Charges for Harassment in Texas
According to the Penal Code, harassment in Texas is when someone intentionally causes disruption or annoyance to another person. This can happen anywhere, whether it’s at schools or homes, involving people you don’t know or those you’re really familiar with.
Harassment in Texas is a minor offense where someone gets charged for purposely bothering another person, usually using things like calls or messages. If it involves threats of physical harm, it could turn into stalking, which is a more serious crime.
In some cases, these situations might become violent. Because of this, the law takes them seriously. People often see accusations of harassment into stalking as a warning sign. This is particularly true in cases of domestic violence or when someone unknown persistently shows unwanted romantic interest in another person.
Harassment in Texas is defined as the following behaviors:
- Engaging in communication with an individual while delivering content that is inappropriate or offensive in nature.
- Sending clear messages that you plan to inflict bodily injury, to a member of the person’s family, the people in their home, or their things.
- Falsely telling that another person has suffered death or bodily harm just to cause distress.
- Making repeated phone calls with the intent to distress, frighten, distress, humiliate, torment, or cause offense, often while being unknown.
- Making a phone call and intentionally failing to hang or disengage the connection
- Sends repeated electronic communication with the purpose of annoying, alarming, distressing, abusing, tormenting, embarrassing, or causing offense to another individual.
- Knowingly granting permission for someone to use a phone to engage in any of the aforementioned offenses.
Criminal Harassment in Texas
Harassment involves purposeful actions with the intent to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, embarrass, or offend someone else. It’s not just about being annoying; it also causes alarm or fear for the victim.
Typically categorized as a misdemeanor, harassment is often done through telecommunications like phones, text messages, or email. When the act of harassment becomes repeated and transforms into stalking, committing a felony, results in a bigger crime that is treated more seriously in court.
Civil Harassment in Texas
In a different context, harassment in Texas law is defined as causing harm to someone because of their specific characteristics that make them vulnerable, which is known as their “protected status.” These characteristics can include things like age, gender, or disability. There are four main types of civil harassment: harassment that occurs in the workplace; mistreatment of a family or household such as a spouse, child, or romantic partner; harassment by someone the victim has never been romantically involved with; and finally, abuse of elderly individuals or dependent adults.
Penalties for Harassment in Texas
Class B misdemeanor
- Up to 180 days of imprisonment,
- A penalty of up to $2,000,
- Not allowed to have a License to Carry a weapon for five years, and
The severity of criminal charges related to a harassment offense might escalate to a Class A misdemeanor if the individual has a previous conviction for harassment or the individual harassed a minor erratically to breaching concerning cyberbullying.
Class A misdemeanor
- You could be in jail for up to a year
- A penalty amounting to a maximum of $4,000.
Arrested? Don’t Plea, Call Me!
If you or someone you care about is facing harassment charges in Texas, you’ll require a skilled lawyer to safeguard your rights under the law. Our capable defense attorneys at Texas Criminal Defense Group are here to help.
A lawyer who knows a lot about criminal cases in Texas understands how serious it is if you’re accused of a big crime. This lawyer can help you make a strong argument, get a good result, and go to jail.