Law Office of Kimberly N. Shanklin, PLLC.
Serving Denton County Since 2002
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Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity

Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity

Chapter 71 of the Texas Penal code defines organized crime offenses.

“Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity”, as per § 71.01 of the Texas Penal Code, occurs when a person, with the intent to establish, maintain, or participate in a combination or in the profits of a combination or as a member of a criminal street gang, the person commits or conspires to commit one or more of the following:

  • murder, capital murder, arson, aggravated robbery, robbery, burglary, theft, aggravated kidnapping, kidnapping, aggravated assault, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, continuous sexual abuse of young child or children, solicitation of a minor, forgery, deadly conduct, assault punishable as a Class A misdemeanor, burglary of a motor vehicle, or unauthorized use of a motor vehicle;

  • any gambling offense punishable as a Class A misdemeanor;

  • promotion of prostitution, aggravated promotion of prostitution, or compelling prostitution;

  • unlawful manufacture, transportation, repair, or sale of firearms or prohibited weapons;

  • unlawful manufacture, delivery, dispensation, or distribution of a controlled substance or dangerous drug, or unlawful possession of a controlled substance or dangerous drug through forgery, fraud, misrepresentation, or deception;

  • causing the unlawful delivery, dispensation, or distribution of a controlled substance or dangerous drug in violation of Subtitle B, Title 3, Occupations Code;

  • any unlawful wholesale promotion or possession of any obscene material or obscene device with the intent to wholesale promote the same;

  • any offense under Subchapter B, Chapter 43, depicting or involving conduct by or directed toward a child younger than 18 years of age;

  • any felony offense under Chapter 32;

  • any offense under Chapter 36;

  • any offense under Chapter 34, 35, or 35A;

  • any offense under Section 37.11(a);

  • any offense under Chapter 20A; 

  • any offense under Section 37.10;

  • any offense under Section 38.06, 38.07, 38.09, or 38.11;

  • any offense under Section 42.10;

  • any offense under Section 46.06(a)(1) or 46.14;

  • any offense under Section 20.05 or 20.06; or

  • any offense classified as a felony under the Tax Code.

An offense under this section is one category higher than the most serious offense listed that was committed, and if the most serious offense is a Class A misdemeanor, the offense is a state jail felony, except that the offense is a felony of the first degree punishable by imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for:

  • life without parole, if the most serious offense is an aggravated sexual assault and if at the time of that offense the defendant is 18 years of age or older and:

    • the victim of the offense is younger than six years of age;

    • the victim of the offense is younger than 14 years of age and the actor commits the offense in a manner described by Section 22.021(a)(2)(A); or

    • the victim of the offense is younger than 17 years of age and suffered serious bodily injury as a result of the offense;

  • life or for any term of not more than 99 years or less than 30 years if the most serious offense is an offense under Section 20.06 that is punishable under Subsection (g) of that section; or

  • life or for any term of not more than 99 years or less than 15 years if the most serious offense is an offense punishable as a felony of the first degree, other than an offense described by the two previous Subdivisions.

At the punishment stage of a trial, the defendant may raise the issue as to whether in voluntary and complete renunciation of the offense he withdrew from the combination before commission of an offense listed in Subsection (a) and made substantial effort to prevent the commission of the offense.  If the defendant proves the issue in the affirmative by a preponderance of the evidence the offense is the same category of offense as the most serious offense listed in Subsection (a) that is committed, unless the defendant is convicted of conspiring to commit the offense, in which event the offense is one category lower than the most serious offense that the defendant conspired to commit.

Severity of Crime

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