Participation In Enterprise Through Racketeering Or Unlawful Debt Collection: Texas Penal Code §72.04

Texas Criminal Law

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The Texas Participation In Enterprise Through Racketeering Or Unlawful Debt Collection law gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you were associated with any enterprise and knowingly participated in that enterprise through a pattern of racketeering or the collection of an unlawful debt.

The Texas legislature enacted this law in 2023 as part of the “Texas Racketeering Act.” The offense is codified in Texas Penal Code Section 72.04, and it went into effect September 1, 2023.

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The Texas Racketeering Act contained three new criminal laws, including Acquisition Of Interest In Property Or Control Of Enterprise Through Racketeering Or Unlawful Debt Collection and Use Of Proceeds Derived From Racketeering Or Unlawful Debt Collection, along with this one.

The Penal Code classifies the Texas Participation in Enterprise Through Racketeering law under Title 11 “Organized Crime,” Chapter 72 “Racketeering and Unlawful Debt Collection.” Learn more about the Texas offense of Participation In Enterprise Through Racketeering Or Unlawful Debt Collection below.

What is the current Texas law about Participation In Enterprise Through Racketeering Or Unlawful Debt Collection?

The current Texas law defines the offense of Participation In Enterprise Through Racketeering Or Unlawful Debt Collection in Penal Code Section §72.04 as follows:[1]

(a) A person commits an offense if the person is employed by or associated with an enterprise and knowingly conducts or participates, directly or indirectly, in that enterprise through a pattern of racketeering or the collection of an unlawful debt.

The 88th Texas Legislature created this law in 2023,[2] effective September 1, 2023.[3]

How can I be charged with a Participation in Enterprise Through Racketeering offense in Texas?

The state can charge you with Participation In Enterprise Through Racketeering Or Unlawful Debt Collection if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of Penal Code §72.04 as described in the section above have been met.

What is the statute of limitation for Participation in Enterprise Through Racketeering in Texas?

The limitation period for Participation In Enterprise Through Racketeering Or Unlawful Debt Collection is five years, except that the limitations period is tolled during the pendency of a civil case, in the event that the state prosecutes a RICO claim under Chapter 140B, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.[4]

What is the penalty for a Texas Participation in Enterprise Through Racketeering offense?

The statute classifies the Participation In Enterprise Through Racketeering Or Unlawful Debt Collection offense as a second degree felony.[5]

Can you get probation for Participation in Enterprise Through Racketeering in Texas?

The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure allows both judges and juries to grant probation for Participation in Enterprise Through Racketeering, 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]

What level of crime is Participation in Enterprise Through Racketeering in Texas?

The Penal Code classifies Participation In Enterprise Through Racketeering Or Unlawful Debt Collection as a second degree felony.

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


^1. Texas Penal Code §72.04. This law is current as of the 88th Legislature Regular Session.^2. HB 4635, 88th Texas Legislature (RS), Section 6^3. HB 4635, 88th Texas Legislature (RS), Section 10^4. Code of Criminal Procedure 12.015(b)^5. Texas Penal Code §72.04(b)^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

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