Prohibited Camping – Texas Penal Code §48.05

Texas Criminal Law

The Texas offense of Prohibited Camping gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you are camping in a public place without the effective consent of the authority that manages the public space.

This law was passed in response to a growing homeless enforcement problem across the state. This law allows state-level prosecution for “camping” in public places.

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Learn more about the Prohibited Camping offense below.

What is the current Texas law about Prohibited Camping?

The current Texas law defines the offense of Prohibited Camping in Penal Code Section §48.05 as follows:[1]

(b) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly camps in a public place without the effective consent of the officer or agency having the legal duty or authority to manage the public place.

This is a new law, effective September 1, 2021.[2]

How can I be charged with Prohibited Camping?

You can be charged with Prohibited Camping if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 48.05 as described in the section above have been met.

What is the punishment for Prohibited Camping?

Prohibited Camping is punished as a Class C misdemeanor.[3]

Legal References:

^1. Texas Penal Code §48.05^2. House Bill 1925, 87th Texas Legislature, Section 1^3. Texas Penal Code §48.05(e)

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