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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  JD, MBA
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I have been getting harassing text messages from a woman ...

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I have been getting harassing text messages from a woman who is stalking my boyfriend. She has threatened me several times & I just don''t know what to do. She sits outside of his house when I am there & follows us around. She isn''t bothering him, just me. She is claiming that she is his deceased wife & all sorts of off the wall things. I am just going bonkers trying to figure out what to! Please tell me what my options are. Again, the only thing that she has done is sending harassing text messages, following us & just being a nuisance. Any assistance is greatly appreciated.

Hello and thank you for allowing me to address your legal question.

You could ask the police to charge the woman with harassment and possibly stalking. The following Texas laws may be applicable:

§ 42.07. HARASSMENT. (a) A person commits an offense

if, with intent to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or

embarrass another, he:

(1) initiates communication by telephone, in writing,

or by electronic communication and in the course of the

communication makes a comment, request, suggestion, or proposal

that is obscene;

(2) threatens, by telephone, in writing, or by

electronic communication, in a manner reasonably likely to alarm

the person receiving the threat, to inflict bodily injury on the

person or to commit a felony against the person, a member of his

family or household, or his property;

(3) conveys, in a manner reasonably likely to alarm

the person receiving the report, a false report, which is known by

the conveyor to be false, that another person has suffered death or

serious bodily injury;

(4) causes the telephone of another to ring repeatedly

or makes repeated telephone communications anonymously or in a

manner reasonably likely to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment,

embarrass, or offend another;

(5) makes a telephone call and intentionally fails to

hang up or disengage the connection;

(6) knowingly permits a telephone under the person's

control to be used by another to commit an offense under this

section; or

(7) sends repeated electronic communications in a

manner reasonably likely to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment,

embarrass, or offend another.

(b) In this section:

(1) "Electronic communication" means a transfer of

signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of

any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio,

electromagnetic, photoelectronic, or photo-optical system. The

term includes:

(A) a communication initiated by electronic

mail, instant message, network call, or facsimile machine; and

(B) a communication made to a pager.

(2) "Family" and "household" have the meaning assigned

by Chapter 71, Family Code.

(3) "Obscene" means containing a patently offensive

description of or a solicitation to commit an ultimate sex act,

including sexual intercourse, masturbation, cunnilingus, fellatio,

or anilingus, or a description of an excretory function.

(c) An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor,

except that the offense is a Class A misdemeanor if the actor has

previously been convicted under this section.

§ 42.072. STALKING. (a) A person commits an offense if

the person, on more than one occasion and pursuant to the same

scheme or course of conduct that is directed specifically at

another person, knowingly engages in conduct, including following

the other person, that:

(1) the actor knows or reasonably believes the other

person will regard as threatening:

(A) bodily injury or death for the other person;

(B) bodily injury or death for a member of the

other person's family or household; or

(C) that an offense will be committed against the

other person's property;

(2) causes the other person or a member of the other

person's family or household to be placed in fear of bodily injury

or death or fear that an offense will be committed against the other

person's property; and

(3) would cause a reasonable person to fear:

(A) bodily injury or death for himself or

herself;

(B) bodily injury or death for a member of the

person's family or household; or

(C) that an offense will be committed against the

person's property.

(b) An offense under this section is a felony of the third

degree, except that the offense is a felony of the second degree if

the actor has previously been convicted under this section.

(c) In this section, "family," "household," and "member of a

household" have the meanings assigned by Chapter 71, Family Code.

It sounds like Stalking may be stretching it since you haven’t actually felt threatened, but the text messages do sound like Harassment (particularly under § 42.07 (a)(7)). Therefore, you should contact the police and file a report. Most likely, the police will request that she stop. If she does not stop after the request, then the police may press charges.

If the information that I provided was helpful, please remember to ACCEPT my post as that is the only way I will receive credit and compensation for my answer. However, please understand that my answer is meant for informational purposes only and is limited by the facts presented. Therefore, it should not be construed as “legal advice” and is not an adequate substitute for the retention of legal counsel. Thank you and good luck!

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