Using a person's computer without their consent is a newer offense, and is called Breach of Computer Security. It is now a crime to not only use a person's computer, but also to log into an online account belonging to another person, without their consent. This includes email, programs, social media, and even accounts online such as Amazon.
One can expect a lot of specialized computer logs, IP address tracking, and possibly more detailed investigation on Breach of Computer Security cases.
Breach of Computer Security can encompass a wide range of conduct, and most people are surprised that it's even an crime! Logging into another person's facebook or other social media is considered a computer network (or a commercial entity engaged in a business activity) and is prohibited under the statute.
But it gets worse if a person has the intent to defraud or harm another (or alter, damage, or delete property), which can enhance the offense -- as can priors. Likewise, if there is a loss of money as a result of the breach of computer, then the case can actually be enhanced all the way to a first degree felony.
Related areas to Breach of Computer Security include offenses such as https://keateslawfirm.com/practiceareas/thefts/credit-card-abuse.php">Credit or Debit Card Abuse. If you're looking for other offenses that are related to this one, you can see more information below, or click related legal offenses.
Breach of Computer Security cases will require a bond. Because of the nature of the offense, an officer will typically conduct an investigation and then issue a warrant, rather than take the person to jail at the scene. Still, in rare situations, Breach of Computer Security does result in an arrest -- or an accused is arrested on the warrant. Keates Law Firm can act quickly to assist with a personal bond to release that person. Be sure to read more about Bond, Personal Bonds, and Travis County Jail Releases.
If an officer does file an arrest warrant, we can help with a Walkthrough to clear the Arrest Warrant. Doing a Walkthrough quickly is important, because most of the time a person does not go into the jail during the surrender process. Call us for more details if you have an Active Travis County Arrest Warrant.
Breach of Computer Security cases usually turn on whether consent was given. The statute leaves a lot of gray in terms of effective consent -- which can give rise to a viable defense. Often, effective consent can be one person's word agianst another. However, situations such as breach of computer security between strangers or a couple in the midst of a contested divorce are tougher to defend. The relationship between the parties is key in an effective consent type defense.
There are actually two defenses written in to the code but both are so rare that they almost never come up. Once deals with law enforcement accessing a person's computer, and the other deals with companies or individuals who have a contract (hired) to access the computer and/or systems.
If you'd like to talk in detail about your situation, or if you have questions, contact us for a Free Case Consultation. Keep in mind, Keates Law Firm only practices in Austin and Travis County.
Hiring the right attorney from the beginning is important. Poor legal decisions will have a negative effect upon the case as it progresses. The Keates Law Firm has over 16+ Years Experience handling Breach of Computer Security cases. Our focus is to try and have the case dismissed against you. We don't even discuss pleas until all legal and negotiation options have been explored in detail.
Call Us to talk about your particular case and situation. It's a 100% Free Phone Consultation with Criminal Defense Attorney Keates. No Sales Pitches, No Hassles. We'll see if we are the right Law Firm for you, and give you a quote. Be sure to check out Keates Law Firm's Reviews and also our past cases and Results.
Your goal should be Dismissal for any Breach of Computer Security charge. While not every case can be dismissed, often times the goal becomes avoiding jail, or getting a reduced charge, or even getting a favorable probation with a possible dismissal at the end, called Deferred Adjudication. If dismissed, a person can later seek an Expunction of a Criminal Record, which is where a Judge Orders the offense records destroyed, including police reports, court records, and prosecutor files.
Likewise, if Deferred Adjudication is successfully completed, the person can have thier record sealed through Motions for NonDisclosure.
(a) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly accesses a computer, computer network, or computer system without the effective consent of the owner.
Breach of Computer Security is a Class B Misdemeanor, but the case can be enhanced if the person has priors or under a number of situations. Please see the full code section for details.
|Level of Offense||Punishment|
|Class B Misdemeanor||Not more than 180 days in a county jail, and/or no more than $2,000 fines|
|Felony - SJF through 1st Degree||State Jail, Prison, and/or Fines|
Call for a Free Consultation