Texas Penal Code 38.114 – Contraband in Correctional Facility
WHAT IS CONTRABAND IN CORRECTIONAL FACILITY IN TEXAS?
The Texas law against contraband in a correctional facility prohibits inmates in correctional facilities from possessing unauthorized items, and prohibits any person from providing unauthorized items to inmates directly or indirectly.
- What is contraband? Texas Penal Code Section 38.114 defines “contraband” as any item not provided by or authorized by the operator of the correctional facility, or any item provided by or authorized by the operator of the correctional facility that has been altered to accommodate a use other than the originally intended use. For example, prisoners disassemble beard trimmers—an authorized item—to make tattoo machines with the trimmer motors and guitar strings.While the term “contraband” in its ordinary usage includes items such as drugs and deadly weapons, possessing those items is punishable as a felony under Texas Penal Code Section 38.11 as prohibited substances and items in a correctional facility, rather than as contraband.
WHAT IS THE CONTRABAND IN CORRECTIONAL FACILITY LAW IN TEXAS?
Tex. Penal Code § 38.114. CONTRABAND IN CORRECTIONAL FACILITY.
(a) A person commits an offense if the person:
(1) provides contraband to an inmate of a correctional facility;
(2) otherwise introduces contraband into a correctional facility; or
(3) possesses contraband while confined in a correctional facility.
(c) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor, unless the offense is committed by an employee or a volunteer of the correctional facility, in which event the offense is a Class B misdemeanor.
WHAT IS THE PENALTY CLASS FOR CONTRABAND IN CORRECTIONAL FACILITY IN TEXAS?
Contraband in a correctional facility is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum fine of $500. If the person is an employee or volunteer at the correctional facility, and provides contraband to an inmate, contraband in a correctional facility is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in county jail.
WHAT IS THE PUNISHMENT RANGE FOR CONTRABAND IN CORRECTIONAL FACILITY IN TEXAS?
The punishment range for contraband in a correctional facility charged as a Class B misdemeanor is up to 180 days in jail, and a maximum $2,000 fine. A Class C misdemeanor carries a maximum fine of $500.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR CONTRABAND IN CORRECTIONAL FACILITY IN TEXAS?
A person charged with contraband in a correctional facility as a Class B misdemeanor may be eligible for probation after a conviction, or deferred adjudication without a conviction, for a period not to exceed two years. The maximum period of deferred adjudication for a Class C misdemeanor is 180 days.
WHAT ARE THE DEFENSES TO CONTRABAND IN CORRECTIONAL FACILITY IN TEXAS?
The statute does not authorize specific defenses to contraband in a correctional facility. A person accused thereof may attempt to negate at least one of the elements the State must prove at trial.
WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR CONTRABAND IN CORRECTIONAL FACILITY IN TEXAS?
The limitation period for contraband in a correctional facility is two years.
CONTRABAND IN CORRECTIONAL FACILITY IN TEXAS
Possessing contraband as an inmate in a correctional facility, or providing contraband to an inmate, is punishable as a misdemeanor in Texas. Contraband includes anything banned by jail and prison rules and regulations, except deadly weapons, drugs, and other items specifically forbidden by Penal Code Section 38.11, the law against prohibited substances and items in a correctional facility. The statute criminalizing contraband in a correctional facility punishes possessing ordinary, non-lethal items that inmates are not supposed to have without permission.
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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.
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