Stalking Charges Defense

Houston Stalking Charges Defense Lawyers :: The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp

Stalking charges in the state of Texas can result in serious consequences. Stalking or aggravated stalking accusations are often instigated by a divorce, breakup or personal dispute. Anyone that is confronted with stalking allegations should immediately speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

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Accusations of Stalking

Allegations of stalking can result in immediate arrest if a law enforcement officer determines that it’s reasonable to believe that a crime was committed. The claims of an accuser are powerful, empowering a police officer to assume that a full investigation would reasonably conclude that a stalking violation was committed. It’s essential that stalking charges be investigated by an experienced stalking defense attorney.

Some actions that can result in a stalking conviction, according to the Texas Penal Code,  if they are committed on more than one occasion are the following:

  • The accused engaged in conduct that he or she reasonably believed would cause the victim to perceive the action as a threat of bodily injury or death to the victim, family member, significant other or household member
  • Acting in a manner that caused a victim to know or believe that property damage was imminent

Stalking Penalties

Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code defines the penalties that are available to punish a convicted stalker. A first stalking offense is a third degree felony, punishable by a prison sentence of between two and ten years and a fine of no more than $10,000. A second stalking conviction is a second degree felony, punishable by a prison sentence of between two and 20 years and a fine of no more than $10,000. A stalking conviction establishes a serious criminal record that can last a lifetime.

Stalking Defense

The prosecution is required to prove every element of a stalking charge in a court of law. This is a high legal standard for any prosecutor to attain. An experienced stalking defense lawyer will identify the weakest elements of the prosecution’s case to bring about a reduction in charges or case dismissal. A felony conviction can make it difficult for a defendant to gain access to professional licenses, employment opportunities and educational programs. A convicted stalker can also be stripped of their voting privileges and the right to own a firearm.

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