HB 731

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

Vote Recommendation

Vote Yes; Amend
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Dwayne Bohac

Bill Caption

Relating to creating the offense of intimidation by a member of a criminal street gang. 

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

If this bill passes intimidation by a gang member would be defined as when a member of a criminal street gang intends to cause a person to do, or to refrain from, certain activities. The gang member would have to threaten to inflict bodily injury, or to destroy property, or threaten to confine the individual, or threaten another to commit an offense punishable as a Class A misdemeanor. If a gang member were to be found guilty of this crime it would be punishable as a felony of the third degree. 

Vote Recommendation Notes

This bill supports our personal responsibility principle by holding accountable gang members who use threats of violence to coerce others. It is within the proper role of government to punish individuals who use physical force to threaten, coerce, or otherwise cause harm to others. The penalty proposed for an offense is stiff and although somewhat disproportionate to the crime, not egregiously so. We would support an amendment to make a first offense a state jail felony and then escalate to a third degree felony for a subsequent offense. 

Organizations Opposed

Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association