DA to Pursue Enhanced Penalties During Disaster Declaration
The Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office abhors predatory behavior and will aggressively prosecute criminal activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Texas Penal Code §12.50 enhances the penalties for certain crimes when a disaster is declared.
Fort Bend County Judge K.P. George signed an emergency declaration of a public health disaster on March 12, 2020, so crimes committed after that date are subject to stronger punishments until the order is lifted. These crimes include, but are not limited to; assault, criminal mischief, robbery, burglary, and theft.
Fort Bend County District Attorney Brian M. Middleton stated, “We will not tolerate those who illegally take advantage of the vulnerable, and we intend to pursue these enhanced penalties on qualifying crimes committed during this time.”
Price gouging is also against the law and should be reported to the Texas Attorney General’s Office at (800) 621-0508, or online at https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/consumer-protection.