Texas Penal Code 38.13 – Hindering Proceedings by Disorderly Conduct
WHAT IS HINDERING PROCEEDINGS BY DISORDERLY CONDUCT IN TEXAS?
The Texas law against hindering proceedings by disorderly conduct prohibits disruptive behavior during official proceedings, including violent eruptions in a courtroom.
WHAT IS THE HINDERING PROCEEDINGS BY DISORDERLY CONDUCT LAW IN TEXAS?
Tex. Penal Code § 38.13. HINDERING PROCEEDINGS BY DISORDERLY CONDUCT.
(a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally hinders an official proceeding by noise or violent or tumultuous behavior or disturbance.
(b) A person commits an offense if he recklessly hinders an official proceeding by noise or violent or tumultuous behavior or disturbance and continues after explicit official request to desist.
(c) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.
WHAT IS THE PENALTY CLASS FOR HINDERING PROCEEDINGS BY DISORDERLY CONDUCT IN TEXAS?
Hindering proceedings by disorderly conduct is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in county jail.
WHAT IS THE PUNISHMENT RANGE FOR HINDERING PROCEEDINGS BY DISORDERLY CONDUCT IN TEXAS?
A person charged with hindering proceedings by disorderly conduct faces up to one year in jail, and a maximum fine of $4,000.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR HINDERING PROCEEDINGS BY DISORDERLY CONDUCT IN TEXAS?
As an alternative to jail, a person charged with hindering proceedings by disorderly conduct may be eligible for probation after a conviction, or deferred adjudication without a conviction, for up to two years.
WHAT ARE THE DEFENSES TO HINDERING PROCEEDINGS BY DISORDERLY CONDUCT IN TEXAS?
The First Amendment protects the freedom of speech, so non-violent, non-threatening speech during official proceedings is not generally against the law. A person thus may not be punished criminally for a courtroom eruption, unless it constitutes a threat or other unprotected form of speech. However, one may generally be removed from a proceeding due to disruptive behavior.
- When is speech a constitutionally unprotected threat? States may ban “true threats,” or serious expressions of an intent to commit an unlawful violent act to a particular individual or group of individuals. The speaker need not actually intend to carry out the threat. This prohibition instead protects others from the fear of violence, and disruption that fear engenders. It also protects people from the possibility that the threatened violence will occur. True threats include intimidation where a speaker threatens another with the intent to place the victim in fear of bodily harm or death.
WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR HINDERING PROCEEDINGS BY DISORDERLY CONDUCT IN TEXAS?
The limitation period for hindering proceedings by disorderly conduct, a Class A misdemeanor, is two years.
HINDERING PROCEEDINGS BY DISORDERLY CONDUCT IN TEXAS
Disruptive behavior and outbursts during official proceedings, especially if the behavior continues after the person has been asked to stop, may be prosecuted as hindering proceedings by disorderly conduct. Threatening a public servant during an official proceeding may also be prosecuted as hindering proceedings by disorderly conduct, terroristic threat, or even retaliation, depending on the circumstances.
TEXAS HINDERING PROCEEDINGS BY DISORDERLY CONDUCT COURT CASES
The case law regarding hindering proceedings by disorderly conduct illustrates the statute’s application.
- In Walker v. State, the defendant appeared for his court date and he and his attorney approached the judge at the bench. The defendant told the judge he wanted a new attorney, and began to get angry. The bailiffs started escorting him out, and he yelled at the judge, “let’s go [Judge], it’s me and you now.” The judge had to leave the bench to compose herself, and took the defendant’s words as a threat of violence. He was convicted of terroristic threat and hindering proceedings by disorderly conduct, and the appellate court upheld his conviction.
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.