incurred in connection with the event.
- What types of compensation may public servants accept? Texas law permits public servants to accept expenses for meals and lodging, and certain fees for services they are not otherwise legally required to perform. For example, judges may charge a fee for performing a marriage, because judges have no legal obligation to perform them as part of their official duties.Police officers may also seek compensation for off-duty employment as private security. Further, public servants may teach college courses in exchange for payment, but only if they were hired for their expertise in the subject, rather than their official status.
WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR ACCEPTANCE OF HONORARIUM IN TEXAS?
The limitation period for acceptance of honorarium, a Class A misdemeanor, is two years.
ACCEPTANCE OF HONORARIUM IN TEXAS
To maintain the ethical sanctity of public service, public servants are prohibited from using their positions to accept compensation for certain obligations they are required to perform.
TEXAS ACCEPTANCE OF HONORARIUM COURT CASES
Texas appellate courts have not spoken on the law against accepting honorarium in the past 50 years. However, the Texas Ethics Commission frequently issues advisory opinions on the matter.
- In Ethics Advisory Opinion-569, the Ethics Commission advised candidates and officeholders that they may use their own political contributions to establish a general-purpose political committee (GPAC), and may control such a GPAC. The Commission warned, however, that political contributions “accepted” by a candidate-established or controlled GPAC are accepted by a person as a candidate or officeholder, and are not for personal use or paying the salary of the controlling candidate or officeholder.Personal-use restrictions notwithstanding, the Penal Code gift and honorarium restrictions would allow such employment under only a narrow set of facts, and such employment may violate the standards of conduct for a public servant.
Glowing Client Reviews
Trey is the man! I hired him because I had overheard a county court judge mentioning how awesome of an attorney he is, so if an endorsement from a judge won’t convince you then I’m not sure what will. I sure do hope I never find myself in a pickle ever again but if I do, I would hire Trey in a heartbeat. He’s honest, transparent, doesn’t beat around the bush, and will work tirelessly so that your clean record stays clean and unblemished. 5 stars, highly recommend!
I recently hired Trey Porter Law to help our teenage daughter with a drug charge. In the state of Texas she was being charged as an adult which carried a much stiffer penalty. Trey is very responsive, helpful, knowledgeable and is always available to answer any questions or concerns via phone, text or email. He was able to negotiate on her behalf so it was a pleasant experience. I would highly recommend Trey Porter Law.
Trey really helped me out. He was straight forward and professional, and really helped me in my case. I thought i was going to lose my job, but trey did everything in his power to help me keep my way of life, and still keeps up with me any details on my case.
I really appreciated all he did for me.
Trey is a phenomenal attorney that gets the job done right! He is dedicated to help his clients.
He made himself available and answered all my concerns immediately! I had faith in him and he continued to prove his expertise by helping me. I highly recommend Trey Porter!!
Trey Porter fought for me! I am a nurse and thought my career was over.
Very thankful I got Trey Porter involved. He responds to messages regularly and was very thorough.
He saved my career. Forever grateful!
Mr Porter is the real deal. You get what you pay for these days. I know that from my personal business dealings. Attorney Trey Porter was no different.
He was prompt, professional and poised. I was charged with DWI, and Mr Porter got the charge dismissed. I could not be more pleased or thankful. If you get a DWI, hire the best — hire Trey Porter.
WE FIGHT FOR DISMISSAL
WE FIGHT FOR DISMISSAL
DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED .15
Driving facts involved failing to maintain a single lane and speeding. Client refused breath test and forced law enforcement to obtain search warrant for blood. Blood test result was not used after challenge from Defense, and State waived and abandoned charge.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Client was a college student, worried about the collateral consequences of an alcohol offense. After negotiation and review of the traffic stop, the case was dismissed. Client received no criminal conviction. The charge was later expunged and deleted from client’s record.
DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED .15+
Client was involved in minor accident. Client was at fault in accident. A young executive, client was concerned that a criminal conviction for DWI would result in termination. After review of the traffic stop, it was clear the officer lacked probable cause for arrest. State eventually dismissed DWI charge. Client received no criminal conviction.
Client, a military veteran, was facing up to one year in jail. State could not prove intoxication by alcohol, and was prepared to proceed on loss of use by marijuana. After challenging the State to prove that marijuana was ingested at or near time of driving, and that marijuana impaired client’s driving, the State dismissed the case on the day of trial.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Driving facts involved a false claim by police that taillight was out. After challenging the reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop, the State was forced to dismiss the case when video did not match police report. Client has since expunged arrest, and has no criminal record.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Client is a public school teacher and faced immediate termination upon conviction. The facts of the case were bad. State was unwilling to budge in negotiation, and matter was set for trial – the last shot at avoiding a conviction and preserving client’s livelihood. State was forced to dismiss on day of trial. Client has no criminal record, and has since expunged the DWI arrest.
Contact Trey Porter Today
Request a free consultation
The stakes are high. Criminal charges can have devastating, lifelong consequences. During the free, confidential consultation, Mr. Porter will answer questions surrounding your legal matter, and discuss and identify potential defenses.
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, the State is working on your conviction. It’s time to start building your defense.