Felony Offenses in the Texas Penal Code

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Texas Penal Code, Section 38.123 - Unauthorized Practice of Law

CHAPTER 38. OBSTRUCTING GOVERNMENTAL OPERATION

        § 38.123.  UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF LAW.
        (a)  A person commits an offense if, with intent to obtain an economic benefit for himself or herself, the person:
                (1)  contracts with any person to represent that person with regard to personal causes of action for property damages or personal injury;
                (2)  advises any person as to the person's rights and the advisability of making claims for personal injuries or property damages;
                (3)  advises any person as to whether or not to accept an offered sum of money in settlement of claims for personal injuries or property damages;
                (4)  enters into any contract with another person to represent that person in personal injury or property damage matters on a contingent fee basis with an attempted assignment of a portion of the person's cause of action;  or
                (5)  enters into any contract with a third person which purports to grant the exclusive right to select and retain legal counsel to represent the individual in any legal proceeding.
        (b)  This section does not apply to a person currently licensed to practice law in this state, another state, or a foreign country and in good standing with the State Bar of Texas and the state bar or licensing authority of any and all other states and foreign countries where licensed.
        (c)  Except as provided by Subsection (d) of this section, an offense under Subsection (a) of this section is a Class A misdemeanor.
        (d)  An offense under Subsection (a) of this section is a felony of the third degree if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has previously been convicted under Subsection (a) of this section.

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