A Criminal Defense Attorney Reviews Stalking Accusations

a teenager girl being stacked by two hooded figuresThere are two sides to every story, and a criminal defense attorney believes that every side should be heard. Here are a few things to consider if you have been accused of stalking in the state of Texas.

Stalking Accusations are Serious

Not only do stalking allegations have the potential to ruin someone’s reputation, they can also lead to serious legal repercussions. A person accused of stalking should not hesitate to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to begin building a defense.

Stalking According to the Texas Penal Code

While many people tend to use the word “stalking” very flippantly, the Texas Penal Code offers a very specific definition for this illegal action. Illegal stalking is defined as a behavior which:

  1. Occurs more than once
  2. Is directed specifically at one individual
  3. Elicits fear of death or bodily injury
  4. Causes feelings of harassment, embarrassment or fear that property will be damaged
  5. Repeatedly frightens or targets an individual

You May be Charged with Stalking for the Following Reasons

There are several reasons why someone may be accused of stalking, and not all of them are obvious. An individual may be accused of stalking by an ex after a bad breakup, for example. Most of the time, unsubstantiated accusations will not result in a charge. In some circumstances, however, seemingly unthreatening stalking accusations can lead to felonies. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help clients discern the risk associated with their particular accusation. It is possible to be charged with a felony stalking charge if:

  • The victim is under the age of 16
  • There is intent to cause emotional distress, physical injury, or death
  • A deadly weapon is possessed while contacting the victim
  • The stalking is related to a domestic violence situation

Legal Penalties for Stalking

Stalking is illegal in all 50 states, but it is a particularly serious crime in the state of Texas. A person convicted of a stalking charge may face conviction of a third-degree felony offense, a fine of up to $10,000, and a prison sentence of two to ten years. A second stalking conviction may result in a second-degree felony and up to twenty years incarceration. Stalking convictions can also lead to restraining orders in many cases.

Have You Been Accused of Stalking in Texas?

If you have been accused of stalking, there is no time to waste. Our experienced legal team at Aranda Law Firm can help you gauge the brevity of the situation and make an educated legal decision regarding your defense strategy. If you have questions about your individual situation, don’t hesitate to call our office today!