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Actions That Are Considered Criminal Stalking in Texas

 Posted on August 10, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Austin, TX criminal defense attorneyStalking is a serious criminal offense that involves persistent and unwanted attention towards someone, causing them fear, anxiety, or distress. In the state of Texas, there are strict laws in place to protect people from stalking behaviors. Today, we will explore what specific actions are stalking under Texas law and how hiring a criminal defense attorney is important for protecting your rights and freedom if you are facing charges of stalking.

Definition of Stalking in Texas

Under section 42.072 of the Texas Penal Code, stalking is defined as conduct that is willfully and maliciously directed towards another person, causing them to fear bodily injury or death for themselves or their family members. It involves repeated acts or communications that reasonably create a fearful atmosphere for the targeted individual. 

Actions Constituting Stalking

To determine whether certain actions amount to stalking under Texas law, it is essential to consider the following key elements:

  • Willful and malicious conduct – Stalking requires that the actions are done purposefully and with malicious intent. This means that the offender’s behavior is deliberate and done for the specific purpose of causing fear or distress to the individual. 

  • Repeated acts or communications – Stalking is characterized as a pattern of repeated acts or communications by the offender. This can include following the individual, making excessive and unwanted phone calls, sending threatening messages, or repeatedly appearing at the individual’s residence or workplace. 

  • Fear of bodily injury or death – The targeted individual must experience a reasonable fear of bodily injury or death for themselves or their family members as a result of the stalker’s actions. This fear can manifest from direct threats or persistent feelings of being constantly monitored or harassed. 

Examples of Stalking Behaviors 

Numerous actions can be considered stalking under Texas law, including but not limited to:

  • Persistent surveillance of the targeted individuals’ activities, whether at home, work, or public places 

  • Frequent, unwelcome contact through phone calls, text messages, emails, or social media platforms 

  • Repeatedly following or appearing near the individual’s residence, workplace, or other frequented locations

  • Sending unwanted gifts or packages, often accompanied by intimidating or threatening messages

  • Spreading false rumors or engaging in online harassment that targets the individual’s reputation and personal life

Contact an Austin, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with stalking, contact the knowledgeable Midland, Texas criminal defense attorneys with Morales Law Office, Attorneys at Law, PLLC.. Call 512-474-2222 for a free consultation. 

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