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Improper Contact with Victim

The Improper Contact with Victim crime in the state of Texas prohibits contacting the person who accuses you of a “registrable” sex-related offense if you are confined in a correctional facility and don’t have permission from the victim or victim’s guardian. Learn more detailed information about the Improper Contact with Victim offense below.

A very important exception to this offense (technically it is an “affirmative defense”) is that your attorney may make contact with the accuser in the course of representing you in a criminal proceeding.1

Have you been charged with Improper Contact with Victim? Call criminal lawyer Paul Saputo at (888) 239-9305.

Improper Contact with Victim is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 8 “Offenses Against Public Administration,” Chapter 38 “Obstructing Governmental Operation.”

What is the law in Texas about Improper Contact with Victim?

The offense is described in Section 38.111 of the Texas Penal Code.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person, while confined in a correctional facility after being charged with or convicted of an offense listed in Article 62.001(5), Code of Criminal Procedure, contacts by letter, telephone, or any other means, either directly or through a third party, a victim of the offense or a member of the victim’s family, if:

(1) the victim was younger than 17 years of age at the time of the commission of the offense for which the person is confined; and

(2) the director of the correctional facility has not, before the person makes contact with the victim:

(A) received written and dated consent to the contact from:

(i) a parent of the victim;

(ii) a legal guardian of the victim;

(iii) the victim, if the victim is 17 years of age or older at the time of giving the consent; or

(iv) a member of the victim’s family who is 17 years of age or older; and

(B) provided the person with a copy of the consent.

Article 62.001(5)

Article 62.001(5) refers to “reportable” offenses, meaning the certain sex-related crimes that require registration as a sex offender if you are found guilty. This list of offenses triggers the Improper Contact with Victim offense.

In addition, the Improper Contact with Victim offense is punished as a felony as described below if you have already been convicted of one of these offenses. The complete list of reportable offenses are found in the state statute here

How can I be charged with Improper Contact with Victim?

You can be charged with Improper Contact with Victim if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 38.111(a) as described in the section above have been met.

A conviction for Improper Contact with Victim is punished 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 one year, if the Article 62.001(5) charge underlying the offense has not resulted in a conviction at the time the contact was made.

If you were convicted of a felony Article 62.001(5) offense at the time the contact was made, then a conviction for Improper Contact with Victim is punished as a Felony of the Third Degree,3 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and prison time of up to 10 years. Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors


Legal References:

1 Texas Penal Code Section 38.111(c)

2 Texas Penal Code Section 38.111(d)

3 Texas Penal Code Section 38.111(d)