Sale or Lease of Multichannel Video or Information Services Device: Texas Penal Code §31.14

Texas Criminal Law

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The Texas Sale or Lease of Multichannel Video or Information Services Device lawmakes it illegal to sell or lease a device (or kit for a device) used to gain unauthorized access to a cable network or other information services provider.

The Texas legislature codified this criminal offense in Texas Penal Code Section 31.14. The legislature did not update this law in 2023. In fact, this law has not been amended since 1999.

The Penal Code codifies the Texas Sale or Lease of Multichannel Video or Information Services Device law under Title 7 “Offenses Against Property,” Chapter 31 “Theft.” Learn more about the Texas offense of Sale or Lease of Multichannel Video or Information Services Device below.

What is the current Texas law about Sale or Lease of Multichannel Video or Information Services Device?

The current Texas law defines the offense of Sale or Lease of Multichannel Video or Information Services Device in Penal Code Section §31.14 as follows:[1]

(a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly sells or leases, with an intent to aid in the commission of an offense under Section 31.12, a device, a kit or part for a device, or a plan for a system of components wholly or partly designed to make intelligible an encrypted, encoded, scrambled, or other nonstandard signal carried or caused by a multichannel video or information services provider.

How can I be charged with a Sale or Lease of Multichannel Video or Information Services Device offense in Texas?

You can be charged with Sale or Lease of Multichannel Video or Information Services Device in Texas if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 31.14(a) as described in the section above have been met.

What is the statute of limitation for Sale or Lease of Multichannel Video or Information Services Device in Texas?

As a misdemeanor, Sale or Lease of Multichannel Video or Information Services Device charges have a two-year limitations period.[2]

What is the penalty for a Texas Sale or Lease of Multichannel Video or Information Services Device offense?

A conviction for Sale or Lease of Multichannel Video or Information Services Device in Texas is punished as a Class A misdemeanor,[3] with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law 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 Sale or Lease of Multichannel Video or Information Services Device in Texas?

The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure allows both judges and juries to grant probation for Sale or Lease of Multichannel Video or Information Services Device, 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 Sale or Lease of Multichannel Video or Information Services Device in Texas?

The Penal Code classifies the punishment for Sale or Lease of Multichannel Video or Information Services Device as a Class A misdemeanor.

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


^1. Texas Penal Code §31.14. This law is current as of the 88th Legislature Regular Session.^2. See Code of Criminal Procedure 12.02(a)^3. Texas Penal Code §31.14(d)^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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