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What Are "3g Offenses" under Texas Criminal Law?

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What are "3g Offenses" under Texas Criminal Law?

 "3g offenses" are those felony offenses listed in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42.12 Sec. 3(g). The Texas legislature in its collective wisdom decided that these felony offenses deserved harsher punishment--murder, capital murder, indecency with a child, aggravated kidnapping, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated robbery, offenses under the Controlled Substances Act involving use of a child or a second drug free zone offense, injury to a child, injury to an elderly person, injury to a disabled person, sexual performance by a child, or offenses where there is a finding of a deadly weapon.


How are 3g offenses different?

3g offenses are different in several ways--
  • Judges cannot grant regular probation to those convicted of 3g offenses, however they can still in many cases grant deferred adjudication.  At trial, only a jury can give regular probation.
  • Judges cannot reduce bail on a 3g offense without giving notice to the district attorney and having a hearing.
  • If a person is sentenced to prison time on a 3g offense, he is not eligible for parole until he serves at least one-half of the sentence or 30 years, whichever is less.  Furthermore, the person cannot be released on parole until he has served two complete years even if the original sentence was for less than four years.
  • Regardless of the length of the prison sentence, the person is not eligible for bail if he decides to appeal the decision of the trial court.

Relevant Statutes

Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 42.12 Sec. 3g.
Text of subsection as amended by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 405, Sec. 1
(a) The provisions of Section 3 of this article do not apply:
   (1) to a defendant adjudged guilty of an offense under:
        (A) Section 19.02, Penal Code (Murder);
        (B) Section 19.03, Penal Code (Capital murder);
        (C) Section 21.11(a)(1), Penal Code (Indecency with a child);
        (D) Section 20.04, Penal Code (Aggravated kidnapping);
        (E) Section 22.021, Penal Code (Aggravated sexual assault);
        (F) Section 29.03, Penal Code (Aggravated robbery);
        (G) Chapter 481, Health and Safety Code, for which punishment is increased under:
             (i) Section 481.140 [Use of Child in Commission of Offense], Health and Safety Code; or
             (ii) Section 481.134(c), (d), (e), or (f), Health and Safety Code [Relating to Drug Free Zones], if it is shown that the defendant has been previously convicted of an offense for which punishment was increased under any of those subsections;
        (H) Section 22.011, Penal Code (Sexual assault);
           or
        (I) Section 22.04(a)(1), Penal Code (Injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual), if the offense is punishable as a felony of the first degree and the victim of the offense is a child; or
    (2) to a defendant when it is shown that a deadly weapon as defined in Section 1.07, Penal Code, was used or exhibited during the commission of a felony offense or during immediate flight therefrom, and that the defendant used or exhibited the deadly weapon or was a party to the offense and knew that a deadly weapon would be used or exhibited. On an affirmative finding under this subdivision, the trial court shall enter the finding in the judgment of the court. On an affirmative finding that the deadly weapon was a firearm, the court shall enter that finding in its judgment.

Houston criminal defense attorney Jim Sullivan has represented many defendants accused of 3g offenses, including several accused as being a felony habitual, facing 25 years to Life in prison.  If you need an experienced Houston criminal defense trial lawyer, you can call him for a free consultation at 281-546-6428 or contact at jimsullivan@entouch.net.