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Retaliation or Obstruction

Retaliation or Obstruction

Harming a public servant to retaliate or to obstruct a legal process is a law violation that carries heavy penalties. The crime is referred to retaliation or obstruction and It’s located under the Texas Penal Code Section 36.06. The law includes both physical and emotional retaliation including posting personal contact information of public servants and making verbal threats.

If you or someone you know has been charged with retaliation or obstruction, it’s important you seek legal counsel immediately. The lightest charge you can face is a third-degree felony, which means you’re looking at time in prison. Plus, the court may reclassify the crime to a second-degree felony if certain aggravating factors occurred during the commission of the crime. A second-degree felony can include a prison sentence of up to 20 years.

Houston Retaliation Defense Lawyer | Harris County, TX

Have you recently been accused of acting in retaliation or obstruction against a public servant? It’s pertinent you secure legal counsel right away. These charges could potentially uproot your life and goals indefinitely if you’re convicted. Fight against the allegations instead with experienced and qualified legal counsel Matthew Horak of Horak Law.

Matthew Horak has defended many people of retaliation or obstruction and can do the same for you. His practice as both a prosecutor and defense attorney may be invaluable to securing reduced or dismissed charges for your case. Call Horak Law today at (713) 225-8000 to set up your first consultation free of charge.

Horak Law can be found in Houston and The Woodlands, but we accept clients in Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Liberty County, Harris County, Waller County, and Montgomery County.

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Obstruction or Retaliation Laws in Texas

Getting “revenge” against a public servant or going out of your way to obstruct a lawful process is a crime in Texas. The offense and its legal definitions are located under the Texas Penal Code section 36.06. Before you can fully understand how obstruction or retaliation works, you must first learn several definitions first.

The term “honorably retired police officer” is any officer who:

  • Didn’t retire in lieu of a disciplinary action
  • Eligible to retire from a law enforcement agency or was ineligible to retire because of an injury they sustained while performing their official duties
  • Any person entitled to receive a pension or annuity for service as a police officer or isn’t entitled to receive pension or annuity because the agency employed the officer doesn’t offer a pension or annuity to employees

The term “informant” is any person who communicated information to the government in connection to a government function. An “informant” is any person who communicated information to the government or in connection to a government function. A “public servant” is a person employed in any of the following occupations:

  • Juror and grand juror
  • Employee, officer, or agent of government
  • Referee, arbitrator, or any person authorized to hear or determine a cause/controversy
  • Attorney at law or notary public when participating in the performance of a governmental function
  • Candidate for nomination or election to public office
  • Person performing governmental function under the claim of right although they are not legally qualified to do so

The elements for retaliation or obstruction are listed below. If you do any of the following, you may face a felony charge.

  • Intentionally or knowingly harms or threaten to harm another by an unlawful act
  • The act was in retaliation for or on account of the service or status of another as a:
    • Witness, prospective witness, public servant, or informant; or
    • Any person who has reported or who the actor knows intend to report a crime
  • Prevent or delay the service of another as a:
    • Person who reported or who the actor knows intends to report a crime; or
    • Witness, public servant, informant, or prospective witness

It’s important to know you can also be charged with retaliation or obstruction if you post on a publicly accessible website the resident address/telephone number of a person who acts as a public servant with intent to cause harm or threaten harm in retaliation for on or on account of the service or status of the person as a public servant. That includes members of the public servant’s family or household.


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Obstruction Retaliation Felony

Obstruction or retaliation is a serious crime that carries life-changing consequences that could alter your future forever. An offense under section 36.06 is a third-degree felony and can result in the following penalties:

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

The crime will be enhanced to a second-degree felony if any of the following occurred:

  • The victim was harmed or threatened because of their status or service as a juror
  • The defendant posted a public servant’s residential phone number or address with intent to cause harm or threaten harm or did the same with the servant’s family and/or household members

It’s important you understand it is pima facie evidence of the intent to cause harm or threaten harm to the public servant or their family if the defendant:

  • Receive a written demand from the individual to not disclose the public servant’s address or their phone number for their safety; and
    • The defendant failed to remove the address/number within 47 hours after receiving notice from the public servant; or
    • Repost the address or number on the same or different public website or makes the information available through another medium within a period of four years after receiving the demand from the public servant. It doesn’t matter if the individual is no longer a public servant.

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Additional Resources

Retaliation Texas Penal Code – Visit the official website for the Texas Penal Code to learn more about offenses under the section 36.06, which is reserved for acts of retaliation or obstruction. Access the site to learn the elements, penalties, and admissible defenses for the crime.

Texas Model Jury Instructions – Visit the official website for the Texas Model Jury Instructions to read the actual document the jury must review when deciding a verdict. Access the document to learn what factors the jurors will consider when deliberating.


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Obstruction or Retaliation Attorney, Houston | Horak Law

If you or someone you know has been arrested for obstruction or retaliation, call Horak Law to learn more about your legal options. Skilled and talented defense lawyer Matthew Horak has spent years dedicating his career to defending those accused of crimes including obstruction of justice cases. He can develop a defense plan formidable enough to take on the prosecutor’s case.

Call Horak Law today at (713) 225-8000 to set up your first consultation with violent crimes lawyer Matthew Horak free. We have offices in both the city of Houston and The Woodlands, Texas.


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