More than 800 new Texas laws go into effect this month. How do these new laws impact your life? Read on to learn more about the new Texas laws changes as of September 2019.
Stiffer Penalties for Package Stealing
House Bill 37 criminalizes mail theft and increases the possible penalties based on the value of the stolen items. The maximum sentence upon conviction could be as high as 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. Theft from disabled or elderly people may increase the punishment for stealing packages.
Carrying a Handgun Following a Disaster
House Bill 1177 makes it legal for Texans to carry a handgun in the week after the Texas governor declares a natural or state disaster. The guns may be carried concealed or open carry. This new law does not impact previous convictions and does not apply to people who are legally unable to own a firearm.
Dignity Act for Incarcerated Women
House Bill 650 outlines new requirements for correctional officer training, visitation, educational programs, prenatal care, restraint procedures, and search procedures. According to the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, these rules are designed to improve the lives of women incarcerated in the state of Texas by providing them with access to hygiene products and better care.
Acceptance of a Digital Photograph of Fishing or Hunting License
House Bill 547 allows Texas residents to prove they have a hunting or fishing license by providing Fish and Wildlife officials with a photograph of the license on a mobile device. The mobile device image must be the actual license or an image of your license’s information from the department’s website. The law also prohibits law enforcement from accessing other content except to prove licensure.
Repeal of Driver Responsibility Program
Texas House Bill 2048 repeals the Driver Responsibility Program, which added additional annual fees between $100 to $2,000 on top of the cost of traffic tickets. This program resulted in more than 1 million people being unable to keep or renew their driver’s license, according to the Texas Tribune.
The bill also provides funding for emergency trauma care, which the fees from this program previously supported.
New Smoking Age in Texas
Senate Bill 21 raises the required age to buy tobacco to 21 years of age. The new age requirement does not apply to products that are approved by the FDA to treat nicotine addiction. Conviction of violating this law may result in a Class 3 misdemeanor and result in a fine of up to $500.
Reduction of Surprise Medical Bills
National Public Radio (NPR) reports that Texas Senate Bill 1264 is designed to protect Texans from being forced to pay additional medical bills when insurance companies and health care providers are unable to reach a settlement. The bill outlines an arbitration process, which prevents patients from being involved in the dispute.
Legalization of Lemonade Stands
Lemonade stand owners can now breathe easy. House Bill 234 legalizes the occasional sale of lemonade or other non-alcoholic beverages by minors on private property. The law gained momentum after two girls in Overton, Texas, had their lemonade stand shut down by the police due to a lack of permits.
Contact a Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Today
The team at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg has more than three decades of experience navigating the Texas legal system. Attorney Randall B. Isenberg is a former prosecutor and state district trial judge who takes pride in offering results-driven legal help.
If you are facing legal trouble, our team can help. Our firm takes on a wide range of criminal cases, including driving while intoxicated (DWI), Administrative License Revocation Program (ALR) hearings, drug crimes, murder and assault, weapons charges, sex crimes, and probation violations.
We work to protect your future and minimize the impact of the charges against you. If any of the new Texas laws changes as of September 2019 affect you, call us today at (214) 696-9253 to discuss your case.