Houston Stalking Defense
Stalking is a felony offense. Stalking allegations in Houston can arise from different situations, such as from a failed relationship where one partner still wants to maintain contact with the other partner. And, stalking charges are often filed based solely on the accusations of the alleged victim.
If a law enforcement officer in Texas has probable cause that an accused committed the offense, the officer has authority to immediately arrest that person without a warrant. Even if a proper investigation did not take place, an immediate arrest for stalking could still occur based on the accusations.
Stalking charges can result in serious punishment and consequences, including lengthy prison time and a large fine. Such a conviction can also adversely impact your future, such as by losing many educational, employment, housing and public assistance opportunities. However, if you have been charged with a stalking offense, it is important to know that you do not necessarily have to face a criminal conviction.
It is important to hire an experienced Houston criminal defense lawyer because criminal charges for stalking do not have to result in a conviction and the resulting lifelong consequences. In order to convict you, the state prosecutor must prove to a jury that you committed every element of the felony offense beyond a reasonable doubt. With an experienced trial lawyer defending you, this is a very difficult burden to meet, and any reasonable doubt in the mind of any of the members of the jury can result in a not guilty verdict or a hung jury. Therefore, it is vital to contact an experienced criminal attorney in Houston who will fight for you.
If you have been charged with the criminal offense of stalking in Harris county or any of the surrounding counties in Texas, contact James G. Sullivan and Associates for a free phone consultation at 281-546-6428. Attorney James (Jim) Sullivan is an experienced trial lawyer who will fight for your rights, freedom and future.
Stalking in Houston
According to section 42.072 of the Texas Penal Code, a person can be charged with stalking if the person, on more than one occasion and in the same course of conduct that is directed specifically at another person, knowingly engages in conduct that:
· the person knows or reasonably should know will be regarded as threatening bodily injury or death to the alleged victim, a family member or household member of the alleged victim, or another person the alleged victim is dating;
· the person knows or reasonably should know will be regarded as threatening damage to the alleged victim's property;
· causes the alleged victim, a family member or household member, or person they are dating to be fearful of death, serious bodily injury or property damage;
· would cause a reasonable person to fear bodily injury or death to themselves, a family or household member, or person they are dating; and/or
· would cause a reasonable person to fear their property will be damaged.
Punishment for Stalking in Houston
Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code lists the felony punishment for stalking in Houston.
A first stalking offense is charged as a third degree felony. A conviction for such a felony is punishable by a prison sentence ranging from two to 10 years and a fine up to $10,000.
A second stalking offense is charged as a second degree felony. A conviction for such a felony is punishable by a prison sentence ranging from two to 20 years and a fine up to $10,000.
In addition to the punishment described above, a person that has been convicted of a stalking offense may suffer any of the following penalties and consequences:
· A criminal record;
· Unable to apply for certain jobs, professions or occupations;
· Unable to be admitted into certain educational programs;
· Ineligible to own or possess a gun or firearm;
· Ineligible to receive certain kinds of governmental assistance;
· Ineligible to vote or hold public office;
· Loss of certain professional licenses; and/or
· Public humiliation and embarrassment.
James G. Sullivan and Associates | Harris County Stalking Attorney
James Sullivan graduated from the Trial Lawyers College founded by legendary lawyer Gerry Spence. Sullivan has a proven record of defending people from all walks of life, faiths and countries in courts throughout Texas.