Prohibitions Relating to Certain Cigarettes: Texas Penal Code §48.015

Texas Criminal Law

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The Texas Prohibitions Relating to Certain Cigarettes law in the state of Texas makes it illegal to own, possess, or transport cigarettes for sale or distribution knowing that the cigarettes do not comply with all requirements and taxes the federal government puts on them.

The Texas legislature codified this criminal offense in Texas Penal Code Section 48.015. The legislature did not update this law in 2023. In fact, this law has not been amended since 2001.

The Penal Code codifies the Texas Prohibitions Relating to Certain Cigarettes law under Title 10 “Offenses Against Public Health, Safety, And Morals,” Chapter 48 “Conduct Affecting Public Health.” Learn more about the Texas offense of Prohibitions Relating to Certain Cigarettes below.

What is the current Texas law about Prohibitions Relating to Certain Cigarettes?

The current Texas law defines the offense of Prohibitions Relating to Certain Cigarettes in Penal Code Section §48.015 as follows:[1]

(a) A person may not acquire, hold, own, possess, or transport for sale or distribution in this state or import or cause to be imported into this state for sale or distribution in this state:

(1) cigarettes that do not comply with all applicable requirements imposed by or under federal law and implementing regulations; or

(2) cigarettes to which stamps may not be affixed under Section 154.0415, Tax Code, other than cigarettes lawfully imported or brought into the state for personal use and cigarettes lawfully sold or intended to be sold as duty-free merchandise by a duty-free sales enterprise in accordance with 19 U.S.C. Section 1555(b), as amended.

How can I be charged with a Prohibitions Relating to Certain Cigarettes offense in Texas?

You can be charged with Prohibitions Related to Certain Cigarettes in Texas if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 48.015(a) as described in the section above have been met.

What is the statute of limitation for Prohibitions Relating to Certain Cigarettes in Texas?

As a misdemeanor, Prohibitions Relating to Certain Cigarettes charges have a two-year limitations period.[2]

What is the penalty for a Texas Prohibitions Relating to Certain Cigarettes offense?

A conviction for Prohibitions Related to Certain Cigarettes in Texas is punished as a Class A misdemeanor,[3] with a maximum possible fine of up to $4,000 and jail time of up to one year. Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors here.

Can you get probation for Prohibitions Relating to Certain Cigarettes in Texas?

The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure allows both judges and juries to grant probation for Prohibitions Relating to Certain Cigarettes, and judges are also allowed to accept deferred adjudication plea deals.[4]

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.[5]

What level of crime is Prohibitions Relating to Certain Cigarettes in Texas?

The Penal Code classifies Prohibitions Relating to Certain Cigarettes as a Class A misdemeanor.

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


^1. Texas Penal Code §48.015. This law is current as of the 88th Legislature Regular Session.^2. See Code of Criminal Procedure 12.02(a)^3. Texas Penal Code §48.015(b)^4. See Chapter 42, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Art. 42A.054, Art. 42A.056, Art. 42A.102 .^5. Art. 42A.054(b), Texas Code of Criminal Procedure


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