Tex. Pen. Code Ch. 33 provides for various computer crimes. For instance, under Tex. Pen. Code § 33.02, it is illegal to breach computer security, which occurs when you knowingly access a computer or network without the owner’s consent. Likewise, it violates Tex. Pen. Code § 33.022 to intentionally interrupt or suspend access to a computer system or network without the owner’s consent.
This chapter of the Texas Penal Code also provides for various other computer-related offenses, including:
• Electronic data tampering
• Unlawful decryption
• Tampering with electronic voting machines
A different type of computer offense is outlined in Tex. Pen. Code § 33.21, which is referred to as online solicitation of a minor. This offense occurs when an individual who is at least 17 years old and intends to commit certain sexual offenses intentionally communicates in a sexually explicit manner or distributes sexually explicit materials to a minor by any electronic means. It is also unlawful to knowingly solicit a minor via electronic means in order to facilitate a meeting for the purposes of engaging in sexual conduct.
It is also unlawful under Tex. Pen. Code § 33.07 to use the names of other persons without their consent and with the intent to defraud, intimidate, or threaten others by creating or posing messages on web pages, including those on social media platforms. Similarly, online impersonation occurs when individuals send emails, instant messages, or text messages meant to harm or defraud others and make them reasonably believe that the messages came from another person. To violate this code section, individuals must carry out this offense by using others’ identifying information without their consent.
If you or a family member is facing any type of criminal charges, we may be able to help. As experienced Texas criminal defense attorneys, we have the knowledge needed to help you navigate through often-complex criminal proceedings. Call us today at (512) 474-4445 and schedule an appointment with one of our criminal defense lawyers and learn how we can assist you.