Criminal man being interviewed in interrogation

What is Considered Stalking in Texas?

By Jose Ceja
Managing Attorney

Healthy relationships should be positive and mutually beneficial. However, not all relationships are healthy; sometimes they may even result in domestic violence. The actions of one party may even become threatening, offensive, or provocative. Stalking, which can be a type of domestic violence, includes harassing contact that would make a reasonable person believe that you are dangerous and that leads the other party to believe that you are dangerous. You may not understand what is considered stalking. Here is what you should know. 

What Constitutes Stalking in TX?

When many people think of stalking, they picture one person following another around with the purpose of harming them. However, stalking can include far more conduct than just that scenario. Stalking can also consist of unwanted contact in the form of text messages, emails, phone calls, social media, and more. This is not to say that merely contacting an ex can be considered stalking. There is more to it than that.  

Under Texas law, stalking is a more serious version of harassment. Texas Penal Code 42.072, is very broad and defines stalking as a course of conduct of more than once occasion threatens a person, or acts in a way that would subject a person to harassment, annoyance, torment, or embarrassment. Stalking is a third-degree felony although it can become a second-degree felony if the defendant has been previously convicted of stalking. 

One of the biggest issues with an accusation of stalking is that often it’s your word against theirs. You may end up facing stalking charges even though it was never your intent to harm them. Being stalked often leads the individual experiencing it to also fear that they will be the victim of violence as well. 

Stalking Can Be Considered a Type of Domestic Violence

Stalking can also be considered a form of domestic violence in certain situations. While many believe that domestic violence includes abusive physical contact, it doesn’t require it. In fact, criminal assault can occur even if you never lay a hand on someone else. Domestic violence can also include reckless endangerment of another, negligent injury, or threat, or perceived threat. In other words, if the other person reasonably believes that you may imminently hurt him or her, you can be charged with domestic violence. Since unwanted contact can result in feelings of fear and the belief of imminent harm, stalking can be a type of domestic violence. 

The Attorneys at Ceja Law Firm Help Those in Houston Who Have Been Charged with a Crime

When you have been charged with a crime, such as stalking, it can be a very scary and overwhelming time. You may have no idea as to how you should proceed or what you should do. That’s why it’s in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced Houston criminal defense attorney who will fight for you to mitigate or eliminate the charges against you. 

At Ceja Law Firm PLLC, we understand the serious nature of a criminal charge such as stalking. That’s why we will work to help you obtain the best possible outcome. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

About the Author
Jose Ceja is the managing attorney of Ceja Law Firm. He has practiced law since 2007 and has devoted his career to the practice of criminal law. Mr. Ceja began his legal career as a felony drug prosecutor, where he prosecuted drug, gang, and violent offenses. Mr. Ceja has first or second chaired almost 100 trials, including murders, drug cases, DWIs, and assaults. In his career as a defense attorney, he has regularly obtained dismissals, not guilty verdicts, and grand jury “no bills” in a wide variety of cases.