What does Texas law say about computer crimes?

Cyber crimes, often called computer crimes, refer to any use of technological systems to commit an offense. Texas has a computer crimes statute that details the specific categories of cyber offenses and possible legal consequences. 

Review the details about computer crimes in Texas if under suspicion of this type of offense. 

What is a computer crime?

Texas lists these prohibited actions under the computer crimes statute: 

  • Soliciting a minor for sexual activity with a computer 
  • Using a computer, system or network without owner consent 
  • Tampering with a computer-based voting system 
  • Intimidating, threatening and harassing another person online or through social media 
  • Exposing someone’s personal identifying information online without his or her consent with the intent to commit fraud or harm 

How does Texas categorize these offenses?

Breaching someone else’s computer system ranges from a Class B misdemeanor to a first-degree felony depending on the extent of the victim’s financial loss. Soliciting a minor results in third-degree felony charges, or second-degree felony charges for a victim age 14 or younger. 

Charges of online harassment usually result in third-degree felony charges. Voting fraud using a computer is a first-degree felony. 

What are the penalties for Texas computer crimes?

Offenders who receive Class B misdemeanor charges could receive a fine of up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail. For third-degree felony charges, the potential legal consequences include a fine of up to $10,000 and two to 10 years in prison. A second-degree felony carries the same fine and two to 20 years in prison. A first-degree felony results in at least five years and up to life in prison for a conviction.