In recent years, states across the country have criminalized stalking.
Stalkers engage in behaviors which are intended to control a victim by
threatening him or her, by terrifying them and by intimidation. Stalkers
are often a former intimate partner, but they can also be a complete stranger,
or someone who knows the victim.
A stalker can be an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend or a former spouse. A stalker
can be a current spouse’s ex-husband or wife. A stalker can be a
co-worker, a former co-worker, a neighbor, a classmate, or even a member
of the victim’s church or community.
Stalkers are known to follow victims for days, weeks or even years. Stalking
victims are afraid their stalkers will harm their pets, break into their
homes, damage their property, vandalize their vehicles, hurt someone they
love, or seriously injure or kill them. Sometimes stalkers don’t
act alone; they enlist friends to stalk on their behalf.
Behaviors of a stalker:
- Follows the victim on foot
- Follows the victim in an automobile
- Breaks into the victim’s home
- Makes threatening calls to the victim
- Physically injures or kills the victim’s pets
- Vandalizes the victim’s car or other personal property
- Sends the victim threatening emails, letters or texts
- Drives by the victim’s home, work, or school
In Texas, stalking behaviors fall into two categories: 1) terroristic threat
and, 2) stalking. Under
Section 22.07, a person commits the offense of terroristic threat when he or she threatens
violence against the victim’s person or their property and such
threat places the victim in imminent fear of serious bodily injury. Terroristic
threat under Sec. 22.07 is a Class B misdemeanor.
Stalking is a Felony Offense
Aside from terroristic threats, the actual offense of stalking is a
third-degree felony under
Section 42.072 of the Texas Penal Code. However, if the defendant has a prior conviction
for stalking, it’s a
second-degree felony. Learn about the sentencing and penalties for Class B misdemeanors, second
and third-degree felonies
“Conduct has to occur on more than one occasion and be directed towards
the victim and/or the victim’s family or household members. More
than one police report is not required,” according to
texasattorneygeneral.gov. Stalking acts can include damaging the victim’s property, and threatening
to contact them by phone or mail.
“What Are the Effects of a Protective Order?”
Facing stalking charges in Denton County?
Contact our firm at once to set up a free initial consultation with Attorney Adame.