While many assume that stalking only refers to those hiding in the shadows to watch unsuspecting victims, this is far from the truth. In reality, many behaviors can be considered stalking, leading many to be charged with this offense for their unintentional actions. If this reflects your circumstances and you were charged with this crime, understanding the penalties you can face is critical. Unfortunately, many are unaware of the severity of this crime, so they do not connect with a Harris County criminal defense attorney who can help them navigate the charges. Keep reading to learn why you must immediately seek legal representation.

What Constitutes Stalking in Texas?

Under Texas Law, any repeated action or behavior that is specifically directed at another person via threats of harm against them, leaves them in fear of being harmed, or makes them feel harassed, intimidated, or abused, can be considered stalking. However, this also extends to the target’s family, someone with whom they share a romantic relationship, and their property.

If threats are made, they must be explicit or implied and targeted to a specific person. It’s also important to understand that no physical contact must occur for actions to be considered stalking. For example, repeated and constant electronic communications, driving by the victim’s house or work, electronically tracking someone without their knowledge, or sending the target unwanted gifts can also be considered stalking.

What Are the Penalties Texas Imposes?

Generally, Texas will classify a first-offense stalking charge as a third-degree felony. As a result, if you are convicted, you can face two to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

If you are a repeat offender, this will be escalated to a second-degree felony. As such, the penalties you will face can increase, meaning you face up to twenty years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Should I Connect With an Attorney if I’m Charged?

Stalking is a serious offense, so understanding what to do if arrested is critical. The most important thing you must do is connect with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Unfortunately, you may find that something you didn’t know could be considered stalking is charged as such. That’s why connecting with an attorney is critical.

To convict you of stalking, the prosecution must show that you knew your actions and behaviors could be perceived as threatening or abusive. Similarly, you may be able to show that your behavior would not cause a reasonable person to become fearful.

Regardless, it’s imperative to connect with an attorney as soon as you are charged with this crime. At the Sparks Law Firm, PC, we understand that being charged with a crime you may not have known you were committing can be scary. That’s why our dedicated team is here to help. We understand the stress this can cause which is why we are dedicated to fighting for the best possible outcome for your unique circumstances. Reach out to our team today to discuss your case in further detail.