Stalking is a serious crime that consists of repeated malicious behavior in order to control, intimidate, or terrify another individual. A stalking victim must feel reasonable fear of his/her injury or death, his/her partner’s or family member’s injury or death, or offenses committed against his/her property.
Common examples of stalking include:
Continuously following a person
Repeatedly show up at their house after being told to stay away
Frequently contacting the person through the phone or internet
Continuously sending unwanted gifts or messages
Vandalizing a person’s property.
A stalker can be a former intimate partner, an acquaintance, or even a stranger. To be considered stalking, the conduct directed at the alleged victim and/or their family members must occur on more than one occasion.
Keep in mind, alleged stalkers do not need to make specific threats against alleged victims to face criminal charges. The fear of trespassing, burglary, robbery, or other crimes against the victim's property may be considered a criminal act.
In Texas, stalking is a third-degree felony offense, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years, fines not exceeding $10,000, and is subject to a protective order. If a person has a prior conviction for stalking – whether if the offense occurred in Texas, another state, or under federal laws – then the second or subsequent offense is a second-degree felony, punishable by imprisonment for up to 20 years, fines of up to $10,000, and is subject to a protective order.
Additionally, stalking may also involve making a “terrorist threat,” which is defined as a threat to commit a violent crime in order to place another person in fear of serious injury. This offense is a Class B misdemeanor, which carries a jail sentence of up to six months and a maximum fine of $2,000.
If you or a loved one has been accused of stalking in Bryan or College Station, contact The Law Office of Shane Phelps, P.C. today at (979) 773-7028 for a free initial consultation. Providing effective and personalized criminal defense representation since 1992.