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10 Laws You Should Know If You're in Texas

By Brett Snider, Esq. | Last updated on

Yours truly is a Texas native, but we won't blame you if you're just arriving or simply here to visit. What Texans won't appreciate is someone who's clueless about the laws in the Lone Star State.

So before your Southwest flight lands, check out these 10 laws you should know if you're in Texas:

  1. Distracted driving. You can talk on your non-handsfree phone while driving in Texas, but that doesn't mean you can't be cited for distracted driving if you're texting and driving.
  2. Marital property. Texas is a community property state, so whatever is deemed marital property is split between the two spouses upon divorce.
  3. Statutes of limitation. If someone T-boned your car on your way to the Alamo, Texas law gives you two years to file a personal injury or property damage lawsuit based on its statute of limitations.
  4. Death penalty. Yep, Texas has the death penalty, and unless you're under 17 or evaluated with mental retardation, committing a capital offense can make you eligible for it.
  5. Civil rights laws. There is no state law protecting Texans from being discriminated against for being gay or transgender. However, most of Texas' major cities have passed their own civil rights laws to fill in these gaps.
  6. Tax laws. Texas is one of a handful of states which do not collect state income tax. Don't worry, the state still manages to fill its coffers through property and other taxes.
  7. Homestead laws. Texas homestead laws are some of the strongest in the nation, and debtors are less likely to be booted from their homes (even acreages) than in other states.
  8. Concealed carry laws. You can have a concealed handgun in Texas, but you can't bring it into a bar or any other business that prohibits guns on the premises.
  9. Gambling laws. As John Redcorn learned in "King of the Hill," there's no Indian gaming in Texas or casinos in general. Keeping a "gambling place" is prohibited in the Lone Star State.
  10. Pot laws. Marijuana, even medical marijuana, is illegal in Texas. And the laws are incredibly harsh on offenders.

Remember these laws, and don't mess with Texas. To learn more, check out FindLaw's section on Texas Law.

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