Simulating Legal Process

Texas Criminal Law

The Simulating Legal Process crime in the state of Texas gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you delivered (or caused to be delivered) a document that pretended to be a formal court document with the intent to get payment from a claim or some other response.

Simulating Legal Process is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 7 “Offenses Against Property,” Chapter 32 “Fraud.”

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Learn more detailed information about the Simulating Legal Process offense below.

What is the current Texas law about Simulating Legal Process?

The current Texas law defines the offense of Simulating Legal Process in Penal Code Section §32.48 as follows:[1]

(a) A person commits an offense if the person recklessly causes to be delivered to another any document that simulates a summons, complaint, judgment, or other court process with the intent to:

(1) induce payment of a claim from another person; or

(2) cause another to:

(A) submit to the putative authority of the document; or

(B) take any action or refrain from taking any action in response to the document, in compliance with the document, or on the basis of the document.

How can I be charged with Simulating Legal Process?

You can be charged with Simulating Legal Process if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 32.48(a) as described in the section above have been met.

What is the punishment for Simulating Legal Process?

A conviction for Simulating Legal Process is punished by default as a Class A misdemeanor,[2] with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $4,000 and jail time of up to a year.

However, a conviction for Simulating Legal Process can be punished as a State Jail Felony if you have a prior Simulating Legal Process conviction.[3] Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors

Legal References:

^1. Texas Penal Code §32.48^2. Texas Penal Code §32.48(e)^3. Texas Penal Code §32.48(f)

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