Continuous Trafficking of Persons: Texas Penal Code §20A.03

Texas Criminal Law

The Texas Continuous Trafficking of Persons law gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you engaged in trafficking one or more people two or more times within a 30 day duration.

The legislature has not made any changes to this law since 2015.

The Texas Penal Code classifies the Continuous Trafficking of Persons law under Title 5 “Offenses Against The Person,” Chapter 20A “Trafficking Of Persons.” Learn more about the Texas offense of Continuous Trafficking of Persons below.

What is the current Texas law about Continuous Trafficking of Persons?

The current Texas law defines the offense of Continuous Trafficking of Persons in Penal Code Section §20A.03 as follows:[1]

(a) A person commits an offense if, during a period that is 30 or more days in duration, the person engages two or more times in conduct that constitutes an offense under Section 20A.02 against one or more victims.

Section 20A.02 refers to the Trafficking of Persons offense.

How can I be charged with a Continuous Trafficking of Persons offense in Texas?

You can be charged with Continuous Trafficking of Persons if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 20A.03(a) as described in the section above have been met.

What is the penalty for a Texas Continuous Trafficking of Persons offense?

A conviction for Continuous Trafficking of Persons in Texas is punished as a Felony of the First Degree with a minimum term of confinement of 25 years in prison[2] and a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and up to life in prison. Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors here.

What is the statute of limitation for Continuous Trafficking of Persons in Texas?

This offense has no limitations period under Texas law.[3]

Do I have to register as a sex offender in Texas if guilty of Continuous Trafficking of Persons?

Effective September 1, 2017, Continuous Trafficking of Persons was added to the list of offenses that, upon conviction, require you to register as a sex offender, but only under certain circumstances – only convictions where the underlying Trafficking of Persons offense is a violation of Section 20A.02(a)(3), (4), (7), or (8) are registrable offenses.[4]

^1. Texas Penal Code §20A.03. This law is current as of the 88th Legislature Regular Session.^2. Texas Penal Code §20A.03(e)^3. Code of Criminal Procedure 12.01(1)(H)^4. Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 62.001(5)(L), created by H.B. 29, 85th Legislature, Section 15, effective September 1, 2017

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