In today’s world of smart phones, laptops, and internet communication; the issue of unwanted contact, or stalking, has become more complicated than ever. Stalking is a repetitive pattern of conduct in which one person continues to contact another when the contact is unwelcome. Although former Texas stalking laws only covered family members or those in their households, they now cover people who are just dating. They also cover all forms of unwelcome contact, not just in person contact, that can include emails, text messages on a phone, and unwelcome gifts that are sent by mail. In this legal environment, it’s not difficult to see how a misunderstanding could lead to a stalking charge. If you’ve been charged with a stalking offense, the Law Office of Diana E. Sims of Houston, Texas is the next place you should call.
In all likelihood, the available law enforcement statistics on stalking are not accurate due to the high number of unreported cases. However, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), has estimated that about 15.6 percent of females in Texas will experience stalking. There is less data regarding the stalking of males, but it is believed that it does occur almost as frequently as it does with females. At least half of the stalking victims are contacted at least once a week by the stalker.
Most stalking victims say that the stalking goes on for longer than six months. For some, it may go on for years. Most of the burden of proof for stalking lies with the victim, who must document the episodes of stalking and collect the evidence for law enforcement.
In the state of Texas, stalking is a very serious offense and is charged as a felony. If it is a first offense, it is usually charged as a third-degree felony and may involve penalties anywhere from two to ten years of imprisonment. If the stalking involves a repeat offense, this can be elevated to a second-degree felony with up to twenty years in prison.
In any case, the charge of stalking is a serious mark on anyone’s criminal record. When you are charged with the offense of stalking, it is crucial to contact a skilled defense attorney like Diana E. Sims of Houston, Texas. She’ll use her years of experience to evaluate the merits of your case and create the best possible defense.
If you’ve been charged with stalking, call to schedule a free consultation with a stalking charges defense attorney in Houston, Texas today. The laws against stalking are stricter than ever in Texas and you need the expertise of a skilled defense attorney to help defend your rights. Give us a call at (713) 236-9800 today and we’ll discuss your case with you for free. Let us be the experienced legal advocates you need.