Law Office of Kimberly N. Shanklin, PLLC.
Serving Denton County Since 2002
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Electronic Data Tampering

Electronic Data Tampering

Chapter 33 of the Texas Penal Code defines computer related offenses.

“Electronic Data Tampering”, as per § 32.023 of the Texas Penal Code, occurs when a person intentionally alters data as it transmits between two computers in a computer network or computer system through deception and without a legitimate business purpose, or if a person intentionally introduces ransomware onto a computer, computer network, or computer system through deception and without a legitimate business purpose.

In this section, "ransomware" means a computer contaminant or lock that restricts access by an unauthorized person to a computer, computer system, or computer network or any data in a computer, computer system, or computer network under circumstances in which a person demands money, property, or a service to remove the computer contaminant or lock, restore access to the computer, computer system, computer network, or data, or otherwise remediate the impact of the computer contaminant or lock.

An offense under this section is:

  • a Class C misdemeanor if the aggregate amount involved is less than $100 or cannot be determined;

  • a Class B misdemeanor if the aggregate amount involved is $100 or more but less than $750;

  • a Class A misdemeanor if the aggregate amount involved is $750 or more but less than $2,500;

  • a state jail felony if the aggregate amount involved is $2,500 or more but less than $30,000;

  • a felony of the third degree if the aggregate amount involved is $30,000 or more but less than $150,000;

  • a felony of the second degree if the aggregate amount involved is $150,000 or more but less than $300,000; and

  • a felony of the first degree if the aggregate amount involved is $300,000 or more.

If it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant knowingly restricted a victim's access to privileged information, an offense under this section is:

  • a state jail felony if the value of the aggregate amount involved is less than $2,500;

  • a felony of the third degree if the value of the aggregate amount involved is $2,500 or more but less than $30,000; or a client or patient of a victim suffered harm attributable to the offense;

  • a felony of the second degree if the value of the aggregate amount involved is $30,000 or more but less than $150,000; or a client or patient of a victim suffered bodily injury attributable to the offense; and

  • a felony of the first degree if the value of the aggregate amount involved is $150,000 or more; or a client or patient of a victim suffered serious bodily injury or death attributable to the offense.

Severity of Crime

Misdemeanor c

  • Fine not to exceed $500

Misdemeanor B

  • Confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days

  • Fine not to exceed $2,000

  • Both such fine and confinement

Misdemeanor A

  • Confinement in jail for a term not to exceed one year

  • Fine not to exceed $4,000

  • Both such fine and confinement

State Jail Felony

  • Confinement in a state jail for not more than two years and not less than 180 days

  • In addition to confinement, may receive a fine not to exceed $10,000

Third Degree Felony

  • Imprisonment in the institutional division for not more than 10 years or less than two years

  • In addition to imprisonment, may receive a fine not to exceed $10,000

Second Degree FelonY

  • Imprisonment in the institutional division for not more than 20 years or less than two years

  • In addition to imprisonment, may receive a fine not to exceed $10,000

First Degree Felony

  • Imprisonment in the institutional division for life, or

  • Imprisonment in the institutional division for not more than 99 years or less than five years with the exception of aggravated sexual assault, which adds a 25-year minimum punishment if the victim is younger than 6, or younger than 14 and the offense contained threats of serious bodily injury or death, or use of a deadly weapon

  • In addition to imprisonment, may receive a fine not to exceed $10,000