People in Texas may be charged with the crime of harassment for engaging in certain types of behaviors that are intended to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass another party. Harassment is a misdemeanor offense that is punishable by both possible jail time and steep fines.
Alleged offenders with prior convictions can face increased penalties for subsequent harassment arrests. Some people may be accused of this crime merely for behavior they thought was more playful and completely devoid of any criminal intent.
Lawyer for Harassment Arrests in Georgetown, TX
Were you arrested in Central Texas for an alleged harassment crime? Do not say anything to authorities until you can first contact Price & Twine, PLLC.
Michael J. Price is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Georgetown who defends clients facing criminal charges for violent crimes in communities throughout Bell County and Williamson County, such as Round Rock, Georgetown, Belton, Taylor, Hutto, and many others.
You can have our lawyer provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call (512) 354-1880 to set up a free initial consultation.
Overview of Harassment Crimes in Texas
- How does a person commit a harassment crime?
- What are the possible jail sentences and fines for people who are conivcted?
- Where can I learn more about harassment in Georgetown?
Texas Penal Code § 42.07 establishes that a person commits a harassment offense if, with intent to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass another, he or she:
- initiates communication and in the course of the communication makes a comment, request, suggestion, or proposal that is obscene;
- threatens, in a manner reasonably likely to alarm the person receiving the threat, to inflict bodily injury on the person or to commit a felony against the person, a member of the person’s family or household, or the person’s property;
- conveys, in a manner reasonably likely to alarm the person receiving the report, a false report, which is known by the conveyor to be false, that another person has suffered death or serious bodily injury;
- causes the telephone of another to ring repeatedly or makes repeated telephone communications anonymously or in a manner reasonably likely to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, embarrass, or offend another;
- makes a telephone call and intentionally fails to hang up or disengage the connection;
- knowingly permits a telephone under the person’s control to be used by another to commit an offense under this section; or
- sends repeated electronic communications in a manner reasonably likely to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, embarrass, or offend another.
For the purposes of this statute, obscene is defined as “containing a patently offensive description of or a solicitation to commit an ultimate sex act, including sexual intercourse, masturbation, cunnilingus, fellatio, or anilingus, or a description of an excretory function.”
The phrase “electronic communication” means “a transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic, or photo-optical system.”
Electronic communication includes:
- a communication initiated through the use of electronic mail, instant message, network call, a cellular or other type of telephone, a computer, a camera, text message, a social media platform or application, an Internet website, any other Internet-based communication tool, or facsimile machine; and
- a communication made to a pager.
Under Texas Penal Code § 42.07(b), harassment is a Class B misdemeanor. A conviction is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
Harassment becomes a Class A misdemeanor when an alleged offender has been previously convicted of harassment or the alleged offense involved an intent to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass another part through repeated electronic communications sent in a manner reasonably likely to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, embarrass, or offend another party and:
- the offense was committed against a child under 18 years of age with the intent that the child suicide or engage in conduct causing serious bodily injury to the child; or
- the alleged offender previously violated a temporary restraining order or cyberbullying injunction.
A Class A misdemeanor conviction is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.
Workplace Bullying: Know Your Rights | Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) — The TCDD is governed by a 27-member Council, consisting of individuals appointed by the Governor and other individuals, and it is federally required to be comprised of at least 60 percent persons with developmental disabilities, their parents or guardians, or other immediate relatives. As this section of the TCDD website states, bullying is harassment. Visit this website to learn more about what your rights are and what you can do if you being bullied or harassed.
Harassment | U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) — As the EEOC states on this website, harassment is “a form of employment discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, (ADEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, (ADA).” Use this website to learn more about employer liability for harassment. In harassment cases, the EEOC requires people to file charge within 180 or 300 days of the last incident of harassment.
Find a Harassment Defense Attorney in Georgetown, TX
If you were arrested for harassment in Central Texas, you will want to contact Price & Twine, PLLC as soon as possible. Price & Twine, PLLC represents residents and visitors in Killeen, Temple, Cedar Park, Leander, Harker Heights, and several other nearby areas in Williamson County and Bell County.
Georgetown criminal defense lawyer Michael J. Price can negotiate to help you achieve the most desirable outcome, including possibly having criminal charges reduced or dismissed.
Call (512) 354-1880 or complete an online contact form to have our attorney review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free, confidential consultation.