Stalkers scare their victims by intimidating and terrifying them. A stalker can be the victim’s former spouse or romantic partner. He or she can be a complete stranger to the victim; for example, an adoring fan of a celebrity.
A stalker can be an acquaintance, such as a co-worker, a neighbor, a classmate, or someone who is in the same social circle as the victim. More often than not, a stalker is a former intimate partner or someone who has a crush on the victim. Sometimes even, a stalker is a former intimate partner of the victim’s current spouse.
Stalkers are obsessed with their victims; they can feel an intense love or an intense hatred for them. Sometimes an intense love transformed into an intense hatred when the victim refused the stalkers advances or displays of affection. Stalking can be committed by someone else on the stalker’s behalf.
“A stalker may follow a victim off and on for a period of days, weeks, or even years. A stalking victim feels reasonable fear of bodily injury or death to self or to a family or household member or damage to property,” according to texasattorneygeneral.gov.
Stalking behaviors include but are not limited to:
- Verbal threats,
- Harming the victim’s pets,
- Destroying the victim’s property,
- Breaking into the victim’s home,
- Sending threatening mail,
- Making threatening calls,
- Sending threatening texts,
- Following the victim (on foot or by vehicle),
- Threats displayed through the stalker’s conduct, or
- Drive by the victim’s home, work, or places the victim frequents.
What Does the Law Say About Stalking?
In Texas, the crime of stalking offenses are covered under Section 22.07, Terroristic Threat, and Section 42.072, Stalking, of the Texas Penal Code. A person commits the offense of terroristic threat if he or she threatens violence against a victim or their property with the intention of placing the victim of fear of serious bodily harm. Terroristic threat under Sec. 22.07 is a Class B misdemeanor offense.
The offense of stalking is more serious than terroristic threat. A first stalking offense under Sec. 42.072 is a third-degree felony, whereas a second stalking offense with a prior conviction is a second-degree felony. As a third-degree felony, stalking is punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison and by a fine not to exceed $10,000.
Are you being accused of stalking in Plano, Dallas or Fort Worth? In the face of these serious charges, contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC.