Improper Sexual Activity With Committed Person: Texas Penal Code §39.041

Texas Criminal Law

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The Texas Improper Sexual Activity With Committed Person law makes it illegal for people who work at civil commitment facilities in Texas to engage in sexual activity with any person who is committed to a civil commitment facility.

The Texas Civil Commitment Office provides treatment and supervision to people who have been civilly committed as “sexually violent predators.”

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As part of a broad bill that was passed in 2023 to help solve “administrative challenges” of their treatment and supervision programs, the legislature created this new law for 2023, and it went into effect on September 1, 2023. The law was codified at Section 39.041 of the Texas Penal code.

The Penal Code codifies the Texas Improper Sexual Activity With Committed Person law under Title 8 “Offenses Against Public Administration,” Chapter 39 “Abuse Of Office.” Learn more about the Texas offense of Improper Sexual Activity With Committed Person below.

What is the current Texas law about Improper Sexual Activity With Committed Person?

The current Texas law defines the offense of Improper Sexual Activity With Committed Person in Penal Code Section §39.041 as follows:[1]

(b) An officer or employee of the Texas Civil Commitment Office, a person who contracts with this state to perform a service in a civil commitment facility or an employee of that person, or a volunteer at a civil commitment facility commits an offense if the person intentionally engages in deviate sexual intercourse, sexual contact, or sexual intercourse with a person committed to a civil commitment facility.

This offense was created by the 88th Texas Legislature in 2023,[2] effective September 1, 2023.[3]

How can I be charged with an Improper Sexual Activity With Committed Person offense in Texas?

You can be charged with Improper Sexual Activity With Committed Person in Texas if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 39.041 as described in the section above have been met.

What is the statute of limitation for Improper Sexual Activity With Committed Person in Texas?

Improper Sexual Activity With Committed Person offenses have a three-year limitations period.[4]

What is the penalty for a Texas Improper Sexual Activity With Committed Person offense?

Improper Sexual Activity With Committed Person in Texas is punished as a third degree felony,[5] with a maximum possible prison sentence of up to ten years.

Can you get probation for Improper Sexual Activity With Committed Person in Texas?

The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure allows both judges and juries to grant probation for Improper Sexual Activity With Committed Person, and judges are also allowed to accept deferred adjudication plea deals.[6]

Note, however, that no matter the offense, neither judges nor juries may recommend community supervision for any suspended sentence of over 10 years.[7] Also, judges may not grant community supervision after a conviction if (1) the defendant used or exhibited a deadly weapon during the commission of the felony or immediate flight thereafter and (2) the defendant used or exhibited the deadly weapon himself or was a party to the offense and knew that a deadly weapon would be used or exhibited.[8]

Do I have to register as a sex offender in Texas if guilty of Improper Sexual Activity With Committed Person?

The Improper Sexual Activity With Committed Person offense does not appear on the list of offenses requiring registration under Chapter 62 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.[9]

However, the legislature can add this offense to the list at any time. If that happens, people convicted of Improper Sexual Activity With Committed Person would have to register, even if the offense did not appear on the list at the time they accepted a deferred adjudication plea (even if later dismissed), pled guilty or were founty guilty.

What level of crime is Improper Sexual Activity With Committed Person in Texas?

The Penal Code classifies Improper Sexual Activity With Committed Person as a third degree felony.

Learn more about the penalty range for this offense in the section above.


^1. Texas Penal Code §39.041. This law is current as of the 88th Legislature Regular Session.^2. SB 1179, 88th Texas Legislature (RS), Section 6^3. SB 1179, 88th Texas Legislature (RS), Section 32^4. See Code of Criminal Procedure 12.01(9)^5. Texas Penal Code §39.041(c)^6. See Chapter 42, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Art. 42A.054, Art. 42A.056, Art. 42A.102 .^7. Art. 42A.053(c), Texas Code of Criminal Procedure^8. Art. 42A.054(b), Texas Code of Criminal Procedure^9. Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 62.001

Improper Sexual Activity With Committed Person | Penal Code 39.041 text with Texas and American Flag in background

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