Possession of Animal by Person Convicted of Animal Cruelty: Texas Penal Code §42.107

Texas Criminal Law

Nicholas Toufexis 2024 Best Lawyers "Ones to Watch" logo
Dallas Best Lawyers 2022 Badge

The Texas Possession of Animal by Person Convicted of Animal Cruelty law makes it illegal to possess or control an animal if you have been convicted of one of the enumerated animal cruelty offenses within the last five years.

This law makes it illegal in Texas to have a pet or “exercise control” over an animal for five years after a conviction for Dog Fighting, Cruelty to Non-livestock Animals, or Attack on Assistance Animal. Interestingly, the offense does *not* apply to you if you only have a Cockfighting conviction or Cruelty to Livestock Animals conviction.

Have you been charged with Possession of Animal by Person Convicted of Animal Cruelty? Book a consultation to discuss legal representation with attorneys Paul Saputo and Nicholas Toufexis today.

Or apply for a free consultation here

The Texas legislature enacted this law in 2023 and codified the offense in Texas Penal Code Section 42.107. The law went into effect on September 1, 2023.

The Penal Code codifies the Texas Possession of Animal by Person Convicted of Animal Cruelty law under Title 9 “Offenses Against Public Order and Decency,” Chapter 42 “Disorderly Conduct and Related Offenses.” Learn more about the Texas offense of Possession of Animal by Person Convicted of Animal Cruelty below.

What is the current Texas law about Possession of Animal by Person Convicted of Animal Cruelty?

The current Texas law defines the offense of Possession of Animal by Person Convicted of Animal Cruelty in Penal Code Section §42.107 as follows:[1]

(a) A person commits an offense if the person:

(1) possesses or exercises control over an animal; and

(2) within the five-year period preceding the date of the instant offense, has been previously convicted of an offense under:

(A) Section 42.091, 42.092, or 42.10; or

(B) federal law or a penal law of another state containing elements that are substantially similar to the elements of an offense described by Paragraph (A).

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

How can I be charged with a Possession of Animal by Person Convicted of Animal Cruelty offense in Texas?

You can be charged with Possession of Animal by Person Convicted of Animal Cruelty in Texas if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 42.107 as described in the section above have been met.

What is the statute of limitation for Possession of Animal by Person Convicted of Animal Cruelty in Texas?

As a misdemeanor, Possession of Animal by Person Convicted of Animal Cruelty charges have a two-year limitations period.[4]

What is the penalty for a Texas Possession of Animal by Person Convicted of Animal Cruelty offense?

Possession of Animal by Person convicted of Animal Cruelty in Texas is punished as a Class C misdemeanor unless the state proves the accused had a prior conviction for this offense.[5]

Can you get probation for Possession of Animal by Person Convicted of Animal Cruelty in Texas?

The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure allows both judges and juries to grant probation for Possession of Animal by Person Convicted of Animal Cruelty, and judges are also allowed to accept deferred adjudication plea deals.[6]

Note, however, that 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.[7]

What level of crime is Possession of Animal by Person Convicted of Animal Cruelty in Texas?

The Penal Code classifies Possession of Animal by Person Convicted of Animal Cruelty as a Class C misdemeanor, unless the state can prove a prior conviction, in which case the classification is enhanced to a Class B misdemeanor.

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


^1. Texas Penal Code §42.107. This law is current as of the 88th Legislature Regular Session.^2. HB 598, 88th Texas Legislature (RS), Section 1^3. HB 598, 88th Texas Legislature (RS), Section 2^4. See Code of Criminal Procedure 12.02(a)^5. Texas Penal Code §42.107(b)^6. See Chapter 42, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Art. 42A.054, Art. 42A.056, Art. 42A.102 .^7. Art. 42A.054(b), Texas Code of Criminal Procedure

Possession Of Animal By Person Convicted Of Animal Cruelty | Penal Code 42.107 text with Texas and American Flag in background

Arrested or Charged With a Crime?