NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Beginning this fall, victims of online harassment in Texas will have more protections under the law.

State lawmakers passed a new law allowing police to prosecute suspects in the county where the victim lives — even if the crime wasn’t committed in that county, or state.

Charley Wilkison, the director of public affairs for the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT), said the laws are becoming more necessary. “An ‘injury’ can take place now through a long distance. In the early days of telephones there had to be telephone harassment laws passed, so this is just catching Texas up to the world in which we live.”

The new law will help members of law enforcement. “The purpose in this was to make it easier to prosecute so that we’re not having to chase down the perpetrator into the state, a different country, or wherever they are,” Wilkison explained.

Supporters of the new law say it will help reduce online crimes in Texas. “The purpose is to allow prosecutors and law enforcement to get to the case faster and get it expedited faster.

The law was passed by the Texas Legislature last month and will go into effect on September 1.

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