Tarrant County Stalking Lawyer
In Texas, stalking is considered a serious crime and, as a result, can result in significant jail time and financial penalties. That is why you should contact a Tarrant County stalking lawyer if you are facing this type of charges or if you believe you may be a suspect in a stalking case.
A savvy criminal defense attorney can work to thoroughly understand both sides of the allegation to determine the truth. They can evaluate the evidence to create a defense that allows you to tell your side of the story and assert your rights.
Understanding Stalking Charges
As defined in the statute, a person is stalking another if, on one more than one occasion and in accordance with a planned course of conduct against one or more other persons, they engage in conduct that:
- Constitutes harassment per Texas Penal Code – PENAL § 42.072
- They knew, or should have known, would be perceived as threatening
- Causes another person to be placed in fear of bodily injury or death or that an offense will be committed against their property
- Causes someone to feel abused, alarmed, annoyed, embarrassed, harassed, offended, or tormented
Given such a broad definition, it is easy to see how any number of actions could be interpreted as stalking. This is especially true given that the underlying action that can lead to a charge of stalking may take a variety of forms such as through emails, phone calls, text messages, and written messages and a variety of circumstances such as following someone around or showing up uninvited to someone’s home or place of employment.
Defenses Against These Allegations
Anyone who is questioned by law enforcement authorities about their possible involvement in an alleged stalking incident should not say anything until they have had an opportunity to discuss the matter with a Tarrant County stalking lawyer. Doing so may result in admissions that can be used against them and/or reduce the options available to their attorney in preparing to defend them.
The types of defenses that can be raised on behalf of someone who has been charged with stalking will depend, in large part, on the specific facts and circumstances that led to the charge. In general, however, those defenses may include the following:
- It is very unlikely that the threatened action could actually be completed
- The threat was not credible
- A reasonable person would not have become fearful after receiving the threat
- The accused was incorrectly identified as the alleged perpetrator
- The person who filed the complaint had an ulterior motive for doing so
Potential Penalties in Tarrant County
A first-time conviction for stalking in Texas is generally a third-degree felony and, as such, can result in a prison sentence of up to ten years and a fine of up to $10,000. A subsequent conviction for the same crime may result in the charge being upgraded to a second-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
In addition to facing jail time and financial penalties, anyone who is convicted of or pleads guilty to a charge of stalking may also be facing other penalties. These include the potential loss of firearm rights, the denial of professional licenses, and the imposition of a restraining order or a criminal trespassing order. For more information, speak with a Tarrant County stalking lawyer.
Speak with a Tarrant County Stalking Attorney Today
Even a first offense stalking charge can result in lengthy prison sentences and heavy fines. Therefore, it is important to be proactive in fighting these allegations. Make sure you are able to tell your side of the story and clear any confusion about the alleged stalking.
If you were charged with stalking – or you have reason to believe that such a charge may be forthcoming – you should consult with a Tarrant County stalking lawyer who is experienced in dealing with this type of case. Doing so will help to ensure that all your legal rights are fully protected and that you can take full advantage of any available defenses.