Harassment

Harassment

Sec. 42.07. HARASSMENT. (a) A person commits an offense if, with intent to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass another, the person:

(1) initiates communication and in the course of the communication makes a comment, request, suggestion, or proposal that is obscene;

(2) threatens, 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 the person's family or household, or the person's 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 through the use of electronic mail, instant message, network call, a cellular or other type of telephone, a computer, a camera, text message, a social media platform or application, an Internet website, any other Internet-based communication tool, 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:

(1) the actor has previously been convicted under this section; or

(2) the offense was committed under Subsection (a)(7) and:

(A) the offense was committed against a child under 18 years of age with the intent that the child:

(i) commit suicide; or

(ii) engage in conduct causing serious bodily injury to the child; or

(B) the actor has previously violated a temporary restraining order or injunction issued under Chapter 129A, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 2204, ch. 411, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 10, Sec. 1, eff. March 19, 1993; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 657, Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 15.02(d), eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1222, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1278 (H.B. 1606), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 522 (S.B. 179), Sec. 13, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 522 (S.B. 179), Sec. 14, eff. September 1, 2017.