The Texas offense of Damaging Critical Infrastructure Facility gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you damaged the Texas power grid and cause a power outage.
DAMAGING CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE FACILITY ATTORNEY FAQs
Before this law passed in 2023, Texas law did not expressly and specifically penalize attacks on electric grid infrastructure – instead, any such acts would likely have been prosecuted under the Criminal Mischief statute.
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Learn more about the Damaging Critical Infrastructure Facility offense below.
The current Texas law defines the offense of Damaging Critical Infrastructure Facility in Penal Code Section §28.09 as follows:
(b) A person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the owner or operator of a critical infrastructure facility, the person:
(1) intentionally or knowingly damages, destroys, vandalizes, or impairs the function of any critical infrastructure facility; and
(2) as a result of the conduct described by Subdivision (1), causes an extended power outage.
You can be charged with Damaging Critical Infrastructure Facility if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 28.09 as described in the section above have been met.
Damaging Critical Infrastructure Facility is punished as either a first or second degree felony, depending on the circumstances. The penalty is ehanced to a first-degree felony if the amount of pecuniary damage to the facility is $100,000 or more or if the actor uses a firearm, drone, cyber attack, or explosive weapon in the commission of the offense.