Texas Stalking Law is a felony that involves harassing or following someone repeatedly, in a way that causes them emotional distress or fear of death or bodily injury. In Texas, stalking is a criminal offense that can result in severe legal consequences.
Texas Stalking Law:
Under Texas law, stalking is defined as the repeated and willful harassment of someone that causes them to feel threatened or frightened. This harassment can take many forms, such as following someone, making unwanted contact, sending threatening messages or gifts, or damaging property. To be charged with stalking in Texas, the following elements must be met:
- The defendant engages in conduct that causes the victim to feel harassed, alarmed, or fearful for their safety or the safety of others.
- The conduct is intentional or knowing.
- The conduct occurs on two or more occasions.
- The conduct would cause a reasonable person to feel harassed, alarmed, or fearful.
Possible Defenses for Stalking:
There are several defenses that a defendant may use to fight stalking charges in Texas. These defenses include:
- Lack of Intent: A defendant may argue that they did not intend to cause the victim to feel harassed, alarmed, or fearful. For example, if the defendant did not know their behavior was causing the victim to feel threatened or frightened, they may argue that they did not have the necessary intent to be guilty of stalking. The facts may allow an experienced criminal attorney argue that the defendant’s actions shouldn’t have been interpreted as a threat.
- No Repeated Conduct: To be charged with stalking, the defendant’s conduct must occur on two or more occasions. If the defendant can show that their behavior did not occur on multiple occasions, they may be able to avoid a conviction for stalking.
- False Allegations: In some cases, the victim may make false allegations of stalking. If the defendant can prove that the victim is making false claims, they may be able to avoid a conviction.
- Legitimate Purpose: If the defendant can demonstrate that their behavior had a legitimate purpose, they may be able to avoid a conviction for stalking.
Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution
In Texas, the crime of hindering apprehension or prosecution, also known as hindering prosecution, is defined as intentionally obstructing, impeding, or preventing the arrest of another person with the knowledge that the person committed an offense.
This crime is a class A misdemeanor which carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a fine up to $4,000. The crime is a third-degree felony if the person who the police were trying to arrest was wanted for Failure to Register as a Sex offender. The penalty range in that case would be two to ten years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
To convict a person of hindering apprehension or prosecution in Texas, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
To prove this crime the prosecution may use evidence such as the defendant’s statements, eyewitness testimony, police officer’s testimony and information taken from the defendant’s cell phone or other devices.
Examples of the criminal offense of hindering apprehension in Texas law include: