New State Laws

by Jessica Cervantez

It's September 1st, and that means new laws go into effect.

Drivers and cell phones, DWI's, and Internet use are all included, as part of new Texas laws.

Lt. Greg Denman, with the Lufkin Police Dept., said, "There are a lot of little enhancements to laws, and sometimes remembering them all can be difficult."

One new law involves teenage driving and cell phones. If you are a new driver, under age 18, you can now be ticketed for talking on a cell phone while driving.

Lt. Denman said, "But you can't be stopped for solely talking on your cell phone. You have to be stopped for something else and then you can be ticketed for talking."

Another change, criminals can now be sentenced to life without parole. But, some prosecutors have concerns. They fear juries will sentence criminals to life without parole more often instead of using the death penalty.

There will also be tougher penalties for Internet crimes.

Lt. Denman said, "You can now be prosecuted for just having contact with a minor, you don't have to have plans to meet them or anything."