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Relating to increasing the punishment for certain conduct
constituting the criminal offense of obstruction or retaliation.
Expanding the set of behaviors that allow for enhanced punishment for a criminal offense could result in additional demands on the correctional resources of the counties or of the State. The probable fiscal impact of implementing the bill is indeterminate due to the lack of information on the number of cases that involve public servants. This information is necessary to isolate, from all other cases, only those which would qualify for penalty enhancements under the provisions of the bill.
HB 285 would increase the penalty for an obstruction or retaliation offense from a third-degree felony to second-degree felony if the victim was harmed or threatened because of their status as a public servant.
Texas Action is neutral on HB 285 as it does not significantly affect any of our Liberty Principles. It is our view that the penalty increase for this offense would remain proportional to the crime.