Harassing Defense Attorney in Houston – Brett A. Podolsky
Harassment is a crime that can cover a multitude of actions. Section 42.07 of the Texas Penal Code defines harassment as occurring whenever a person communicates with someone in an effort to “harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment or embarrass” them. As such, harassment charges can sometimes include making threats or making others feel in fear of their safety. Some common crimes that could bring about harassment accusations are:
- Cyber bullying
- Making repeated phone calls or texts to an individual who does not wish to receive them
- Make threatening or obscene comments and gestures
How is Harassing Somebody Punished?
First-time offenders are typically charged with a Class B misdemeanor in Houston, which is punishable by six months in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. The punishment increases with each subsequent offense, with repeat offenders being charged with a Class C misdemeanor that is punishable by as much as one year in prison and a fine of up to $4,000.
Harassment Crimes Can be Defended
As with any criminal matter, the burden of proof is on the state of Texas to show that a defendant is guilty. In proving innocence, some defenses that could be used are:
- The accused did not intend to harass or provide threats
- The victim participated in or gave approval for the harassing behavior
- No harassing crime actually took place
- Mistaken identity
Each Harassment Charge is Different
Of course, the exact defenses used will depend upon the circumstances surrounding an incident. In many cases, the victim may encourage the district attorney to drop charges in exchange for issuing a protective order to ensure his or her safety. Charges may sometimes be downgraded after negotiations with a prosecutor takes place as well. Those who are accused of messing with people should not try to negotiate their own plea deal, but instead contact a criminal defense attorney. Pick up the phone and call Brett A. Podolsky today at 713-227-0087.