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Online Harassment Fort Worth, TX

By January 1, 2024February 11th, 2024Computer Crimes, Cyberstalking, Internet Crimes, Stalking

With the popularity of computers, smartphones, and social media, a new crime has emerged in this century that Texans aren’t taking lightly: cyberstalking and online harassment. It’s a crime that is only becoming more common.

Cyberstalking is so common, in fact, it has permeated even the highest levels of government. In October of 2020, a close friend of the Trump family was arrested for cyberstalking. He was accused of cyberstalking his soon-to-be ex-wife.

It just goes to show that stalking and cyberstalking can happen to anyone and be perpetrated by people you may least expect, too.

So what does Texas law have to say about following your exes online? What are stalking and cyberstalking and how are these offenses handled? Read on to find out.

Online Harassment

What are Cyberstalking Laws in Texas?

In Texas, stalking is defined as when someone engages in behavior knowingly that another person would find threatening and that would cause someone reasonable to be scared.

Stalking Penalties

Texas stalking laws classify this crime as a third-degree felony on a first-time offense. A conviction is punishable by up to 10 years in jail and fines that can reach up to $10,000.

Previous convictions for stalking? Plan on a second-degree felony charge. That is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 20 years and fines that can add up to $10,000. Cyberstalking laws in Texas can get complicated which is why we recommend contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney near you right away.

Texas Stalking Statutes Include Online Harassment

In Texas, the Electronic Communications Act was passed in 2001. It prohibits cyberstalking as well as other forms of online abuse.

Cyberstalking as well as crimes that use the internet to abuse or harass someone, such as cyber harassment, are considered a form of mental assault.

Examples of Cyber Harassment in Texas

  • Facebook abuse
  • Monitoring the online activities of the victim
  • False accusations
  • Cyberbullying
  • Encouragement for others to harass the victim
  • Arrangements to meet
  • Damage to reputation
  • Online sexual abuse
  • Internet sex crimes such as child pornography, improper photography, visual recording, exploitation, and sexting

When Cyberstalking Laws in Texas Are Complicated 

The legislation in Texas is designed to protect victims of online harassment but it’s important to keep in mind that there are always two sides to every story. It’s not uncommon for someone to baselessly be accused of cyberstalking or other activities online that they didn’t perpetrate.

Bad breakups, divorces, or bad blood between people online can result in cyberstalking charges being levied. It’s always best to remember that people are innocent until proven guilty.

If you are facing cyberstalking charges and don’t feel your actions warranted it, an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney can help you sort out the details.

Texas Penalties for Cyber Harassment Convictions

Cyberstalking and cyber harassment does carry with it some serious penalties if convicted. It can range from a Class B misdemeanor to a third-degree felony.

  • A Class B misdemeanor is punishable by up to six months in jail and fines up to $2,000.
  • A Class A misdemeanor can land you in jail for up to one year and make you responsible for fines up to $4,000.
  • A third-degree felony conviction can leave you facing 10 years in prison and responsible for fines up to $10,000.

Texas Penalties for Cyberstalking Convictions

Stalking is a serious crime – and doing it over the computer doesn’t make it any less serious. Make sure that your actions online and off cannot be construed as stalking or harassment or you could find yourself in serious legal trouble. Contact a top-rated Texas criminal defense attorney near you to help you get back on track.

If you are arrested, then it’s vital to understand your rights so you can mount an effective defense. It’s in your best interest to watch your online activity and make sure you don’t cross the line.

Contact an Experienced Texas Cyberstalking Defense Lawyer Near You

The first decision you need to make after being charged with cyberstalking in Texas is who you’re going to hire to defend you.

If you’re facing online harassment charges in Texas, call the Hampton Criminal Defense Attorneys, PLLC at 817-826-9905 now. Jeff Hampton and his team of Former Prosecutors have over 80 years of criminal law experience and have taken hundreds of cases to trial, resulting in favorable verdicts. You need a team of criminal lawyers with the acumen necessary to gauge the entire situation, form a strategic defensive plan, and unleash an offensive assault on the prosecutor’s case.

We offer free consultations and look forward to giving you a plan of action on how to get your life back. Keep your freedom! Protect your good name! Don’t be taken advantage of by the criminal justice system! Give us a call or fill out an online form to schedule a free case review.

About the Author:

After getting his Juris Doctor from the University of Houston Law Center, Jeff Hampton began practicing criminal law in Texas in 2005. Before becoming a defense attorney, he worked as a prosecutor for the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office – experience he uses to anticipate and cast doubt on the arguments that will be used against his clients. Over the course of his career, he has helped countless Texans protect their rights and get the best possible outcome in their criminal cases. He has been named one of the 3 Best DUI Lawyers in Fort Worth, recognized by Expertise, National Trial Lawyers, Avvo, and others, and he is Lead Counsel rated.