Internet and Computer Crime in Texas
Texas classifies most internet and computer crimes as offenses against property; however, some interactions through the internet can also be alleged to cause harm to other individuals and may result in criminal charges. Common types of Internet and computer crimes include the following:
- Fraudulent emails that suggest that the recipient has won a foreign lottery or is the beneficiary of a will worth millions of dollars are among the best-known examples of Internet fraud. Phishing emails that appear to be from a reputable financial institution and request information regarding banking accounts are another form of online fraud.
- Establishing websites and domain names to deprive others of funds while offering nothing of value in return can also be considered internet fraud and may result in civil suits, criminal charges, or both in the state of Texas.
- Identity theft is defined as the acquisition of personal and financial information for use in establishing a false identity and obtaining credit or other financial arrangements with that new identity. It is often linked to the practices of phishing and hacking.
- Cyber-bullying and cyber-harassment occur when one or more individuals engage in repeated or sustained insult, humiliation, or aggressive behavior toward another person online. Social media sites are often used as the primary medium for these harmful and destructive interactions.
- Cyber-stalking is defined as the impersonation of another individual in the online environment in an effort to damage the reputation of that individual or to deceive or defraud others in the social media environment.
- In areas with electronic voting systems, Texas law prohibits tampering with the results of those systems both during operation or after the polls have closed and the votes are being tabulated.
- Accessing, downloading, or storing illegal pornography from online or other sources is subject to a variety of criminal penalties that depend on the nature of the material acquired through these means. Possession or downloading of child pornography typically carries the most serious penalties in the state of Texas.
- Solicitation of a minor online through various chat applications or social media sites is a felony and can result in jail time or fines for those convicted of this offense. Law enforcement officials often engage in what could be considered entrapment and pose as underage individuals.
If you or someone you care about has been charged with a computer or internet related crime, finding a Houston criminal defense attorney with experience in the technological aspects of computer and internet crimes is essential to ensure the most effective defense for your case. Matthew Gallagher has extensive knowledge, background and experience with the technical means involved in computer and internet crimes which gives him a distinct advantage in defending clients accused of computer and internet crimes. His in-depth knowledge of the Texas legal system and the various type of computer crimes and potential defenses available can help you mount an effective defense against the charges you or a loved one are facing. As a Houston criminal lawyer, Matthew Gallagher works hard to provide the best legal representation possible to his clients in an effort to obtain the best possible results for them.