Harassment, Nuisance Hate Crimes. Introduction In situations in which a WMC victim is harassed electronically through computer hacking, etc. Text of Statute s TEX. Data may be embodied in any form, including but not limited to computer printouts, magnetic storage media, laser storage media, and punchcards, or may be stored internally in the memory of the computer.
Consent is not effective if: Induced by deception, as defined by section The use of a computer, computer system, computer network, computer software or data. An offense under subsection a is a Class B misdemeanor except that the offense is a state jail felony if: a The defendant has been previously convicted two or more times of an offense under this chapter; or b The computer, computer network, or computer system is owned by the government or a critical infrastructure facility. When benefits are obtained, a victim is defrauded or harmed, or property is altered, damaged, or deleted in violation of this section, whether or not in a single incident, the conduct may be considered as one offense and the value of the benefits obtained and the losses incurred because of the fraud, harm, or alteration, damage, deletion of property may be aggregated in determining the grade of the offense.
A person who is subject to prosecution under this section and any other section may be prosecuted under either or both sections. It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the person acted with the intent to facilitate a lawful seizure or search of, or lawful access to, a computer, computer network, or computer system for a legitimate law enforcement purpose. A person who is 17 years of age or older commits an offense if, with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, the person, over the Internet, by electronic mail, or text message or other electronic message service or system, or through a commercial online service, intentionally: Communicates in a sexually explicit manner with a minor; or Distributes sexually explicit material to a minor.
A person commits an offense if the person, over the Internet, by electronic mail or text message or other electronic message service or system, or through a commercial online service, knowingly solicits a minor to meet another person, including the actor, with the intent that the minor will engage in sexual contact, sexual intercourse, or deviate sexual intercourse with the actor or another person. It is not a defense to prosecution under Subsection c that: The meeting did not occur; The actor did not intend for the meeting to occur; or The actor was engaged in a fantasy at the time of the offense.
It is a defense to prosecution under this section that at the time conduct described by Subsection b or c was committed: The actor was married to the minor; or The actor was not more than three years older than the minor and the minor consented to the conduct. An offense under Subsection b is a felony of the third degree, except that the offense is a felony of the second degree if the minor is younger than 14 years of age or is an individual whom the actor believes to be younger than 14 years of age at the time of the commission of the offense.
An offense under Subsection c is a felony of the second degree. If conduct that constitutes an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under any other law, the actor may be prosecuted under this section, the other law, or both. An offense under Subsection a is a felony of the third degree. An offense under subsection b is a Class A misdemeanor, except that the offense is a felony of the third degree if the actor commits the offense with the intent to solicit a response by emergency personnel.
Section ; A telecommunications provider, as defined by Section The term does not include an electronic mail program or a message board program.
Texas Cyber Crimes Defense Attorney // Fred Dahr
Cases Taylor v. Law: Tex. At one point, she received a chat message purporting to be from her hairdresser, Renee Adam.
The person pretending to be Adam invited Couch to lunch, but upon asking Adam, Couch realized that the chat message had been sent by an imposter, and she became frightened. She received another disturbing package, and more messages before consulting the police. The police investigated the alleged harassment and determined that defendant had sent the messages. Defendant was convicted, and sentenced to community supervision. He appealed, arguing, among other things, that he could not have violated Tex.
Practice Pointers The key inquiry for charges arising under Section Introduction This provision is the state equivalent of the federal Wiretap Act.
It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection d 1 that the electronic, mechanical, or other device is possessed by a person authorized to possess he device under Section An offense under this section is a felony of the second degree, unless the offense is committed under Subsection d or g , in which event the offense is a state jail felony; A person commits an offense if, knowing that a government attorney or an investigative or law enforcement officer has been authorized or has applied for authorization to intercept wire, electronic, or oral communications, the person obstructs, impedes, prevents, gives notice to another of, or attempts to give notice to another of the interception.
Cases Research is ongoing. Practice Pointers Nothing relevant at this time.
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Introduction Texas recently passed a bill to redefine cyberbullying under Chapter 37 of the Texas Education Code. Text of Statute s HB 1 Section 5. Section Bullying Prevention Policies and Procedures.
Texas Penal Code 37.11 – Impersonating Public Servant
The policy and any necessary procedures adopted under Subsection c must be included: Annually, in the student and employee school district handbooks; and In the district improvement plan under Section Practice Pointers Penalties resulting from a conviction of cyberbullying can range from a Class A Misdemeanor to a 3rd degree felony.
A misdemeanor violation most likely will include fines and community service, while a felony charge may mean 2 to 10 years in prison. In deriving the penalties, the fact finder considers the criminal history of the offender. Introduction A person who publishes or threatens to publish intimate photos or videos of another with the intention of forcing the victim into conduct the victim would not have otherwise performed may be charged with extortion.
Text of Statute TEX. Because portions of Section Introduction In situations in which a WMC victim is repeatedly harassed, the State may charge a defendant with stalking. An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree, except that the offense is a felony of the second degree if the actor has previously been convicted under this section.
Cases Lewis v. State , 88 S. Law: TEX.
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Defendant constantly harassed Charles by phone, leaving messages threatening to kill her, following her, faxing pornographic materials to her attention at work, and threatening to mail a videotape to her family supposedly depicting the two of them engaging in sexual intercourse. Charles felt so threatened that she changed her phone number 25 times, and removed her name from her car title, insurance, utilities and credit cards several times, but defendant always found her. After one incident during which defendant closely followed Charles through traffic in July , he was arrested and charged with stalking.
Defendant was convicted, and he appealed, asserting, among other things, that his conviction was invalid because it violated the double jeopardy clause, and because the stalking statute was unconstitutionally overbroad. Outcome: The court affirmed the conviction. Seibert , S. Among other things, defendant allegedly followed the victim without her knowledge and surreptitiously videotaped her as she went about her day. He later delivered some of the videotapes to her home, and she notified the police when she found them. The state appealed.
State , S. Facts: Defendant met victim C. The evidence submitted showed that from then on, he called and left her messages every day both over the phone, and online, for a period of three years. She changed her phone number and moved numerous times during that period, but to no avail. Defendant appealed his conviction, asserting ineffective assistance of counsel and insufficient evidence, among other things. Although defendant contested that the evidence introduced were communications and messages from him, and argued that they had not been authenticated, the court rejected his position.
Accordingly, there was sufficient evidence of stalking to uphold the conviction. Special Notes: This was an extreme case of stalking in which the harassment went on for three years before it was stopped in part because the defendant successfully hid his identity behind several different personas.
McGowan v. A few months later, the defendant was fired from the company after he confronted the victim and accused her of filing a sexual harassment claim against him. At that point, he started sending her letters and packages, and despite efforts by law enforcement to get him to stay away, she felt unsafe. She switched jobs and applied for a Louisiana restraining order against him, but it did not stop the defendant from calling her, and sending her emails through a social networking website—the victim never responded to his attempts to get in touch.
Ultimately, the victim cancelled her membership with the social networking website to avoid any contact with the defendant. First, the court found that the stalking law only contemplates the presentation of evidence covering an entire course of conduct directed at the victim, not a specific number of alleged events. The Texas Attorney General also identifies tips for individuals being stalked, such as: 1 keep a diary with the names and addresses of witnesses, and descriptions of each incident; 2 get a protective order if you are related to the stalker by blood or marriage, or you have ever lived together or have a child together; 3 keep recorded messages to give to law enforcement; 4 take photographs of the stalker and write the time, date and place on the back of each picture; 5 keep copies of all correspondence from the stalker; and 6 tell everyone and given them a description of the stalker, so they can document each time they see him or her.
Introduction A WMC victim could bring a claim for criminal trespass if a defendant intrudes on his or her dwelling perhaps in an effort to stalk the victim. It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the actor at the time of the offense was a fire fighter or emergency medical service personnel, as that term is defined by Section Postal Inspection Service, and the U.
Southern District of Texas
Department of State. The dozen individuals arrested locally were among the arrested in the United States and overseas. The same criminal organizations that perpetrate BEC also exploit individual victims, often real estate purchasers, the elderly, and others, by convincing them to make wire transfers to bank accounts controlled by the criminals. Foreign citizens perpetrate many BEC scams. Those individuals are often members of transnational criminal organizations, which originated in Nigeria, but have spread throughout the world. An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.