What is the Law of Parties in Texas?

Can You Be Held Criminally Responsible for Another?

Yes. Texas has specifically abolished any distinctions between “accomplice” and “principal” culpability. That makes each person criminally responsible as a “party” to the offense. This is sometimes referred to as the “Law of Parties in Texas” and is codified under Section 7.01 of the Texas Penal Code.

What is the Law of Parties in Texas?

Section 7.02 of the Texas Penal Code sets out several things that can make you criminally responsible for the actions of someone else under the Law of Parties:

  1. You cause or aid an innocent or non-responsible person to engage in criminal behavior;
  2. You intentionally promote or assist the commission of the offense, solicit, encourage, direct, aid, or attempt to aid another person to commit the crime; or
  3. You have a legal duty to prevent the commission of a crime and you intentionally promote or assist the commission of the crime and fail to make a reasonable effort to prevent it.

What is the Felony Murder Rule?

Texas also has what’s called the Felony Murder Rule under 7.02(b) of the Texas Penal Code. If you are engaged in a criminal conspiracy to commit one felony, then you can be held criminally responsible for any other felony committed by a co-conspirator that was one you should have anticipated.

For example, if you conspire to commit an armed robbery by acting as the get-away driver, and during the aggravated robbery an innocent bystander is shot and killed, you could be charged with capital murder even though you never had the specific intent to hurt someone and you were not involved in the shooting yourself. In Texas, a person can be even be charged with a capital offense under the Felony Murder Rule.

Contact Us

When there are several parties involved in a case, you will need to hire an experienced aggressive criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible. Call Varghese Summersett PLLC for trial attorneys who understand the dynamics of your case. Call us at (817) 203-2220 or contact us online.

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About the Author Board Certified Lawyer Benson Varghese

About the Author

Benson Varghese is the managing partner of Varghese Summersett. He is a seasoned attorney, highly esteemed for his comprehensive knowledge and expertise in the field. He has successfully handled thousands of state and federal cases, ranging from misdemeanor driving while intoxicated cases to capital offenses, showcasing his commitment to preserving justice and upholding the rights of his clients. His firm covers criminal defense, personal injury, and family law matters. Benson is also a legal tech entrepreneur. Benson is a go-to authority in the legal community, known for his ability to explain complex legal concepts with clarity and precision. His writings offer a wealth of in-depth legal insights, reflecting his extensive experience and his passion for the law. Not only is Benson an accomplished litigator, but he is also a dedicated advocate for his clients, consistently striving to achieve the best possible outcomes for them. His authorship provides readers with valuable legal advice and an understanding of the complexities of the criminal justice system. CriminalPersonal InjuryFamily Law Contact