Tampering With Electronic Monitoring Device: Texas Penal Code §38.112

Texas Criminal Law

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The Texas Tampering With Electronic Monitoring Device law gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you removed or helped remove an ankle monitor or any other kind of court-ordered electronic monitor.

The legislature created this law in 2023 in response to a number of attention-grabbing headlines about people committing crimes while being subject to ankle monitor restrictions. The law was codified at Section 38.112 of the Texas Penal code, and it went into effect on September 1, 2023.

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Ankle monitors and electronic monitoring have been a staple of the criminal justice system for many years due to the overcrowding of jails and increasing expenses related to housing inmates. It is significantly cheaper for counties to put people on electronic monitoring than it is to keep them in jail – especially when the cost is passed on to those who are being monitored.

The Penal Code classifies the Texas Tampering With Electronic Monitoring Device law under Title 8 “Offenses Against Public Administration,” Chapter 38 “Obstructing Governmental Operation.” Learn more about the Texas offense of Tampering With Electronic Monitoring Device below.

What is the current Texas law about Tampering With Electronic Monitoring Device?

The current Texas law defines the offense of Tampering With Electronic Monitoring Device in Penal Code Section §38.112 as follows:[1]

(a) A person who is required to submit to electronic monitoring of the person’s location as part of an electronic monitoring program under Article 42.035, Code of Criminal Procedure, or as a condition of community supervision, parole, mandatory supervision, or release on bail commits an offense if the person knowingly removes or disables, or causes or conspires or cooperates with another person to remove or disable, a tracking device that the person is required to wear to enable the electronic monitoring of the person’s location.

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

How can I be charged with a Tampering With Electronic Monitoring Device offense in Texas?

You can be charged with Tampering With Electronic Monitoring Device in Texas if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 38.112 as described in the section above have been met.

What is the statute of limitation for Tampering With Electronic Monitoring Device in Texas?

Tampering With Electronic Monitoring Device offenses have a three-year limitations period.[4]

What is the penalty for a Texas Tampering With Electronic Monitoring Device offense?

Tampering With Electronic Monitoring Device in Texas is punished as a state jail felony or third degree felony, depending on the circumstances.[5]

Can you get probation for Tampering With Electronic Monitoring Device in Texas?

The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure allows both judges and juries to grant probation for Tampering With Electronic Monitoring Device, 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 Tampering With Electronic Monitoring Device in Texas?

The Penal Code classifies Tampering With Electronic Monitoring Device as either a state jail felony or third degree felony, depending on the circumstances.

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


^1. Texas Penal Code §38.112. This law is current as of the 88th Legislature Regular Session.^2. SB 1004, 88th Texas Legislature (RS), Section 1^3. SB 1004, 88th Texas Legislature (RS), Section 3^4. See Code of Criminal Procedure 12.01(9)^5. Texas Penal Code §38.112(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

Tampering With Electronic Monitoring Device | Penal Code 38.112 text with Texas and American Flag in background

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