Felony Offenses in the Texas Penal Code

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Texas Penal Code, Section 32.42 - Deceptive Business Practices



        (a)  For purposes of this section:
                (1)  "Adulterated" means varying from the standard of composition or quality prescribed by law or set by established commercial usage.
                (2)  "Business" includes trade and commerce and advertising, selling, and buying service or property.
                (3)  "Commodity" means any tangible or intangible personal property.
                (4)  "Contest" includes sweepstake, puzzle, and game of chance.
                (5)  "Deceptive sales contest" means a sales contest:
                        (A)  that misrepresents the participant's chance of winning a prize;
                        (B)  that fails to disclose to participants on a conspicuously displayed permanent poster (if the contest is conducted by or through a retail outlet) or on each card game piece, entry blank, or other paraphernalia required for participation in the contest (if the contest is not conducted by or through a retail outlet):
                                (i)  the geographical area or number of outlets in which the contest is to be conducted;
                                (ii)  an accurate description of each type of prize;
                                (iii)  the minimum number and minimum amount of cash prizes;  and
                                (iv)  the minimum number of each other type of prize;  or
                        (C)  that is manipulated or rigged so that prizes are given to predetermined persons or retail establishments.  A sales contest is not deceptive if the total value of prizes to each retail outlet is in a uniform ratio to the number of game pieces distributed to that outlet.
                (6)  "Mislabeled" means varying from the standard of truth or disclosure in labeling prescribed by law or set by established commercial usage.
                (7)  "Prize" includes gift, discount, coupon, certificate, gratuity, and any other thing of value awarded in a sales contest.
                (8)  "Sales contest" means a contest in connection with the sale of a commodity or service by which a person may, as determined by drawing, guessing, matching, or chance, receive a prize and which is not regulated by the rules of a federal regulatory agency.
                (9)  "Sell" and "sale" include offer for sale, advertise for sale, expose for sale, keep for the purpose of sale, deliver for or after sale, solicit and offer to buy, and every disposition for value.
        (b)  A person commits an offense if in the course of business he intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence commits one or more of the following deceptive business practices:
                (1)  using, selling, or possessing for use or sale a false weight or measure, or any other device for falsely determining or recording any quality or quantity;
                (2)  selling less than the represented quantity of a property or service;
                (3)  taking more than the represented quantity of property or service when as a buyer the actor furnishes the weight or measure;
                (4)  selling an adulterated or mislabeled commodity;
                (5)  passing off property or service as that of another;
                (6)  representing that a commodity is original or new if it is deteriorated, altered, rebuilt, reconditioned, reclaimed, used, or secondhand;
                (7)  representing that a commodity or service is of a particular style, grade, or model if it is of another;
                (8)  advertising property or service with intent:
                        (A)  not to sell it as advertised, or
                        (B)  not to supply reasonably expectable public demand, unless the advertising adequately discloses a time or quantity limit;
                (9)  representing the price of property or service falsely or in a way tending to mislead;
                (10)  making a materially false or misleading statement of fact concerning the reason for, existence of, or amount of a price or price reduction;
                (11)  conducting a deceptive sales contest;  or
                (12)  making a materially false or misleading statement:
                        (A)  in an advertisement for the purchase or sale of property or service;  or
                        (B)  otherwise in connection with the purchase or sale of property or service.
        (c)  An offense under Subsections (b)(1), (b)(2), (b)(3), (b)(4), (b)(5), and (b)(6) is:
                (1)  a Class C misdemeanor if the actor commits an offense with criminal negligence and if he has not previously been convicted of a deceptive business practice;  or
                (2)  a Class A misdemeanor if the actor commits an offense intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or if he has been previously convicted of a Class B or C misdemeanor under this section.
        (d)  An offense under Subsections (b)(7), (b)(8), (b)(9), (b)(10), (b)(11), and (b)(12) is a Class A misdemeanor.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 1350, ch. 508, Sec. 1, 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1975; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.

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