Honorable Pete Gallego, Chair, House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence
John S O'Brien, Director, Legislative Budget Board
HB1122 by Weber (Relating to the trafficking of persons.), As Introduced
The bill would amend various sections of the Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure, Government Code, Family Code, Tax Code, and Civil Practices and Remedies Code as they relate to the prosecution, punishment, certain criminal consequences, and civil consequences of offenses involving or related to the trafficking of persons. The provisions of the bill that create new punishment or enhance existing punishment for criminal offenses are the subject of this analysis. Under the provisions of the bill compelling prostitution of a child would be punishable as a first degree felony and be added to the list of 3g offenses. At present compelling prostitution of a child is punishable as a second degree felony. Under the provisions of the bill, human trafficking offenses would be added to the list of offenses for which a life sentence is automatic upon subsequent conviction. The bill would also allow sentences for human trafficking offenses, at the discretion of a judge, to be served consecutively and make an offender charged with human trafficking ineligible for mandatory supervision, parole supervision, or intensive supervision parole. Sex trafficking, under the provisions of the bill, would be added to the list of offenses for which sex offender registration is required.
A felony of the second degree is punishable by confinement in prison for a term from 2 to 20 years and, in addition to confinement, an optional fine not to exceed $10,000. A felony of the first degree is punishable by confinement in prison for life or a term from 5 to 99 years and, in addition to confinement, an optional fine not to exceed $10,000.
In fiscal year 2010, less than ten persons were arrested, admitted to prison, or placed on felony community supervision for offenses involving or related to the trafficking of persons. Expanding the list of offenses for which a penalty is applied or 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. Although the number of times in which a trafficking of persons offense involved children is unknown, for this analysis, it is assumed the number of offenders convicted under the provisions of the bill 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, LM, ADM