Stalking and the Law in Texas
This article provides information on stalking and terroristic threats. This article is reproduced from the Crime Victims division of the Texas Attorney General's office.
A stalker tries to control his or her victim through behavior or threats intended to intimidate and terrify. A stalker can be an unknown person, an acquaintance, or a former intimate partner. A stalker's state of mind can range from obsessive love to obsessive hatred. 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. Stalking can be perpetrated by the stalker or by someone acting on her/his behalf. Stalking can take the form of verbal threats or threats conveyed by the stalker's conduct, threatening mail, property damage, surveillance of the victim, or by following the victim.
The stalker may on more than one occasion:
- Follow the victim and/or victim's family or household members,
- Vandalize the victim's property,
- Inflict damage to property--perhaps by vandalizing the car, harming a pet, or breaking windows at the victim's home,
- Make threatening calls or send threatening mail, or
- Drive by or park near the victim's home, office, and other places familiar to the victim.
A terroristic threat is a penal code offense (Section 22.07). A person commits the offense of Terroristic Threat if he or she threatens to commit any offense involving violence to any person or property with the intent to place a person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury. Penalty: Class B misdemeanor.