It is generally a criminal offense to disrupt public order. One disrupts public order when they violate normal operations of society. One such violation of public order is disrupting funeral services.
What Is the Law Regarding Funeral Services in Texas?
In Texas, it is unlawful to disrupt a funeral service as early as three hours before the service beings and as late as three hours after the service is complete.
Can I Picket during a Funeral Service?
No. The law prohibits picketing within 1,000 feet of a cemetery or facility being used for a funeral service.
Why Was I Charged with Picketing a Funeral Service When I Was Not Holding up a Sign?
Texas considers picketing carrying a placard, sign, or banner at a funeral service while driving, riding, repeated walking, sitting, standing, or:
- Loudly chanting with or without using a device such as a bullhorn or microphone
- Engaging in yelling with or without using a device such as a microphone or bullhorn
- Loudly singing or whistling with or without using a device such a bullhorn or microphone
- Blocking access to a cemetery or facility where a funeral service is held
What Does “Facility” Mean?
Facility refers to any building where the funeral service is held, including:
- Funeral parlor
- Private home
- Place of worship
What Does Texas Consider a Funeral Service?
A funeral service is considered anything held in connection with the cremation or burial of a deceased individual. This include celebration of life ceremonies and memorial services.
What Is the Punishment for Disrupting a Funeral Service in Texas?
To disrupt a funeral service in Texas is a Class B misdemeanor that is punishable by:
- 180 days in county jail
- $2,000 fine
- Time in county jail and a fine
Should I Contact an Attorney about Being Accused of Funeral Service Disruption?
Even though it is not a felony charge, being charged with disrupting a funeral service is still a serious matter. Contact a Texas criminal attorney as soon as possible about resolving your misdemeanor change.