Honorable Pete Gallego, Chair, House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence
John S. O'Brien, Director, Legislative Budget Board
HB4101 by Eiland (Relating to punishment for the offense of theft committed in certain evacuated or disaster areas.), As Introduced
The bill would amend the Penal Code by increasing the punishment for the offense of theft to the next higher category if the offense is committed in an area that is considered to be a disaster area or is an area subject to an emergency evacuation order. Under current law the punishment for the offense of theft ranges from a Class C misdemeanor to a felony of the first degree depending on the amount and type of property stolen.
Increasing the penalty for any criminal offense is expected to result in increased demands upon the correctional resources of counties or of the State due to longer terms of probation, or, longer terms of confinement in county jails or prison. When an offense is changed from a misdemeanor to a felony, there is a transfer of the burden of confinement of convicted offenders from the counties to the State. The impact of this proposal would depend on the number of future disaster events and the number of times that the enhancement of punishment would occur as a result of the proposal. A check of Texas Department of Criminal Justice records, Department of Public Safety records, Office of Court Administration records, and Jail Standards Commission records did not reveal any information that would help estimate the past number of theft offenses committed in areas considered to be disaster areas. It is assumed that the number of additional offenders convicted under this statute would not result in a significant impact on the programs and workload of state corrections agencies or on the demand for resources and services of those agencies.
JOB, GG, TMP