Calton v. State

In Calton v. State, 176 S.W.3d 231 (Tex. Crim. App. 2005) the Court of Criminal Appeals explained the differences between elements and enhancements. The court said that the elements of an offense are defined as "the forbidden conduct, the required culpability, any required result, and the negation of any exception to the offense." Id. at 233. A reviewing court must look to the plain language of the statute when discerning whether any given fact constitutes an element of the offense. Id. An enhancement, by contrast, is a fact that increases the punishment range to a certain range above what is ordinarily prescribed for the crime that was charged. Id. "It does not change the offense, or the degree of the offense, of conviction." Id.