Publication of Telecommunications Access Device: Texas Penal Code §33A.05

Texas Criminal Law

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The Texas Publication of Telecommunications Access Device law gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you negligently communicated information or made information available to another person about a telecommunications device that is designed to commit the offense Theft of Telecommunications Service.

The Texas legislature codified this criminal offense in Texas Penal Code Section 33A.05. The legislature did not update this law in 2023. In fact, this law has not been amended since 1997.

The Penal Code classifies the Texas Publication of Telecommunications Access Device law under Title 7 “Offenses Against Property,” Chapter 33A “Telecommunications Crimes.” Learn more about the Texas offense of Publication of Telecommunications Access Device below.

What is the current Texas law about Publication of Telecommunications Access Device?

Texas law currently defines the offense of Publication of Telecommunications Access Device in Penal Code Section §33A.05 as follows:[1]

(a) A person commits an offense if the person with criminal negligence publishes a telecommunications access device or counterfeit telecommunications access device that is designed to be used to commit an offense under Section 33A.04.

Published is defined as meaning “to communicate information or make information available to another person orally, in writing, or by means of telecommunications and includes communicating information on a computer bulletin board or similar system.”[2]

How can I be charged with a Publication of Telecommunications Access Device offense in Texas?

You can be charged with Publication of Telecommunications Access Device in Texas if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 33A.05(a) as described in the section above have been met.

What is the statute of limitation for Publication of Telecommunications Access Device in Texas?

Misdemeanor level Publication of Telecommunications Access Device charges have a two-year limitations period.[3] Felony level offenses have a three-year limitations period.[4]

What is the penalty for a Texas Publication of Telecommunications Access Device offense?

A conviction for Publication of Telecommunications Access Device is punished by default as a Class A misdemeanor,[5] with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $4,000 and jail time of up to one year.

However, if the you have been previously convicted of any Telecommunications Crimes offense, then a conviction for Publication of Telecommunications Access Device in Texas is punished as a Felony of the Third Degree,[6] with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and prison time of up to 10 years.

Can you get probation for Publication of Telecommunications Access Device in Texas?

The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure allows both judges and juries to grant probation for Publication of Telecommunications Access Device, and judges are also allowed to accept deferred adjudication plea deals.[7]

Note, however, that judges may not grant community supervision after a conviction if (1) the defendant used or exhibited a deadly weapon during the commission of the felony or immediate flight thereafter and (2) the defendant used or exhibited the deadly weapon himself or was a party to the offense and knew that a deadly weapon would be used or exhibited.[8]

What level of crime is Publication of Telecommunications Access Device in Texas?

The Penal Code classifies the punishment for Publication of Telecommunications Access Device as a Class A misdemeanor, but the state can seek a third degree felony enhancement if they can prove a prior Publication of Telecommunications Access Device conviction.

Learn more about the penalty range for this offense in the section above.


^1. Texas Penal Code §33A.05. This law is current as of 2024.^2. Texas Penal Code §33A.01(4)^3. Code of Criminal Procedure 12.02(a)^4. See Code of Criminal Procedure 12.01(9)^5. Texas Penal Code §33A.05(b)^6. Texas Penal Code §33A.05(b)^7. See Chapter 42, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Art. 42A.054, Art. 42A.056, Art. 42A.102 .^8. Art. 42A.054(b), Texas Code of Criminal Procedure


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