Steps to Take if You Have Been Accused of Stalking Someone

If you have been accused of stalking, there are important steps to take, and some you should avoid.

Stalking is a very serious offense in Texas. Stalking is a form of harassment in The Lone Star State, but it is more serious. State law defines stalking as certain actions against a person that place them in fear of imminent danger, including bodily injury or death to the victim or their romantic partner or family members or property offenses. Below, our Austin criminal defense lawyer explains what to do and what not to do if you have been accused of stalking.

Common Examples of Stalking

In addition to making a victim feel as though they are in imminent danger, stalking also includes actions that cause someone else to feel tormented, harassed, alarmed, annoyed, embarrassed, abused, or offended. As such, stalking takes many forms, and some of the most common include:

  • Repeatedly texting, calling, or sending messages on social media that threaten to hurt a family member,
  • Repeatedly appearing at the workplace or school of someone else,
  • Intentionally vandalizing or damaging another person’s property,
  • Monitoring another person’s cell phone, computer, or activity on social media, and
  • Repeatedly sending unwanted letters or gifts.

Anyone who is convicted of stalking faces harsh penalties. Stalking is a third-degree felony punishable by up to ten years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.

What to Do and Not Do, if Accused of Stalking

Whether someone has just accused you of stalking or you have been arrested, there are some important steps to take and some you should avoid. One of the most important steps to take is to speak to a criminal defense lawyer. You have the right to an Austin criminal defense lawyer, and you should contact one right away. A lawyer can ensure your rights are protected, devise a defense strategy, and advise on the next steps to take.

If a protective order has been issued against you, read it very carefully and follow all of the instructions and restrictions within it. Violating a protective order has severe consequences. If you are convicted of a violation, these penalties are in addition to any you will receive if you are convicted of stalking.

While it is natural to want to tell your side of the story, now is not the time. If you have been arrested, do not speak to the police until you have legal representation. They may try to intimidate you into talking but do not let them. Anything you say can be held against you in the future. Also do not try to contact the alleged victim, even if there is not a protective order in place. This, too, will only work against you.

Call Our Criminal Defense Lawyers in Austin Today

At Granger and Mueller, P.C., our Austin criminal defense lawyers understand the serious nature of stalking charges. We also know how to defend against them. If you have been charged, call us now at (512) 474-9999 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to get the legal help you need.