A person commits an offense of stalking if the person, on more than one occasion and pursuant to the same scheme or course of conduct that is directed specifically at another person, knowingly engages in conduct, including following the other person, that:
- the actor knows or reasonably believes the other person will regard as threatening bodily injury or death for the other person, bodily injury or death for a member of the other person’s family or household, or that an offense will be committed against the other person’s property;
- causes the other person or a member of the other person’s family or household to be placed in fear of bodily injury or death or fear that an offense will be committed against the other person’s property; or
- would cause a reasonable person to fear bodily injury or death for himself or herself, bodily injury or death for a member of the person’s family or household; or that an offense will be committed against the person’s property.
If an individual is found guilty of stalking, the punishment is a <third degree felony>, except that the offense is a <second degree felony> if the actor has previously been convicted of stalking.
A possible defense to stalking is looking at the number or series of occasions. An individual may act unfavorable to another person on one occasion, but this does not arise to a level that is considered stalking. At the same time, a second incident unfavorable to another person does not necessarily mean that the conduct can be considered stalking. By analyzing the conduct and acts, it could be found that the individual was not committing the crime of stalking, but simply acting unfavorable to another.
The exact language of this law, further details, and additional punishment concerns can be found in section 42.072 of the Texas Penal Code. None of this information can take place of the information, knowledge, and expertise provided by a licensed attorney.