HB 3819

85(R) - 2017
House Criminal Jurisprudence
House Criminal Jurisprudence
Criminal Procedure

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive


Donna Howard

Bill Caption

Relating to the prosecution of the offense of improper contact with a victim and to providing certain rights to a victim of a criminal offense and the victim’s family regarding contact by an inmate or an inmate’s representative.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

Under current law, it is an offense if an individual in a correctional facility contacts, by any means, the victim or the victim’s family if the victim was under the age of 17 at the time of a sexual offense. This bill would prohibit the contacting of any victim of an offense punishable by registration as a sex offender, or of victims of crimes with a deadly weapon and/or firearm. This bill would also establish an opportunity for victims, or the victim’s family, to consent to contact or to request no contact from the defendant and/or the defendant’s representatives. If this bill passes, the inmate would be required to check if the victim consented to contact or requested no contact before attempting to make contact.

If the department is notified that an inmate made unauthorized contact, the violation would be documented in the inmate’s file and shared with the parole board. When considering a parolee’s release the parole board would be required to consider if the inmate has made unauthorized, direct, or indirect contact with the victim.

Vote Recommendation Notes

This bill broadens the scope of consent for victims of certain crimes. A victimizer that improperly contacts their victims poses a threat to their well-being, and victims should have the right to be protected from that conduct. We support HB 3819 because it satisfies our commitment to individual liberty, because we believe that individuals should be free to live life to the best of their ability under the protection of the Unites States and Texas Constitutions.