(a) A person commits an offense if, with intent to obtain an economic benefit the person:
(1) knowingly institutes a suit or claim that the person has not been authorized to pursue;
(2) solicits employment, either in person or by telephone, for himself or for another;
(3) pays, gives, or advances or offers to pay, give, or advance to a prospective client money or anything of value to obtain employment as a professional from the prospective client;
(4) pays or gives or offers to pay or give a person money or anything of value to solicit employment;
(5) pays or gives or offers to pay or give a family member of a prospective client money or anything of value to solicit employment; or
(6) accepts or agrees to accept money or anything of value to solicit employment.
(b) A person commits an offense if the person:
(1) knowingly finances the commission of an offense under Subsection (a);
(2) invests funds the person knows or believes are intended to further the commission of an offense under Subsection (a); or
(3) is a professional who knowingly accepts employment within the scope of the person’s license, registration, or certification that results from the solicitation of employment in violation of Subsection (a).
Terms Used In Texas Penal Code 38.12
- Agency: includes authority, board, bureau, commission, committee, council, department, district, division, and office. See Texas Penal Code 1.07
- Another: means a person other than the actor. See Texas Penal Code 1.07
- Benefit: means anything reasonably regarded as economic gain or advantage, including benefit to any other person in whose welfare the beneficiary is interested. See Texas Penal Code 1.07
- Coercion: means a threat, however communicated:
(A) to commit an offense;
(B) to inflict bodily injury in the future on the person threatened or another;
(C) to accuse a person of any offense;
(D) to expose a person to hatred, contempt, or ridicule;
(E) to harm the credit or business repute of any person; or
(F) to take or withhold action as a public servant, or to cause a public servant to take or withhold action. See Texas Penal Code 1.07
- Conduct: means an act or omission and its accompanying mental state. See Texas Penal Code 1.07
- Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
- Death: includes , for an individual who is an unborn child, the failure to be born alive. See Texas Penal Code 1.07
- Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
- Felony: means an offense so designated by law or punishable by death or confinement in a penitentiary. See Texas Penal Code 1.07
- Fraud: Intentional deception resulting in injury to another.
- Individual: means a human being who is alive, including an unborn child at every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth. See Texas Penal Code 1.07
- Lawsuit: A legal action started by a plaintiff against a defendant based on a complaint that the defendant failed to perform a legal duty, resulting in harm to the plaintiff.
- Misdemeanor: means an offense so designated by law or punishable by fine, by confinement in jail, or by both fine and confinement in jail. See Texas Penal Code 1.07
- Person: means an individual or a corporation, association, limited liability company, or other entity or organization governed by the Business Organizations Code. See Texas Penal Code 1.07
- Rule: includes regulation. See Texas Penal Code 1.07
- Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
- Written: includes any representation of words, letters, symbols, or figures. See Texas Government Code 311.005
(c) It is an exception to prosecution under Subsection (a) or (b) that the person’s conduct is authorized by the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct or any rule of court.
(d) A person commits an offense if the person:
(1) is an attorney, chiropractor, physician, surgeon, or private investigator licensed to practice in this state or any person licensed, certified, or registered by a health care regulatory agency of this state; and
(2) with the intent to obtain professional employment for the person or for another, provides or knowingly permits to be provided to an individual who has not sought the person’s employment, legal representation, advice, or care a written communication or a solicitation, including a solicitation in person or by telephone, that:
(A) concerns an action for personal injury or wrongful death or otherwise relates to an accident or disaster involving the person to whom the communication or solicitation is provided or a relative of that person and that was provided before the 31st day after the date on which the accident or disaster occurred;
(B) concerns a specific matter and relates to legal representation and the person knows or reasonably should know that the person to whom the communication or solicitation is directed is represented by a lawyer in the matter;
(C) concerns a lawsuit of any kind, including an action for divorce, in which the person to whom the communication or solicitation is provided is a defendant or a relative of that person, unless the lawsuit in which the person is named as a defendant has been on file for more than 31 days before the date on which the communication or solicitation was provided;
(D) is provided or permitted to be provided by a person who knows or reasonably should know that the injured person or relative of the injured person has indicated a desire not to be contacted by or receive communications or solicitations concerning employment;
(E) involves coercion, duress, fraud, overreaching, harassment, intimidation, or undue influence; or
(F) contains a false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive, or unfair statement or claim.
(e) For purposes of Subsection (d)(2)(D), a desire not to be contacted is presumed if an accident report reflects that such an indication has been made by an injured person or that person’s relative.
(f) An offense under Subsection (a) or (b) is a felony of the third degree.
(g) Except as provided by Subsection (h), an offense under Subsection (d) is a Class A misdemeanor.
(h) An offense under Subsection (d) is a felony of the third degree if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has previously been convicted under Subsection (d).
(i) Final conviction of felony barratry is a serious crime for all purposes and acts, specifically including the State Bar Rules and the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure.