Honorable John Whitmire, Chair, Senate Committee on Criminal Justice
Ursula Parks, Director, Legislative Budget Board
SB2238 by Garcia (Relating to certain sexual offenses; creating a criminal offense; increasing a criminal penalty.), As Introduced
The bill would amend the Penal Code as it relates to the offenses of unlawful disclosure or promotion of intimate visual material and sexual coercion. Under the provisions of the bill, the punishment for the offense of unlawful disclosure or promotion of intimate visual material would be increased from a Class A misdemeanor to a state jail felony. The bill would also make the offense of sexual coercion punishable by a state jail felony or a third degree felony depending on the circumstances of the offense.
A third degree felony is punishable by confinement in prison for a term from 2 to 10 years and a state jail felony is punishable by confinement in a state jail for a term from 180 days to 2 years or Class A misdemeanor punishment. In addition to confinement, most felony offenses are subject to an optional fine not to exceed $10,000. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by confinement in county jail for a term not to exceed one year and, in addition to confinement, an optional fine not to exceed $4,000.
Increasing, creating and enhancing, penalties are expected to result in an increase in the demand for the correctional resources of the counties or of the State due to a potential increase in the number of individuals placed under supervision in the community or sentenced to a term of confinement within state correctional institutions. In fiscal year 2016, 88 individuals were arrested and fewer than 10 were placed under misdemeanor community supervision for the offense of unlawful disclosure or promotion of intimate visual material under existing statute. However, this analysis assumes the provisions of the bill addressing felony sanctions would not result in a significant impact on the demand of state correctional resources.