Civil Commitment Violations of Sexually Violent Predators in Texas
Serving Plano, Dallas, McKinney, Frisco, Allen, and Surrounding Areas
A person designated as a Sexually Violent Predator must comply with the terms of a civil commitment order. If the person is later accused of intentionally or knowingly violating the civil commitment requirements, then a criminal charge can be brought under the Texas Health and Safety Code, Title 11, for Civil Commitment of Sexually Violent Predators under Section 841.085.
The attorneys at Stuckle & Associates PLLC represent clients charged with a variety of serious sexual offenses and related charges, including a violation of a civil commitment order of a sexually violent predator (often called “Failure to Comply with Civil Commitment Requirements — 841.085 HSC”).
Under the Health and Safety Code, Title 11, for Civil Commitment of Sexually Violent Predators, the Texas Legislature made the following finding in Section 841.001:
Sec. 841.001. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS: The legislature finds that a small but extremely dangerous group of sexually violent predators exists and that those predators have a behavioral abnormality that is not amenable to traditional mental illness treatment modalities and that makes the predators likely to engage in repeated predatory acts of sexual violence.
The legislature finds that the existing involuntary commitment provisions of Subtitle C, Title 7, are inadequate to address the risk of repeated predatory behavior that sexually violent predators pose to society.
The legislature further finds that treatment modalities for sexually violent predators are different from the traditional treatment modalities for persons appropriate for involuntary commitment under Subtitle C, Title 7. Thus, the legislature finds that a civil commitment procedure for the long-term supervision and treatment of sexually violent predators is necessary and in the interest of the state.
Texas Health and Safety Code — Section 841.085
Section 841.085 of the Texas Health and Safety Code states:
Sec. 841.085. CRIMINAL PENALTY; PROSECUTION OF OFFENSE:
(a) A person commits an offense if, after having been adjudicated and civilly committed as a sexually violent predator under this chapter, the person violates a civil commitment requirement imposed under Section 841.082(a)(1), (2), (4), or (5);
(b) An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree; (Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 845 , Sec. 39(2), effective June 17, 2015
In 2015, the Legislature amended section 841.085 to limit prosecution to violations of civil commitment requirements under subsections (1), (2), (4), and (5).?Thus, under the amended statute’s plain language, failure to complete sex offender treatment is no longer a basis for prosecution.
The charge of violating a civil commitment of a sexually violent predator order requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt of both of the following elements:
- The defendant had previously been adjudicated and civilly committed as a sexually violent predator
- The defendant violated any requirement of the order of commitment
Terms Every Person Accused of a Sex Crime Should Know
The term “sexually violent predator” is defined as a person “who is a repeat sexually violent offender and who suffers from a behavioral abnormality that makes the person likely to engage in a predatory act of sexual violence.”
The term “repeat sexually violent offender” is defined as:
- A person who has been convicted of more than one sexually violent offense; and
- One of the following conditions is met:
- A sentence is imposed for at least one of the offenses
- The person is convicted of a sexually violent offense, regardless of whether the sentence for the offense was ever imposed or whether the sentence was probated and the person was subsequently discharged from community supervision
- The person enters a plea of guilty or nolo contendere for a sexually violent offense in return for a grant of deferred adjudication
- The person is adjudged not guilty by reason of insanity of a sexually violent offense
- The person is adjudicated by a juvenile court as having engaged in delinquent conduct constituting a sexually violent offense and is committed to the Texas Youth Commission
After the date when the person is either convicted, receives a grant of deferred adjudication, is adjudged not guilty by reason of insanity, or is adjudicated by a juvenile court as having engaged in delinquent conduct, the person legally commits a sexually violent offense for which the penalties are imposed, unless the person is adjudged not guilty by reason of insanity.
The term “sexually violent offense” means one of the following:
- An offense of continuous sexual abuse of a young child or children; indecency with a child by sexual contact; sexual assault; aggravated sexual assault
- An offense of aggravated kidnapping if the person committed the offense with intent to violate or abuse the victim sexually
- An offense of burglary of a habitation if the person committed the offense with intent to violate or abuse the victim sexually
- An offense of murder or capital murder that is determined beyond a reasonable doubt to have been based on sexually motivated conduct
- An attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the offenses set out above
- An offense under prior state law that contains elements substantially similar to any of the offenses set out above, or
- An offense under the laws of another state, federal law, or the Uniform Code of Military Justice that contains elements substantially similar to any of the offenses set out above
The term “behavioral abnormality” means a congenital or acquired condition that, by affecting a person’s emotional or volitional capacity, predisposes the person to commit a sexually violent offense, to the extent that the person becomes a menace to the health and safety of another person.
The term “predatory act” is defined to mean an act directed towards individuals, including family members, for the primary purpose of victimization.
Contact Our Firm Today for a Free and Confidential Case Evaluation
The attorneys at Stuckle & Associates PLLC represent clients for violations of a civil commitment order prosecuted in Texas. If you have been charged under the Health and Safety Code, Title 11, for Civil Commitment of Sexually Violent Predators, Section 841.085, contact us online or by phone at (972) 423-4405 to discuss your case and possible defenses. Let us put our experience to work for you.