Law Office of Kimberly N. Shanklin, PLLC.
Serving Denton County Since 2002
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Breach of Computer Security

Breach of Computer Security

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

“Breach of Computer Security”, as per § 33.02 of the Texas Penal Code, occurs when a person knowingly accesses a computer, computer network, or computer system without the effective consent of the owner.

An offense under the previous subsection is a Class B misdemeanor, except that the offense is a state jail felony if:

  • the defendant has been previously convicted two or more times of an offense under this chapter; or

  • the computer, computer network, or computer system is owned by the government or a critical infrastructure facility.

A person commits an offense if, with the intent to defraud or harm another or alter, damage, or delete property, the person knowingly accesses:

  • a computer, computer network, or computer system without the effective consent of the owner; or

  • a computer, computer network, or computer system that is owned by the government or a business or other commercial entity engaged in a business activity;

  • in violation of a clear and conspicuous prohibition by the owner of the computer, computer network, or computer system; or a contractual agreement to which the person has expressly agreed; and

  • with the intent to obtain or use a file, data, or proprietary information stored in the computer, network, or system to defraud or harm another or alter, damage, or delete property.

An offense under the previous subsection is:

  • a Class C misdemeanor if the aggregate amount involved is less than $100;

  • 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;

    • the aggregate amount involved is any amount less than $300,000 and the computer, computer network, or computer system is owned by the government or a critical infrastructure facility; or

    • the actor obtains the identifying information of another by accessing only one computer, computer network, or computer system; or

  • a felony of the first degree if:

    • the aggregate amount involved is $300,000 or more; or

    • the actor obtains the identifying information of another by accessing more than one computer, computer network, or computer system.

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