Austin, Texas
March 31, 2013

Honorable Abel Herrero, Chair, House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence
Ursula Parks, Director, Legislative Budget Board
HB36 by Menéndez (Relating to the criminal penalty for and certain civil consequences of damaging property with graffiti.), As Introduced

The bill would amend the Penal Code, the Civil Practice and Remedies Code, and the Transportation
Code as it relates to the criminal penalty for and certain civil consequences of damaging property with graffiti. Under the provisions of the bill, a graffiti offense would have a minimum term of confinement (72 hours) and, unless targeting certain protected structures, a first-time offense would be punishable as a Class A misdemeanor instead of a Class B misdemeanor. If the offender marks a protected structure with graffiti, the penalty is a state jail felony. The bill would add city hall and courthouse structures to the protected class of structures. The bill would also increase the punishment for graffiti to a state jail felony if the defendant has been previously convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for graffiti. Under the provisions of the bill a court would be required to suspend or deny a driver's license or provisional license to a person who has been convicted or adjudicated to have engaged in delinquent conduct for a graffiti offense.
A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by confinement in county jail for a term not to exceed one year and/or a fine not to exceed $4,000. 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).
The bill enhances the penalty for graffiti. Enhancing the penalty for any criminal offense is expected to increase demands on state and/or county correctional agency resources due to longer terms of community supervision, county jail confinement, state correctional institution confinement, and/or parole. However, it is assumed that the number of offenders supervised or incarcerated under this statute would not significantly impact state correctional agency resources. In fiscal year 2012, there were 2,887 felony arrests, 69 felony community supervision placements, and 37 state incarcerations for the above-referenced graffiti offenses.

Source Agencies:
LBB Staff: