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Houston Criminal Defense Attorney - Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 2.13951 Civil Penalty

Houston Criminal Defense Attorney - Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 2.13951


by Brian Foley - Board Certified in Criminal Law


In Texas, law enforcement agencies are required to submit reports related to certain injuries or deaths, and failure to do so can result in civil penalties. Article 2.13951 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure outlines the specifics of this reporting requirement and the penalties for non-compliance.


Under this law, the office of the attorney general is responsible for investigating cases where a law enforcement agency has failed to submit a required report as per Article 2.139 or 2.1395. Upon receiving a written and signed report asserting such failure, the office of the attorney general provides notice to the agency summarizing the reporting requirement and stating that the agency may be subject to civil penalties.



If a law enforcement agency fails to submit the required report within seven days after receiving notice, they are liable for a civil penalty of $1,000 for each day beyond the seventh day that the report remains unsubmitted, as per Subsection (b) of the law. However, if the agency has previously been liable for civil penalties under Subsection (b) or (c) within the five-year period preceding the notice, the penalty increases to $10,000 for the first day and $1,000 for each additional day of non-compliance, as per Subsection (c).


The attorney general has the authority to sue to collect civil penalties under this law, as stated in Subsection (d). Any civil penalties collected are deposited into the compensation to victims of crime fund established under Subchapter J, Chapter 56B, as per Subsection (e).


It's important for law enforcement agencies in Texas to be aware of these reporting requirements and the potential civil penalties for non-compliance. Proper and timely submission of the required reports can help ensure compliance with the law and avoid unnecessary penalties. If a law enforcement agency receives notice of failure to submit a required report, it's crucial to take prompt action to rectify the situation and submit the report as required by law.



Art. 2.13951. NOTICE OF VIOLATION OF REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTAIN INJURIES OR DEATHS; CIVIL PENALTY.


(a) The office of the attorney general shall conduct an investigation after receiving a written and signed report, on a form prescribed by the office, asserting that a law enforcement agency failed to submit a report required by Article 2.139 or 2.1395. If the office determines that the law enforcement agency failed to submit the report, the office shall provide notice of the failure to the agency. The notice must summarize the applicable reporting requirement and state that the agency may be subject to a civil penalty as provided by Subsection (b) or (c), as applicable.


(b) Except as provided by Subsection (c), a law enforcement agency that fails to submit the required report on or before the seventh day after the date of receiving notice under Subsection (a) is liable for a civil penalty in the amount of $1,000 for each day after the seventh day that the agency fails to submit the report.


(c) Beginning on the day after the date of receiving notice under Subsection (a), a law enforcement agency that, in the five-year period preceding the date the agency received the notice, has been liable for a civil penalty under Subsection (b) or this subsection is liable for a civil penalty for each day the agency fails to submit the required report. The amount of a civil penalty under this subsection is $10,000 for the first day and $1,000 for each additional day that the agency fails to submit the report.


(d) The attorney general may sue to collect a civil penalty under this article.


(e) A civil penalty collected under this article shall be deposited to the credit of the compensation to victims of crime fund established under Subchapter J, Chapter 56B.


Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 808 (H.B. 245), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2017. Amended by: Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 469 (H.B. 4173), Sec. 2.05, eff. January 1, 2021.


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