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Texas Stalking Laws

The crime of stalking is defined as a pattern of malicious behavior -- such as repeatedly showing up at an estranged partner's house after being told to stay away -- as opposed to a one-time event. While stalking is often associated with repeatedly following or pursuing someone, stalking can also be characterized by less direct actions, such as repeatedly contacting someone through the mail, phone, or internet. In addition, stalking can take the form of unwanted gifts or messages. The pattern of behavior must cause the victim to fear for his or her safety or well-being in order to be considered stalking. 

Stalking has been codified as a crime in all fifty states. In Texas, specifically, the law defines stalking as when someone knowingly engages in behavior that someone else would find threatening, and that would cause a reasonable person to be afraid. Stalking is treated as a 3rd degree felony, which means that it is often punishable with a prison sentence. If convicted of another charge of stalking, it is considered to be a 2nd degree felony.

Find out more about Texas stalking laws in the table below, and see Details on State Stalking Laws for a general overview.

Code Section

Penal 42.072

Stalking Defined as

A person commits an offense if on more than one occasion and pursuant to scheme or course of conduct directed at specific person, knowingly engages in conduct that: (1) stalker knows/reasonably believes victim will view as threatening, (2) causes fear, and (3) would cause a reasonable person to fear

Punishment/Classification

3rd degree felony

Penalty for Repeat Offense

2nd degree felony

Arrest or Restraining Order Specifically Authorized by Statute?

-

Constitutionally Protected Activities Exempted?

-

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Texas criminal defense attorney or Texas domestic violence lawyer, or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

More Information

For additional information on Texas stalking laws, feel free to consult the links provided below. In addition, you may want to check out FindLaw’s overview of stalking, as well as our section on domestic violence. Finally, depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, you may want to consult with either a criminal defense attorney or a domestic violence attorney.

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