By Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal
No, you can’t get arrested for texting someone in Texas but there are several exceptions.
When it is Illegal to text someone in Texas:
- If you’re the subject of a Protective Order Issued by a Court
You’ll know if this is the case. The law requires you to have notice and protective orders are normally issued to people arrested and released for offenses such as assault against a family member or other crimes against family members. Protective orders commonly have “no contact” provisions in them.
- Threating Messages
It is a crime to communicate something to someone (in any way) which places them in imminent fear of serious bodily injury or death. You can read the entire statute on terroristic threats and assault by threat here. The statute extends to threats made which could affect public safety.
Sending repeated communications is an offense if it is done with the intent to annoy, alarm, abuse, harass, embarrass or offend another. You can read the entire statute here.
Free Speech Issue
Sending text messages is a freedom of speech issue protected by the First Amendment. This is why — in the abstract — it is perfectly legal to do it the vast majority of the time. Your rights under the bill of rights are not absolute however.
The Government CAN limit your right to be free from search and seizure in some instances, they CAN limit your right to bear arms in some instances, and they CAN limit your right to free speech in some instances as they’ve done here.
*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Nothing in this article should be considered legal advice. For legal advice about any circumstance you should consult an attorney directly.