Honorable John Whitmire, Chair, Senate Committee on Criminal Justice
John S O'Brien, Director, Legislative Budget Board
HB3000 by Thompson (Relating to creating the offense of continuous trafficking of persons; providing a penalty and other civil consequences.), As Engrossed
The bill would amend various sections of the Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure, and the Government Code to create the offense of continuous trafficking of person. 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 continuous trafficking of persons would be punishable as a first degree felony punishable by imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for life or for any term of not more than 99 years or less than 25 years. Under the provisions of the bill, punishment for a state jail felony would be enhanced to third degree felony if the offender had been previously convicted of continuous trafficking of a person. The bill would also add continuous trafficking of persons to the list of offenses for which there is no statute of limitations, for which life without parole is automatic upon subsequent conviction, for which an extraordinary vote by the board of pardons and parole is required, not eligible for intensive supervision parole, not eligible for release to mandatory supervision, not eligible for placement in a halfway house, not eligible for community supervision, and to those offenses considered violent.
A state jail felony is punishable by confinement in a state jail for a term from 180 days to 2 years and, in addition to confinement, an optional fine not to exceed $10,000 or Class A Misdemeanor punishment (mandatory post conviction community supervision). A felony of the third degree is punishable by confinement in prison for a term from 2 to 10 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.
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. 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. For this analysis, it is assumed the number of 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.