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Harassment 2017-11-16T22:23:02+00:00

The Law

A person commits an offense of harassment if, with intent to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass another, he or she:

  • initiates communication by telephone, in writing, or by electronic communication and in the course of the communication makes a comment, request, suggestion, or proposal that is obscene;
  • threatens, by telephone, in writing, or by electronic communication, in a manner reasonably likely to alarm the person receiving the threat, to inflict bodily injury on the person or to commit a felony against the person, a member of his family or household, or his property;
  • conveys, in a manner reasonably likely to alarm the person receiving the report, a false report, which is known by the conveyor to be false, that another person has suffered death or serious bodily injury;
  • causes the telephone of another to ring repeatedly or makes repeated telephone communications anonymously or in a manner reasonably likely to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, embarrass, or offend another;
  • makes a telephone call and intentionally fails to hang up or disengage the connection;
  • knowingly permits a telephone under the person’s control to be used by another to commit an offense under this section; or
  • sends repeated electronic communications in a manner reasonably likely to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, embarrass, or offend another.

 

Punishment

The punishment for harassment is a <Class B misdemeanor>, except that the offense is a <Class A misdemeanor> if the actor has previously been convicted of harassment.
Defense

A defense to harassment can arise by attempting to break down the element of intent. Individuals may act without the necessary intent to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass another.

 

Another possible defense is to break down the conduct that is considered to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass another; obscenity might not be found to be obscene, threats might not be found to be threatening to a complainant, and so on.

 

The exact language of this law, further details, and additional punishment concerns can be found in section 42.07 of the Texas Penal Code. None of this information can take place of the information, knowledge, and expertise provided by a licensed attorney.