Unauthorized Absence from Community Corrections Facility, County Correctional Center or Assignment Site: Texas Penal Code §38.113

Texas Criminal Law

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The Texas Unauthorized Absence From Community Corrections Facility, County Correctional Center, or Assignment Site law makes it a criminal offense to fail to report to a jail or leave a jail (or other correctional facility) if you are sentenced by the court or required as a condition of community supervision to be there.

The Texas legislature codified this criminal offense in Texas Penal Code Section 38.113. The legislature did not update this law in 2023. In fact, this law has not been amended since 1995.

The Penal Code codifies the Texas Unauthorized Absence law under Title 8 “Offenses Against Public Administration,” Chapter 38 “Obstructing Governmental Operation.” Learn more about the Texas offense of Unauthorized Absence from Community Corrections Facility, County Correctional Center or Assignment Site below.

What is the current Texas law about Unauthorized Absence from Community Corrections Facility, County Correctional Center or Assignment Site?

The current Texas law defines the offense of Unauthorized Absence from Community Corrections Facility, County Correctional Center or Assignment Site in Penal Code Section §38.113 as follows:[1]

(a) A person commits an offense if the person:

(1) is sentenced to or is required as a condition of community supervision or correctional programming to submit to a period of detention or treatment in a community corrections facility or county correctional center;

(2) fails to report to or leaves the facility, the center, or a community service assignment site as directed by the court, community supervision and corrections department supervising the person, or director of the facility or center in which the person is detained or treated, as appropriate; and

(3) in failing to report or leaving acts without the approval of the court, the community supervision and corrections department supervising the person, or the director of the facility or center in which the person is detained or treated.

How can I be charged with an Unauthorized Absence offense in Texas?

You can be charged with Unauthorized Absence From Community Corrections Facility, County Correctional Center, or Assignment Site in Texas if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 38.113(a) as described in the section above have been met.

What is the statute of limitation for Unauthorized Absence in Texas?

Unauthorized Absence offenses have a three-year limitations period.[2]

What is the penalty for a Texas Unauthorized Absence offense?

A conviction for Unauthorized Absence From Community Corrections Facility, County Correctional Center, or Assignment Site in Texas is punished as a State Jail Felony,[3] with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and jail time of up to two years. Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors here.

Can you get probation for Unauthorized Absence in Texas?

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

Note, however, that no matter the offense, neither judges nor juries may recommend community supervision for any suspended sentence of over 10 years.[5] Also, 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.[6]

What level of crime is Unauthorized Absence in Texas?

The Penal Code classifies Unauthorized Absence as a state jail felony.

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


^1. Texas Penal Code §38.113. This law is current as of the 88th Legislature Regular Session.^2. See Code of Criminal Procedure 12.01(9)^3. Texas Penal Code §38.113(b)

^4. See Chapter 42, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Art. 42A.054, Art. 42A.056, Art. 42A.102 .^5. Art. 42A.053(c), Texas Code of Criminal Procedure^6. Art. 42A.054(b), Texas Code of Criminal Procedure

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