Cybercrime in Texas

Consequences of Cybercrime in Texas

As technology advances, the prevalence of crime is also on the rise, especially cybercrime. In Texas, authorities treat these offenses with great seriousness. It is important to be knowledgeable about the nature of these crimes and the corresponding punishments.

Computer and internet crimes encompass a broad spectrum of illegal activities, each carrying its own specific accusations and penalties.


What is a Cyber Crime?

Computers function as tools, yet when utilized for illicit purposes, they give rise to “cybercrimes” that become supplementary charges to other criminal activities. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) defines “cybercrime” in three main ways:

  • Cyber-Theft occurs when someone gets into a computer system to take things, like embezzlement, fraud, stealing ideas, or personal and financial information.
  • Cyber-Security incidents This involves things like creating spyware, adware, hacking, phishing, spoofing, pinging, port scanning, and stealing information to get into a computer’s system.
  • Cyber- Attacks are computer-based attacks that involve creating and spreading computer viruses, denial of service (DOS) attacks, vandalism, and sabotage.


What Are The Types Of Cybercrimes in Texas Law?

There are many different types of computer crimes, Texas Penal Code Chapter 33 covers a wide range of behaviors. Organizing these crimes helps us understand what is legal and illegal when using a computer. This demonstrates the standards for acceptable behavior when using a computer.

  1. Unauthorized access to someone’s computer or digital network is similar to entering a house without the owner’s knowledge or consent. Doing this is against the law and can result in charges for unauthorized access or computer trespassing.
  2. Soliciting a minor is when someone knowingly tries to convince a person under 17 to meet in person through the Internet or text messages for sexual activities. Considering a young person in harmful actions makes this child pornography.
  3. Accessing the digital parts of a voting system, like electronic voting machines, without permission is illegal. Changing votes or disrupting the voting process is a serious offense because it makes the voting system unfair and untrustworthy.
  4. Creating a web page or leaving messages on social media using someone else’s identity without their permission is like pretending to be that person online. This is done on purpose to harm or defraud, scare, or threaten someone. It’s against the law and can result in severe consequences because it invades someone’s privacy and causes harm to them.
  5. Online Impersonation of another person without permission, pretending to be that person, it’s called “spoofing.” The goal is to deceive or harm others by making them believe the message is genuine.


Possible Penalties & Charges for Cybercrime in Texas

Class C Misdemeanor – fined up to $500 as a penalty.

  •  Cybercrime example: When a crime involves a monetary gain of less than $100 by breaching a computer network for a

Class B Misdemeanor – 180 days in County jail and a fine of up to $2,000 are the penalties.

  • Cybercrime example: Altering electronic data to make a profit of at least $100 to $750.

Class A Misdemeanor – 1 year in Harris County jail and penalized by a fine of up to $4,000.

  • Cybercrime example: Pretends to be another person using instant messaging or similar communication methods.

State Jail Felony – 180 days to 2 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 are the possible penalties.

  • Cybercrime example: improper kid photography or videotaping

Third Degree Felony –2 years to 10 years in prison, and a penalized by a fine of up to $10,000.

  • Cybercrime example: Identity theft occurs when someone misuses between 10 to 50 pieces of personal information.

Second Degree Felony – 2 years to 20 years in prison and penalized by a fine of up to $10,000.

  • Cybercrime example: Solicitation of a minor online who is under 14 years old.

First-Degree Felony – At this point, that’s 5 years to 99 years or life imprisonment, and a fine of up to $10,000.

  • Cybercrime example: If the amount of money or products is $30,000 or more, decryption for personal gain is illegal.


Arrested? Don’t Plea, Call Me!

Have you or someone you know been detained and accused of cybercrime of any kind?

At Texas Criminal Defense Group, protecting people from accusations is not a concern. We specialize in defending individuals facing cybercrime charges. Our goal is to prevent aggressive prosecution and protect your rights throughout the legal proceedings. We will vigorously pursue every line of defense available to us, utilizing our extensive knowledge and experience in cybercrime defense.

Facing cybercrime allegations can be overwhelming and daunting, but you don’t have to navigate this challenging situation alone. The Texas Criminal Defense Group is here to support you every step of the way. Trust in our expertise and commitment to providing top-notch legal representation as we work tirelessly to protect your future and ensure the best possible outcome for your case.