Abuse of Official Capacity text with Texas flag in background Abuse of Official Capacity
Abuse of Official Capacity text with Texas flag in background

Abuse of Official Capacity

The Abuse of Official Capacity crime in the state of Texas makes it illegal for public servants to violate a law relating to the public servant’s office or misuse government property to get a personal benefit or to harm someone else. Learn more detailed information about the Abuse of Official Capacity offense below.

Have you been charged with Abuse of Official Capacity? Call criminal lawyer Paul Saputo at (888) 239-9305 to discuss legal representation.

Abuse of Official Capacity is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 8 “Offenses Against Public Administration,” Chapter 39 “Abuse of Office.”

What is the current Texas law about Abuse of Official Capacity?

The current Texas law is as follows:1

(a) A public servant commits an offense if, with intent to obtain a benefit or with intent to harm or defraud another, he 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.

How can I be charged with Abuse of Official Capacity?

You can be charged with Abuse of Official Capacity if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 39.02(a)(1) or (a)(2), as described in the section above, have been met.

What is the punishment for Abuse of Official Capacity?

A conviction for Abuse of Official Capacity under subsection (a-1) is punished as a Class A misdemeanor,2 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $4000 and jail time of up to one year. However, a conviction under subsection (a-2) can be punished anywhere from a Class C misdemeanor to a first degree felony, depending on the value of the “misused thing.”3


Legal References:

1 Texas Penal Code §39.02.

2 Texas Penal Code §39.02(b).

3 Texas Penal Code §39.02(c):

(c) An offense under Subsection (a)(2) is:

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

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

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

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

(5) 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;

(6) 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

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

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