The internet contains so much essential information to broaden your perspectives. It can also allow you to remain in close contact with friends and family.
Unfortunately, the internet is also used for nefarious purposes, including cyberstalking. According to the Texas Constitution and Statutes, cyberstalking is against the law in the state. In fact, cyberstalking receives the same treatment as other instances of stalking in terms of legality.
How does the law define stalking?
Stalking involves a pattern of behavior, meaning offenses must take place repeatedly. These behaviors induce fear in a person, or would induce fear in any other reasonable person. They include threats, repeated attempts at making contact, or even unwanted gift giving.
What are some examples of these behaviors?
Lots of behavior fall into the category of stalking. This includes obscene comments conveyed over the phone, via text, or online, threats of bodily harm, repeated harassment, or threats involving property damage.
Additionally, implied threats are also against the law. This includes insinuating harm against a person, piece of property, or even family pet. Threats must also target a specific person. Threats that conveyed by another party are also against the law.
How is stalking punished according to the law?
The punishments for stalking depend on the circumstances. Most circumstances warrant a third degree felony charge. However, a second degree felony is possible if there are prior offenses on record. Both charges can result in a prison sentence.
Stalking laws cover many situations, so it is possible to receive a charge based on questionable circumstances. Understanding your rights according to the law ensures you can take the proper steps to defend yourself.