Law Office of Kimberly N. Shanklin, PLLC.
Serving Denton County Since 2002
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Abuse of Official Capacity

Abuse of Official Capacity

Chapter 39 of the Texas Penal Code defines offenses relating to the abuse of office.

“Abuse of Official Capacity”, as per § 39.02 of the Texas Penal Code, occurs when a public servant, with intent to obtain a benefit or with intent to harm or defraud another, intentionally or knowingly:

  1. violates a law relating to the public servant's office or employment; or

  2. misuses government property, services, personnel, or any other thing of value belonging to the government that has come into the public servant's custody or possession by virtue of the public servant's office or employment.

An offense under 1) is a Class A Misdemeanor.

An offense under 2) is a:

  • a Class C misdemeanor if the value of the use of the thing misused is less than $100;

  • a Class B misdemeanor if the value of the use of the thing misused is $100 or more but less than $750;

  • a Class A misdemeanor if the value of the use of the thing misused is $750 or more but less than $2,500;

  • a state jail felony if the value of the use of the thing misused is $2,500 or more but less than $30,000;

  • a felony of the third degree if the value of the use of the thing misused is $30,000 or more but less than $150,000;

  • a felony of the second degree if the value of the use of the thing misused is $150,000 or more but less than $300,000; or

  • a felony of the first degree if the value of the use of the thing misused is $300,000 or more.

Severity of Crime

Misdemeanor c

  • Fine not to exceed $500

Misdemeanor B

  • Confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days

  • Fine not to exceed $2,000

  • Both such fine and confinement

Misdemeanor A

  • Confinement in jail for a term not to exceed one year

  • Fine not to exceed $4,000

  • Both such fine and confinement

State Jail Felony

  • Confinement in a state jail for not more than two years and not less than 180 days

  • In addition to confinement, may receive a fine not to exceed $10,000

Third Degree Felony

  • Imprisonment in the institutional division for not more than 10 years or less than two years

  • In addition to imprisonment, may receive a fine not to exceed $10,000

Second Degree FelonY

  • Imprisonment in the institutional division for not more than 20 years or less than two years

  • In addition to imprisonment, may receive a fine not to exceed $10,000

First Degree Felony

  • Imprisonment in the institutional division for life, or

  • Imprisonment in the institutional division for not more than 99 years or less than five years with the exception of aggravated sexual assault, which adds a 25-year minimum punishment if the victim is younger than 6, or younger than 14 and the offense contained threats of serious bodily injury or death, or use of a deadly weapon

  • In addition to imprisonment, may receive a fine not to exceed $10,000