WHAT IS DESTRUCTION OF FLAG IN TEXAS?
The Texas law against burning, defacing, or mutilating a United States or Texas flag was declared unconstitutional in 2015. The legislature has not repealed the statute, so although it is unenforceable, it is still a criminal offense in the Penal Code.
WHAT IS THE DESTRUCTION OF FLAG LAW IN TEXAS?
Tex. Penal Code § 42.11. DESTRUCTION OF FLAG.
(a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly damages, defaces, mutilates, or burns the flag of the United States or the State of Texas.
(c) It is an exception to the application of this section that the act that would otherwise constitute an offense is done in conformity with statutes of the United States or of this state relating to the proper disposal of damaged flags.
(d) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.
WHAT IS THE PENALTY CLASS FOR DESTRUCTION OF FLAG IN TEXAS?
Destruction of an American flag is a Class A misdemeanor, and would be punishable by up to one year in county jail were it constitutional.
WHAT IS THE PUNISHMENT RANGE FOR DESTRUCTION OF FLAG IN TEXAS?
The punishment range for a Class A misdemeanor is a maximum jail sentence of one year, and up to a $4,000 fine.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR DESTRUCTION OF FLAG IN TEXAS?
A person charged with a Class A misdemeanor may be eligible for probation after a conviction, or deferred adjudication without a conviction, for a period of up to two years.
WHAT ARE THE DEFENSES TO DESTRUCTION OF FLAG IN TEXAS?
Although this law was declared facially unconstitutional in 2015 after a pattern of non-enforcement, it has not been repealed. There is a slight chance a person who destroys an American flag in front of police will be wrongfully arrested. Ultimately, however, a destruction of flag charge must be dismissed, because it violates the First Amendment.
WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR DESTRUCTION OF FLAG IN TEXAS?
The limitation period for destruction of a flag, a Class A misdemeanor, is two years.
DESTRUCTION OF FLAG IN TEXAS
The law prohibiting destruction of a flag was declared unconstitutional by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in 2015.
TEXAS DESTRUCTION OF FLAG COURT CASES
The case law regarding destruction of flag in Texas has declared the law unconstitutional.
- In State v. Johnson, the defendant was walking by a local business with an American flag hanging. He pulled the flag and its staff down, and threw the flag in the street. After being caught on video surveillance and interviewed by police, he was charged with destroying the flag. Ultimately, the Court concluded the flag-desecration statute impermissibly restricted speech by punishing a person for expressing an idea.