Texas Penal Code
Sec. § 12.50
Penalty If Offense Committed in Disaster Area or Evacuated Area


Subject to Subsection (c), the punishment for an offense described by Subsection (b) is increased to the punishment prescribed for the next higher category of offense if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the offense was committed in an area that was, at the time of the offense:


subject to a declaration of a state of disaster made by:


the president of the United States under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. Section 5121 et seq.);


the governor under Section 418.014, Government Code; or


the presiding officer of the governing body of a political subdivision under Section 418.108, Government Code; or


subject to an emergency evacuation order.


The increase in punishment authorized by this section applies only to an offense under:


Section 22.01;


Section 29.02;


Section 30.02; and


Section 31.03.


If an offense listed under Subsection (b)(1) or (4) is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor, the minimum term of confinement for the offense is increased to 180 days. If an offense listed under Subsection (b)(3) or (4) is punishable as a felony of the first degree, the punishment for that offense may not be increased under this section.


It is a defense to a charge under Subsection (b)(4) that the conduct in question meets the elements of necessity outlined in Section 9.22.


For purposes of this section, "emergency evacuation order" means an official statement issued by the governing body of this state or a political subdivision of this state to recommend or require the evacuation of all or part of the population of an area stricken or threatened with a disaster.
Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 731 (S.B. 359), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.
Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2019