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Texas Penal Code - PENAL § 38.01. Definitions

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In this chapter:

(1) “Custody” means:

(A) under arrest by a peace officer or under restraint by a public servant pursuant to an order of a court of this state or another state of the United States;  or

(B) under restraint by an agent or employee of a facility that is operated by or under contract with the United States and that confines persons arrested for, charged with, or convicted of criminal offenses.

(2) “Escape” means unauthorized departure from custody or failure to return to custody following temporary leave for a specific purpose or limited period or leave that is part of an intermittent sentence, but does not include a violation of conditions of community supervision or parole other than conditions that impose a period of confinement in a secure correctional facility.

(3) “Economic benefit” means anything reasonably regarded as an economic gain or advantage, including accepting or offering to accept employment for a fee, accepting or offering to accept a fee, entering into a fee contract, or accepting or agreeing to accept money or anything of value.

(4) “Finance” means to provide funds or capital or to furnish with necessary funds.

(5) “Fugitive from justice” means a person for whom a valid arrest warrant has been issued.

(6) “Governmental function” includes any activity that a public servant is lawfully authorized to undertake on behalf of government.

(7) “Invest funds” means to commit money to earn a financial return.

(8) “Member of the family” means anyone related within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity, as determined under Chapter 573, Government Code.

(9) “Qualified nonprofit organization” means a nonprofit organization that meets the following conditions:

(A) the primary purposes of the organization do not include the rendition of legal services or education regarding legal services;

(B) the recommending, furnishing, paying for, or educating persons regarding legal services is incidental and reasonably related to the primary purposes of the organization;

(C) the organization does not derive a financial benefit from the rendition of legal services by a lawyer;  and

(D) the person for whom the legal services are rendered, and not the organization, is recognized as the client of a lawyer.

(10) “Public media” means a telephone directory or legal directory, newspaper or other periodical, billboard or other sign, radio or television broadcast, recorded message the public may access by dialing a telephone number, or a written communication not prohibited by Section 38.12(d).

(11) “Solicit employment” means to communicate in person or by telephone with a prospective client or a member of the prospective client's family concerning professional employment within the scope of a professional's license, registration, or certification arising out of a particular occurrence or event, or series of occurrences or events, or concerning an existing problem of the prospective client within the scope of the professional's license, registration, or certification, for the purpose of providing professional services to the prospective client, when neither the person receiving the communication nor anyone acting on that person's behalf has requested the communication.  The term does not include a communication initiated by a family member of the person receiving a communication, a communication by a professional who has a prior or existing professional-client relationship with the person receiving the communication, or communication by an attorney for a qualified nonprofit organization with the organization's members for the purpose of educating the organization's members to understand the law, to recognize legal problems, to make intelligent selection of legal counsel, or to use available legal services.  The term does not include an advertisement by a professional through public media.

(12) “Professional” means an attorney, chiropractor, physician, surgeon, private investigator, or any other person licensed, certified, or registered by a state agency that regulates a health care profession.

Cite this article: - Texas Penal Code - PENAL § 38.01. Definitions - last updated April 14, 2021 |

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