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What Are the Criminal Penalties for Stalking in Texas?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Austin criminal defense attorneysIf you have heard the word “stalking” before, you may have envisioned a person following someone down a dark alley or hiding in bushes outside their house. In recent years, stalking has been used in casual references to searching social media pages of a love interest or former romantic partner. Whether it is done in person or online, stalking is a real crime that can incur serious punishments under Texas law. If you find yourself charged with this offense, a criminal defense attorney can build a strong defense on your behalf to help you avoid a conviction or a stain on your record. 

Actions That Constitute Stalking

Stalking is defined as the unwanted and/or repeated surveillance by a person or group toward another individual. Similar to harassment and intimidation, stalking can include following the alleged victim in person or monitoring them electronically through mobile devices or online. While stalking is most commonly associated with repeatedly pursuing someone, it may also involve different actions or behaviors, such as continuously contacting the alleged victim through the mail, telephone, or Internet. Stalking can also occur when unwanted gifts or messages are sent to a person over and over again. 

In addition, a person can be charged with stalking if they cause another person to fear bodily injury or death. In addition, the charge can result if the alleged victim believes their family or household member, or a dating partner fears for their safety. Stalking can also take the form of threats to a person's property, such as a house or vehicle, or actions that cause a person to “feel harassed, alarmed, annoyed, offended, tormented, embarrassed, or abused.” 

Punishments for Stalking

The criminal consequences for stalking can vary state by state. In Texas, a person convicted of stalking is typically charged with a Class 3 felony, which can carry up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. For a second or subsequent offense, an individual can face a Class 2 felony, possibly resulting in up to 20 years of imprisonment and a fine up to $10,000. It is important to note that even if someone has a prior conviction for stalking in another state, it will count as one in Texas.  

Contact a Travis County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Being charged with a crime can be traumatic under any circumstances, especially when your actions were not intentional. If you are facing stalking charges, it is imperative that you understand your rights if they are based on false allegations. At Morales Law Office, Attorneys at Law, PLLC., our reputable Hays County criminal defense attorneys will put their experience and knowledge to work for you. Call us today at 512-474-2222 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Source:

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/CR/htm/CR.7A.htm

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