OFFENSES AGAINST THE FAMILY

TEXAS PENAL CODE
TITLE 6. OFFENSES AGAINST THE FAMILY
CHAPTER 25 OFFENSES AGAINST THE FAMILY

The following is a brief explanation of Chapter 25 of the Texas Penal Code regarding Offenses Against the Family. This is not to be construed as legal advice for any particular case. See also the full text of the Chapter 25. Offense Against the Family.

What is BIGAMY?

Chapter 25 of the Texas Penal Code governs the crime of BIGAMY in Texas.

Under Section 25.01, BIGAMY is defined in two separate ways, as follows:

  1. BIGAMY is committed by being legally married to one person and taking the steps to marry another person in Texas or any other state or country, or by living with another person in Texas and presenting that relationship as a marriage.
  2. BIGAMY is committed by marrying a person that the offender knows is legally married to another person, whether in Texas or any other state or country, or by living with that person in Texas and presenting that relationship as a marriage.

The offender may have a defense against this charge if he or she reasonably believed that the previous marriage had ended by death, divorce, or annulment as shown by a valid death certificate or other valid court order.

  • BIGAMY is a third-degree felony.
  • BIGAMY is a second-degree-felony if the second spouse was 17 years of age.
  • BIGAMY is a first-degree felony if the second spouse was 16 years of age or younger.

What is PROHIBITED SEXUAL CONDUCT?

Chapter 25 of the Texas Penal Code governs the crime of PROHIBITED SEXUAL CONDUCT in Texas.

Under Section 25.02, PROHIBITED SEXUAL CONDUCT is defined in six separate ways, as follows:

  1. PROHIBITED SEXUAL CONDUCT is committed by the offender having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with his or her own parent or child. The offender commits this offense whether the relationship is by blood or by adoption.
  2. PROHIBITED SEXUAL CONDUCT is committed by the offender having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with his or her own stepparent or stepchild. Even if the marriage that created the step relationship ends, the offender still cannot have sex with the former stepparent or stepchild.
  3. PROHIBITED SEXUAL CONDUCT is committed by the offender having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with his or her own aunt or uncle.
  4. PROHIBITED SEXUAL CONDUCT is committed by the offender having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with his or her own brother or sister, including half-brothers or half-sisters. The offender commits this offense whether the relationship is by blood or by adoption.
  5. PROHIBITED SEXUAL CONDUCT is committed by the offender having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with his or her own niece or nephew. The offender commits this offense whether the relationship is by blood or by adoption.
  6. PROHIBITED SEXUAL CONDUCT is committed by the offender having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with his or her own first cousin. The offender commits this offense whether the relationship is by blood or by adoption. The offender’s first cousins are the children born to or adopted by their aunts or uncles.

PROHIBITED SEXUAL CONDUCT is a third-degree felony or a second-degree felony, depending on the circumstances.

What is INTERFERENCE WITH CHILD CUSTODY?

Chapter 25 of the Texas Penal Code governs the crime of INTERFERENCE WITH CHILD CUSTODY in Texas.

Under Section 25.03, INTERFERENCE WITH CHILD CUSTODY is defined in four separate ways, as follows:

  1. INTERFERENCE WITH CHILD CUSTODY is committed against a child under 18 years of age by taking the child or holding on to the child for longer than legally allowed. This offense applies when possession and custody of the child has been defined by a court in permanent or temporary orders.
  2. INTERFERENCE WITH CHILD CUSTODY is committed against a child under 18 years of age by taking the child away to another location, such as another city, county, or state. This offense applies when possession and custody of the child is being examined by a court and the offender wants to prevent the court from being able to issue an order regarding the child’s custody.
  3. INTERFERENCE WITH CHILD CUSTODY is committed against a child under 18 years of age by taking the child out of this country. This offense applies when one person has a legal right of possession and custody of the child but the offender wants to deprive that person of the child so he takes the child out of the country without that person’s permission.
  4. INTERFERENCE WITH CHILD CUSTODY is committed against a child under 18 years of age by talking a child into leaving their custodial parent or guardian’s care. This offense applies when a court has awarded a parent or guardian custody of a child and the other parent, who does not have custody, convinces the child to leave the parent or guardian.

The offender who takes the child away to another location, but still keeps the child within the U.S., may have a defense against this charge if he or she has a change of mind and returns the child to the location under the court’s control within three days.

The offender may have a defense against this charge if they have a valid order that allows them to take or hold the child.

The offender may have a defense against this charge if circumstances beyond the offender’s control (such as an emergency) causes the offender to take or hold the child in a wrongful way but the offender notifies or tries to notify the other party of the situation. If the offender is participating in a family violence when he takes or holds the child, then the offender cannot claim this defense.

INTERFERENCE WITH CHILD CUSTODY is a state jail felony.

What is AGREEMENT TO ABDUCT FROM CUSTODY?

Chapter 25 of the Texas Penal Code governs the crime of AGREEMENT TO ABDUCT FROM CUSTODY in Texas.

Under Section 25.031, AGREEMENT TO ABDUCT FROM CUSTODY is defined as follows:

AGREEMENT TO ABDUCT FROM CUSTODY is committed against a child under 18 years of age by agreeing to kidnap a child from his or her custodial parent or guardian in exchange for money. This offense applies when the offender plans to use force, threats, lies, or trespass to get the child away from the party with court ordered control of the child.

AGREEMENT TO ABDUCT FROM CUSTODY is a state jail felony.

What is ENTICING A CHILD?

Chapter 25 of the Texas Penal Code governs the crime of ENTICING A CHILD in Texas.

Under Section 25.04, ENTICING A CHILD is defined as follows:

ENTICING A CHILD is committed against a child under 18 years of age by intentionally coaxing the child to leave the care of his or her custodial parent or guardian.

ENTICING A CHILD is a Class B misdemeanor. If the offender committed the offense in order to commit a felony against the child, then the offense is a third-degree felony.

What is CRIMINAL NONSUPPORT?

Chapter 25 of the Texas Penal Code governs the crime of CRIMINAL NONSUPPORT in Texas.

Under Section 25.05, CRIMINAL NONSUPPORT is defined in three separate ways as follows:

  1. CRIMINAL NONSUPPORT is committed against a child under 18 years of age by an offender intentionally choosing not to financially support his or her own child.
  2. CRIMINAL NONSUPPORT is committed against a child under 18 years of age by an offender not supporting a child born out of wedlock, if the offender has been established as the father of the child.
  3. CRIMINAL NONSUPPORT is committed against a child under 18 years of age by an offender not paying child support ordered by a court.

The offender may have a defense against this charge if he or she could not support the child.

CRIMINAL NONSUPPORT is a state jail felony.

What is HARBORING RUNAWAY CHILD?

Chapter 25 of the Texas Penal Code governs the crime of HARBORING RUNAWAY CHILD in Texas.

Under Section 25.06, HARBORING RUNAWAY CHILD is defined as follows:

HARBORING RUNAWAY CHILD is committed by intentionally allowing a runaway to take shelter away from the location the child is fleeing. This offense applies when the offender provides shelter for the child and does not take into consideration that the child is under 18 years of age and that the child has fled from law enforcement, a children’s detention center, or his own home without intending to return.

The offender may have a defense against this charge if he or she is a close relative of the child.

The offender may have a defense against this charge if he or she notifies staff at the place the child is fleeing, the child’s parents or guardians, or law enforcement of the child’s presence within 24 hours of finding out that the child is fleeing.

HARBORING RUNAWAY CHILD is a Class A misdemeanor.

What is VIOLATION OF CERTAIN COURT ORDERS OR CONDITIONS OF BOND IN A FAMILY VIOLENCE, SEXUAL ASSAULT OR ABUSE, STALKING, OR TRAFFICKING CASE?

Chapter 25 of the Texas Penal Code governs the crime of VIOLATION OF CERTAIN COURT ORDERS OR CONDITIONS OF BOND IN A FAMILY VIOLENCE, SEXUAL ASSAULT OR ABUSE, STALKING, OR TRAFFICKING CASE in Texas.

Under Section 25.07, VIOLATION OF CERTAIN COURT ORDERS OR CONDITIONS OF BOND IN A FAMILY VIOLENCE, SEXUAL ASSAULT OR ABUSE, STALKING, OR TRAFFICKING CASE is defined in six separate ways as follows:

  1. This Offense is committed by an offender breaking the conditions or terms of a bond that a court orders in family violence, sexual assault, sexual abuse, stalking, or trafficking cases. This offense applies when the offender violates the bond by committing ordinary or aggravated sexual assault against a protected person, by trafficking a protected person, or by stalking a protected person.
  2. This Offense is committed by an offender breaking the conditions or terms of a bond that a court orders in family violence, sexual assault, sexual abuse, stalking, or trafficking cases. This offense applies when the offender violates the bond by communicating with any person or household member protected from communication with the offender by the bond. The offense includes direct and indirect communication.
  3. This Offense is committed by an offender breaking the conditions or terms of a bond that a court orders in family violence, sexual assault, sexual abuse, stalking, or trafficking cases. This offense applies when the offender violates the bond by going to prohibited locations such as the protected person’s home, job, school, place of business, or childcare facility.
  4. This Offense is committed by an offender breaking the conditions or terms of a bond that a court orders in family violence, sexual assault, sexual abuse, stalking, or trafficking cases. This offense applies when the offender violates the bond by having a firearm in his possession.
  5. This Offense is committed by an offender breaking the conditions or terms of a bond that a court orders in family violence, sexual assault, sexual abuse, stalking, or trafficking cases. This offense applies when the offender violates the bond by disturbing, harming or threatening to harm a protected person’s pet or service animal.
  6. This Offense is committed by an offender breaking the conditions or terms of a bond that a court orders in family violence, sexual assault, sexual abuse, stalking, or trafficking cases. This offense applies when the offender violates the bond by trying to remove, break, or disable a GPS or monitoring system that tracks the offender.

An offender may not do any acts that a bond or order forbids the offender to do, even if the protected person consents to the act. Law enforcement personnel have a duty to enforce the terms of the bond against the offender but may not arrest the protected person for violation of the terms of the bond.

VIOLATION OF CERTAIN COURT ORDERS OR CONDITIONS OF BOND IN A FAMILY VIOLENCE, SEXUAL ASSAULT OR ABUSE, STALKING, OR TRAFFICKING CASE is a Class A misdemeanor. The offense is elevated to a third-degree felony if the offender has certain previous convictions.

What is VIOLATION OF PROTECTIVE ORDER PREVENTING OFFENSE CAUSED BY BIAS OR PREJUDICE?

Chapter 25 of the Texas Penal Code governs the crime of VIOLATION OF PROTECTIVE ORDER PREVENTING OFFENSE CAUSED BY BIAS OR PREJUDICE in Texas.

Under Section 25.071, VIOLATION OF PROTECTIVE ORDER PREVENTING OFFENSE CAUSED BY BIAS OR PREJUDICE is defined in three ways as follows:

  1. VIOLATION OF PROTECTIVE ORDER PREVENTING OFFENSE CAUSED BY BIAS OR PREJUDICE is committed by targeting a victim based on the victim belonging to certain groups such as a race, a gender, a religion, or a country of origin. This offense applies when victim has an order of protection and the offender commits arson, damages or destroys property, or defaces property with graffiti because of prejudice against the victim’s group.
  2. VIOLATION OF PROTECTIVE ORDER PREVENTING OFFENSE CAUSED BY BIAS OR PREJUDICE is committed by targeting a victim based on the victim belonging to certain groups such as a race, a gender, a religion, or a country of origin. This offense applies when the victim has an order of protection and the offender communicates in a threatening way, directly or indirectly, with the protected person because of prejudice against the protected person’s group.
  3. VIOLATION OF PROTECTIVE ORDER PREVENTING OFFENSE CAUSED BY BIAS OR PREJUDICE is committed by targeting a victim based on the victim belonging to certain groups such as a race, a gender, a religion, or a country of origin. This offense applies when the victim has an order of protection and the offender goes into or near the home, job, or place of business of a protected person because of prejudice against the protected person’s group.

Even if the protected person initiates contact with the offender, law enforcement personnel may not arrest the protected person for doing that.

VIOLATION OF PROTECTIVE ORDER PREVENTING OFFENSE CAUSED BY BIAS OR PREJUDICE is a Class A misdemeanor. The offense is elevated to a third-degree felony if the offender has certain previous convictions.

What is REPEATED VIOLATION OF CERTAIN COURT ORDERS OR CONDITIONS OF BOND IN FAMILY VIOLENCE, SEXUAL ASSAULT OR ABUSE, STALKING, OR TRAFFICKING CASE?

Chapter 25 of the Texas Penal Code governs the crime of REPEATED VIOLATION OF CERTAIN COURT ORDERS OR CONDITIONS OF BOND IN FAMILY VIOLENCE, SEXUAL ASSAULT OR ABUSE, STALKING, OR TRAFFICKING CASE in Texas.

Under Section 25.072, REPEATED VIOLATION OF CERTAIN COURT ORDERS OR CONDITIONS OF BOND IN FAMILY VIOLENCE, SEXUAL ASSAULT OR ABUSE, STALKING, OR TRAFFICKING CASE is defined as follows:

REPEATED VIOLATION OF CERTAIN COURT ORDERS OR CONDITIONS OF BOND IN FAMILY VIOLENCE, SEXUAL ASSAULT OR ABUSE, STALKING, OR TRAFFICKING CASE is committed by violating a bond or court order of protection two or more times in less than twelve months.

REPEATED VIOLATION OF CERTAIN COURT ORDERS OR CONDITIONS OF BOND IN FAMILY VIOLENCE, SEXUAL ASSAULT OR ABUSE, STALKING, OR TRAFFICKING CASE is a third-degree felony.

What is SALE OR PURCHASE OF CHILD?

Chapter 25 of the Texas Penal Code governs the crime of SALE OR PURCHASE OF CHILD in Texas.

Under Section 25.08, SALE OR PURCHASE OF CHILD is defined in two ways as follows:

  1. SALE OR PURCHASE OF CHILD is committed by an offender who has custody or guardianship of a child under 18 years of age and that offender accepts or agrees to accept something of value in exchange for the child, as part of an adoption process.
  2. SALE OR PURCHASE OF CHILD is committed by an offender who gives or offers to give something of value to the custodian or guardian of a child under 18 years of age in exchange for the child, as part of an adoption process.

This offense does not apply to fees paid to legally established child placement agencies, professionals (such as doctors or social workers) who receive fees in exchange for their services, reimbursements paid to a person for a child’s medical or legal expenses, or pregnancy related expenses paid on a child’s behalf by legally established child placement agencies.

SALE OR PURCHASE OF CHILD is a third degree-felony, or a second-degree felony in certain circumstances.

What is ADVERTISING FOR PLACEMENT OF CHILD?

Chapter 25 of the Texas Penal Code governs the crime of ADVERTISING FOR PLACEMENT OF CHILD in Texas.

Under Section 25.09, ADVERTISING FOR PLACEMENT OF CHILD is defined as follows:

ADVERTISING FOR PLACEMENT OF CHILD is committed by an offender advertising that he or she will offer up a child for another person to adopt or will locate a child for a person to adopt. This offense applies to traditional advertising outlets (radio, television, etc.) and electronic advertising outlets (internet, electronic, etc.).

This offense does not apply to legally established child placement agencies.

ADVERTISING FOR PLACEMENT OF CHILD is a Class A misdemeanor, or a third-degree felony if the offender has a previous conviction for this offense.

What is INTERFERENCE WITH RIGHTS OF GUARDIAN OF THE PERSON?

Chapter 25 of the Texas Penal Code governs the crime of INTERFERENCE WITH RIGHTS OF GUARDIAN OF THE PERSON in Texas.

Under Section 25.10, INTERFERENCE WITH RIGHTS OF GUARDIAN OF THE PERSON is defined as follows:

INTERFERENCE WITH RIGHTS OF GUARDIAN OF THE PERSON is committed by taking or hiding a minor or other person needing protection, from his or her guardian. This offense applies when a court or parent has appointed a guardian to provide protection and the offender’s action disturbs the guardian’s rights and responsibilities regarding that protection.

This offense does not apply to the legal actions of government agencies that monitor health and safety such as Child Protective Services or Adult Protective Services.

INTERFERENCE WITH RIGHTS OF GUARDIAN OF THE PERSON is a state jail felony.

What is CONTINUOUS VIOLENCE AGAINST THE FAMILY?

Chapter 25 of the Texas Penal Code governs the crime of CONTINUOUS VIOLENCE AGAINST THE FAMILY in Texas.

Under Section 25.11, CONTINUOUS VIOLENCE AGAINST THE FAMILY is defined as follows:

CONTINUOUS VIOLENCE AGAINST THE FAMILY is committed by the offender assaulting a family member, a person who the offender is dating, or someone who lives with the offender on two or more occasions over a period that lasts twelve months or less.

CONTINUOUS VIOLENCE AGAINST THE FAMILY is a third-degree felony.

FORT WORTH

Primary Location
209 W. 8th St
Fort Worth, TX 76102
817.993.9249

KELLER

*By Appointment Only
204 S. Main St #195
Keller, Texas 76248
817.482.6770

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