Stalking is a disturbingly common criminal offense nationwide and is a felony offense in Texas. Alleged victims can seek protective orders specifically for stalking, but alleged offenders can face steep penalties if convicted of committing these crimes.
It is important for any person accused of a stalking offense to remember that a prosecutor must prove that an alleged offender knew he or she was committing one of these alleged offenses. It can be much more difficult to prove this beyond a reasonable doubt when a person did not intend to or did not knowingly commit a stalking crime.
Attorney for Stalking Arrests in Georgetown, TX
Were you recently arrested in Central Texas for an alleged stalking offense? Do not try and explain yourself to authorities without first contacting Law Office of Price & Wiggins, P.C..
Michael J. Price is a skilled criminal defense lawyer in Georgetown who aggressively defends clients accused of violent crimes in Harker Heights, Hutto, Belton, Cedar Park, Georgetown, and many other communities in and around Williamson County and Bell County.
Call (512) 354-1880 right now to have our attorney review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free, confidential consultation.
Overview of Stalking Crimes in Texas
- When can a person be charged with stalking?
- What are the consequences of being convicted?
- Where can I find more information about stalking in Georgetown?
Texas Penal Code § 42.072(a)(1) states that a person commits the crime of stalking if he or she, on more than one occasion and pursuant to the same scheme or course of conduct that is directed specifically at another person, knowingly engages in conduct satisfies three different elements.
First, the conduct must constitute an offense under the state harassment law (Texas Penal Code § 42.07) or the conduct must be that of which the alleged offender knows or reasonably should know the other person will regard as threatening:
- bodily injury or death for the other person;
- bodily injury or death for a member of the other person’s family or household or for an individual with whom the other person has a dating relationship; or
- that an offense will be committed against the other person’s property;
Under Texas Penal Code § 42.072(a)(2), stalking also involves engaging in conduct that causes the other person, a member of the other person’s family or household, or an individual with whom the other person has a dating relationship to be placed in fear of bodily injury or death or in fear that an offense will be committed against the other person’s property, or to feel harassed, annoyed, alarmed, abused, tormented, embarrassed, or offended.
The third element of a stalking offense under Texas Penal Code § 42.072(a)(3) is the requirement that the conduct would cause a reasonable person to:
- fear bodily injury or death for himself or herself;
- fear bodily injury or death for a member of the person’s family or household or for an individual with whom the person has a dating relationship;
- fear that an offense will be committed against the person’s property; or
- feel harassed, annoyed, alarmed, abused, tormented, embarrassed, or offended.
Texas Penal Code § 42.072(b) establishes that stalking is a third-degree felony. A conviction is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Stalking becomes a second-degree felony when an alleged offender has been previously convicted of stalking under Texas law or of an offense under any of the following laws that contains elements that are substantially similar to the elements of an offense under Texas Penal Code § 42.072:
- the laws of another state;
- the laws of a federally recognized Indian tribe;
- the laws of a territory of the United States; or
- federal law.
A second-degree felony conviction is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Crime Victims | Information on Stalking | Texas Attorney General — Visit this section of the Attorney General’s website to find answers to various frequently asked questions about stalking. Learn more about what to do if you are being stalked. You can also find important safety measures.
Stalking | Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) — RAINN identifies itself as the largest anti-sexual assault organization in the United States and claims to have helped more than 2.5 million people since 1994. It created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline in partnership with more than 1,100 local sexual assault service providers across the country. On this section of the RAINN website, you can learn more about stalking behaviors and the use of technology to stalk.
Find a Stalking Defense Lawyer in Georgetown, TX
If you were arrested for stalking anywhere in Central Texas, it is in your best interest to not make any statement to authorities until you have legal counsel. Law Office of Price & Wiggins, P.C. represents individuals in communities throughout Williamson County and Bell County, such as Leander, Killeen, Temple, Taylor, Round Rock, and many others.
Georgetown criminal defense attorney Michael J. Price can fight to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. He can provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call (512) 354-1880 or fill out an online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.