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Harassment of a Public Servant

Alarming, harassing or making an offense gesture to certain people can lead to criminal charges. In Texas, making specific actions against public servants is a crime. A public servant is a term for multiple professions including police officer, juror or even a candidate for public office.

If you or someone you know have been arrested for harassing a public servant, then it’s important you have trusted legal counsel on your side. These charges are nothing to take lightly and can result in felony charges, even if the harassment was intended to be harmless. Defend your freedom and rights by contacting an experienced attorney today.

Attorney for Harassment of a Public Servant in Austin, TX

Doing specific actions against public servants such as throwing bodily fluids is a criminal offense in Texas. If you’ve been arrested for harassing a public servant, we urge you to get in contact with The Law Office of Kevin Bennett. Attorney Kevin Bennett understand the stress accompanying a violent crime charge and wants to do everything in his power to reduce or dismiss your charges.

Call (512) 476-4626 to set up your first consultation free with Kevin Bennett. He will answer your legal questions and chart out a defense plan for you during the appointment. You can find his office in Austin, Texas, but he practices throughout the Travis County area including Lago Vista, Lakeway and Pflugerville.

Overview of Harassment of a Public Servant in Texas


Elements of Harassment of a Public Servant in Texas

Being offensive or harassing a public servant is a crime in Texas with serious penalties. According to Texas Statute Section 22.11, you can be charged with harassment of a public servant if you do any of the following:

  • While imprisoned in a correctional or detention facility, you cause another person to have contact with blood, seminal fluid, vaginal fluid, saliva, urine or feces;
  • While committed in a civil commitment facility you do any of the following:
    • Causes an officer or employee of the center to get in contact with seminal fluid, urine, feces, vaginal fluid and blood
      • While the officer or employee is lawfully discharged from duty; or
      • In retaliation against the officer or employee
    • Causes a public servant to come into contact with seminal fluid, vaginal fluid, feces, urine or blood while the servant is discharged or in retaliation

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What is the Legal Definition of a Public Servant in Texas?

You might be wondering what the Texas Statutes mean when they refer to a “public servant.” Under Texas law, a public servant can include any of the following professions:

  • Law enforcement officer;
  • Juror or grand juror;
  • Prison guard or civil commitment facility guard;
  • Employees of a prison or a civil commitment facility;
  • Public notary;
  • Attorney at law;
  • Referee, arbitrator, or any person authorized to hear a cause or controversy by law;
  • Public office candidate running for nomination or election; or
  • Person performing a governmental function

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Penalties for Harassing a Public Servant in Texas

Although it’s not assault, the penalties for harassing a public servant are serious. Committing harassment of a public servant is a third-degree felony, which is punishable by:

  • Up to 10 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $10,000

A felony conviction can have serious life-altering effects. Released felons have many issues with both their personal and professional relationships. Many felons face problems when obtaining employment, housing, and even applying for federal loans.


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Penalties for Interference with Public Duties in Texas

Another crime commonly associated with harassment of a public servant is interference with public duties. In Texas, you can be charged for interfering with the duties of a public servant such as a firefighter or emergency medical services medic. You can be charged with interference of public duties if you obstruct:

  • A peace officer while they are performing their duty or exercising authority imposed or granted by law;
  • Employee of the emergency medical services, which includes ambulance drivers;
  • Firefighters while they are stopping fires or investigating the cause of a fire;
  • Any animal that is under the supervision of a peace officer, jailer or corrections officer and you’re aware that the animal is used for a law enforcement or corrections purpose;
  • Transmission of communication over a citizen band radio channel whose purpose is to inform or inquire citizens of an emergency;
  • Officers who work for animal control while they are performing their duties; or
  • Any person who:
    • Is responsible for enacting, assessing, or enforcing public health, environmental, radiation or safety measures for the state, county or municipality;
    • Investigating a particular site as a part of their responsibilities as a public servant;
    • Acting in accordance to policies and procedures for safety and security; and
    • Performing a duty or exercising authority imposed or granted under the Health and Safety Code, Agriculture Code, Occupations Code or Water Code

The penalties for interfering with public duties is a class B misdemeanor which can result in up to 180 days in state jail and a fine of up to $2,000.


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Additional Resources

Prison Activity Resource Center – Visit the official website of the Prison Activist Resource Center (PARC) to learn more about their mission to expose and challenge the institutionalized racism, sexism, ableism and classism within the Prison Industrial Complex.

TX Laws for Harassment of a Public Servant – Visit the official website of the Texas Penal Code to find more information surrounding the crime of harassment of a public servant. Access the site to learn the elements of the crime, penalties and other related public servant offenses.


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Harassment of a Public Servant Lawyer in Travis County, Texas

If you or someone you know has been arrested for harassing a public servant, then it’s vital you secure trusted legal representation. Having an experienced attorney on your side can greatly increase your chances of reducing or dismissing your charges entirely.

Find a skilled and dedicated attorney with The Law Office of Kevin Bennett. Attorney Kevin Bennett has represented numerous people in assault and harassment of a public servant in the Travis County, TX area. To set up an appointment, call (512) 476-4626 to set up your first consultation free.

The Law Office of Kevin Bennett accepts clients throughout the greater Travis County area including Austin, Lago Vista, Pflugerville, Bee Cave, Pflugerville and Del Valle.


This article was last updated on September 27th, 2019.

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