Tuesday, September 18, 2007

My Crappy Job @ Summarizing Laws That Went Into Effect September 1, 2007

Texas Laws
Drivers 79 and older have to renew licenses in person. At age 85, renewal period drops from every six years to two years.

Police will have discretion to issue citations instead of arresting those in possession of four ounces or less of marijuana. The offender must live in the county where they are stopped and must not be considered a threat to public safety.

Prosecutors can seek the death penalty for some repeat child sex offenders.

The State will develop an alert system for missing senior citizens similar to the current Amber Alert program.

The Castle Doctrine removes the requirement that someone must try to retreat before using deadly force to defend themselves. (This means you can shoot somebody in your yard if you feel your life is in danger.)

Senate Bill 153 makes it illegal for a licensed driver supervising someone with a learner's permit to be intoxicated or to fall asleep. (This one kind of threw me for a loop - I never knew that was legal to begin with.)

HB 1766 makes a state jail felony of the theft of wiring or cable that consists of at least 50 percent aluminum, bronze, or copper metals and that has a value of less than $20,000.

SB 244 authorizes a district or appellate court to seal an affidavit when there is compelling state interest for doing so, such as to prevent destruction of or tampering with evidence in a criminal investigation.

HB 991 (became effective May 23) makes confidential DPS records about who holds a concealed handgun in Texas. Criminal justice agency officials still have to access this information.

SB 9 (became effective June 15) requires a national criminal history background check for all certified public school employees; prevents individuals from employment with a school district if they have been convicted of a Title 5 Penal Code felony offense; or a sex offense when the victim of the crime was a child, a primary school student, or secondary school student; and creates a clearinghouse at DPS for criminal history background information on public school employees so this information can be shared between school districts.

HB 233 provides a concealed handgun license fee waiver for active duty military members and honorably discharged veterans within one year of their discharge from the military service.

HB 1241 requires any private security business to maintain criminal histories of its security personnel on file at the business and to make them available for inspection by DPS.

HB 1355, known as Lillian’s Law, requires all dog owners to properly secure their dogs on their property. The law provides that a dog owner can be held criminally responsible if the dog causes serious bodily injury or death at a location other than the owner’s property in an unprovoked attack during which the owner by criminal negligence failed to secure the dog. It exempts many dog professionals (including peace officers) who deal with dogs on a regular basis from the bill.

HB 1839 requires concealed handgun license (CHL) holders to take a continuing education course to renew their CHL every 10 years instead of every five years.

HB80 - A religious bible or other book containing sacred writings of a religion cannot be seized by a creditor other than a lessor of real property who is exercising the lessor's contractual or statutory right to seize personal property after a tenant breaches a lease agreement for or abandons the real property.

HB335 - The official court reporter shall furnish the transcript to the person not later than the 120th day after the date the: (1) application for the transcript is received by the reporter; and (2)[on payment of the] transcript fee is paid or the person establishes indigency.

WOW - There’s so many. If you really want to see them all go to:


Click on the blue hyperlink by each bill, then click on the text tab at the top. You can read it in html, PDF or word format.

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