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Breach of Computer Security

The Breach of Computer Security crime in the state of Texas gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you accessed a computer, computer network, or computer system without the consent of the owner. It also makes it illegal to access computers and networks, even with the effective consent of the owner if you do it maliciously and in violation of a contract or rules established by the owner. Learn more detailed information about the Breach of Computer Security offense below.

Have you been charged with Breach of Computer Security? Call criminal lawyer Paul Saputo at (888) 239-9305.

Breach of Computer Security is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 7 “Offenses Against Property”, Chapter 33 “Computer Crimes.”

What is the law in Texas about Breach of Computer Security?

The offense is described in Section 33.02 of the Texas Penal Code. There are two categories of violations of this offense. The first category is described in subsection (a):

(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.

The second category is described in subsection (b-1):

(b-1) A person commits an offense if, with the intent to defraud or harm another or alter, damage, or delete property, the person knowingly accesses:

(1) a computer, computer network, or computer system without the effective consent of the owner; or

(2) a computer, computer network, or computer system:

(A) that is owned by:

(i) the government; or

(ii) a business or other commercial entity engaged in a business activity;

(B) in violation of:

(i) a clear and conspicuous prohibition by the owner of the computer, computer network, or computer system; or

(ii) a contractual agreement to which the person has expressly agreed; and

(C) 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.

How can I be charged with Breach of Computer Security?

You can be charged with Breach of Computer Security if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of either 33.02(a) or (b-1) as described in the section above have been met

What is the punishment for Breach of Computer Security?

If the offense falls under subsection (a), then a conviction for Breach of Computer Security is punished by default as a Class B misdemeanor,1 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $2,000 and jail time of up to 180 days.

But if the offense falls under subsection (a), and the defendant has been convicted of this offense two or more times or the computer breached was a government computer, then a conviction for Breach of Computer Security is punished as a State Jail Felony.2

If the offense falls under subsection (b-1), and the total amount of money involved is less than $100, then a conviction for Breach of Computer Security is punished as a Class C misdemeanor.3

If the offense falls under subsection (b-1), and the total amount of money involved is $100 or more but less than $750, then a conviction for Breach of Computer Security is punished as a Class B misdemeanor.4

If the offense falls under subsection (b-1), and the total amount of money involved is $750 or more but less than $2,500, then a conviction for Breach of Computer Security is punished as a Class A misdemeanor.5

If the offense falls under subsection (b-1), and the total amount of money involved is $2,500 or more but less than $30,000, then a conviction for Breach of Computer Security is punished as a State Jail Felony.6

If the offense falls under subsection (b-1), and the total amount of money involved is $30,000 or more but less than $150,000, then a conviction for Breach of Computer Security is punished as a Felony of the Third Degree.7

If the offense falls under subsection (b-1), and the total amount of money involved is $150,000 or more but less than $300,000, and the computer is owned by the government or if you receive identifying information from one computer, then a conviction for Breach of Computer Security is punished as a Felony of the Second Degree.8

If the offense falls under subsection (b-1), and the total amount of money involved is $300,000 or more, and you obtained identifying information from two or more computers, then a conviction for Breach of Computer Security is punished as a Felony of the First Degree.9 Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors


Legal References:

1 Texas Penal Code Section 33.02(b)

2 Texas Penal Code Section 33.02(b)(1)&(2)

3 Texas Penal Code Section 33.02(b-2)(1)

4 Texas Penal Code Section 33.02(b-2)(2)

5 Texas Penal Code Section 33.02(b-2)(3)

6 Texas Penal Code Section 33.02(b-2)(4)

7 Texas Penal Code Section 33.02(b-2)(5)

8 Texas Penal Code Section 33.02(b-2)(6)

9 Texas Penal Code Section 33.02(b-2)(7)

Published by Criminal Defense Attorney on and last modified