Texas Penal Code 47.05 – Communicating Gambling Information
WHAT IS COMMUNICATING GAMBLING INFORMATION IN TEXAS?
The Texas law against communicating gambling information prohibits communicating information regarding bets, betting odds, changes in betting odds, and providing, installing, or maintaining equipment used to communicate or receive such information.
WHAT IS THE COMMUNICATING GAMBLING INFORMATION LAW IN TEXAS?
Tex. Penal Code § 47.05. COMMUNICATING GAMBLING INFORMATION.
(a) A person commits an offense if, with the intent to further gambling, he knowingly communicates information as to bets, betting odds, or changes in betting odds or he knowingly provides, installs, or maintains equipment for the transmission or receipt of such information.
(b) It is an exception to the application of Subsection (a) that the information communicated is intended for use in placing a lawful wager under Chapter 2027, Occupations Code, and is not communicated in violation of Section 2033.013, Occupations Code.
(c) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.
Tex. Penal Code § 47.09. OTHER DEFENSES.
(a) It is a defense to prosecution under this chapter that the conduct:
(1) was authorized under:
(A) Chapter 2001, Occupations Code;
(B) Chapter 2002, Occupations Code;
(C) Chapter 2004, Occupations Code;
(D) Subtitle A-1, Title 13, Occupations Code (Texas Racing Act); or
(E) Chapter 280, Finance Code;
(2) consisted entirely of participation in the state lottery authorized by Chapter 466, Government Code; or
(3) was a necessary incident to the operation of the state lottery and was directly or indirectly authorized by:
(A) Chapter 466, Government Code;
(B) the lottery division of the Texas Lottery Commission;
(C) the Texas Lottery Commission; or
(D) the director of the lottery division of the Texas Lottery Commission.
(b) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under Sections 47.04, 47.06(a), and 47.06(c) that the gambling device, equipment, or paraphernalia is aboard an ocean-going vessel that enters the territorial waters of this state to call at a port in this state if:
(1) before the vessel enters the territorial waters of this state, the district attorney or, if there is no district attorney, the county attorney for the county in which the port is located receives notice of the existence of the device, equipment, or paraphernalia on board the vessel and of the anticipated dates on which the vessel will enter and leave the territorial waters of this state;
(2) at all times while the vessel is in the territorial waters of this state all devices, equipment, or paraphernalia are disabled, electronically or by another method, from a remote and secured area of the vessel in a manner that allows only the master or crew of the vessel to remove any disabling device;
(3) at all times while the vessel is in the territorial waters of this state any disabling device is not removed except for the purposes of inspecting or repairing the device, equipment, or paraphernalia; and
(4) the device, equipment, or paraphernalia is not used for gambling or other gaming purposes while the vessel is in the territorial waters of this state.
WHAT IS THE PENALTY CLASS FOR COMMUNICATING GAMBLING INFORMATION IN TEXAS?
Communicating gambling information is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in county jail.
WHAT IS THE PUNISHMENT RANGE FOR COMMUNICATING GAMBLING INFORMATION IN TEXAS?
The punishment range for communicating gambling information, a Class A misdemeanor, is up to one year in jail, and a maximum $4,000 fine.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR COMMUNICATING GAMBLING INFORMATION IN TEXAS?
A person charged with communicating gambling information may be eligible for probation after a conviction, or deferred adjudication without a conviction, for a period not to exceed two years.
WHAT ARE THE DEFENSES TO COMMUNICATING GAMBLING INFORMATION IN TEXAS?
The statute does not authorize specific defenses to communicating gambling information. A person accused thereof may attempt to negate at least one of the elements the State must prove at trial.
- Is betting on horse and dog races legal in Texas? Yes. The Texas Racing Act regulates horse racing and greyhound racing, and pari-mutuel wagering on such races. This is a legal form of gambling in Texas.The law against communicating gambling information contains an exception for communicating information to place a legal bet on a horse or greyhound race. One who communicates any information as to a bet on racing may not be charged with communicating gambling information, so long as it is not “touting,” or making a false statement, under Section 2033.013 of the Texas Occupations Code.
- Is gambling legal on boats in Texas? Texas Penal Code Section 47.09 authorizes an affirmative defense to keeping a gambling place and possession of gambling devices, equipment, and paraphernalia if the conduct is committed on a boat docked in Texas waters, but only authorizes gambling once the boat enters federal waters.
WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR COMMUNICATING GAMBLING INFORMATION IN TEXAS?
The limitation period for communicating gambling information, a Class A misdemeanor, is two years.
COMMUNICATING GAMBLING INFORMATION IN TEXAS
Texas law punishes any communication in furtherance of illegal gambling, including information regarding bets, odds, changes in betting odds, and providing, installing, or maintaining communication equipment to be used for communicating gambling information.
TEXAS COMMUNICATING GAMBLING INFORMATION COURT CASES
The case law regarding communicating gambling information in Texas shows the statute’s application.
- In Miller v. State, the defendant was heard on a recorded phone call to an undercover police officer identifying himself by bettor’s number, and placing specific bets on college football games (“Mississippi State, minus 4 ½…Washington State, plus 18…”). He was convicted of communicating gambling information, but the appellate court reversed. The court held the indictment did not notify the defendant with sufficient particularity with the offense charged. Dismissed.
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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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