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Theft of or Tampering with Multichannel Video or Information Services

The Theft of or Tampering with Multichannel Video or Information Services crime in the state of Texas gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you installed a device used to gain unauthorized access to a cable network or other information services provider. Learn more detailed information about the Theft of or Tampering with Multichannel Video or Information Services offense below.

Have you been charged with Theft of or Tampering with Multichannel Video or Information Services? Call criminal lawyer Paul Saputo at (888) 239-9305.

Theft of or Tampering with Multichannel Video or Information Services is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 7 “Offenses Against Property,” Chapter 31 “Theft.”

What is the law in Texas about Theft of or Tampering with Multichannel Video or Information Services?

The offense is described in Section 31.12 of the Texas Penal Code.

(a) A person commits an offense if, without the authorization of the multichannel video or information services provider, the person intentionally or knowingly:

(1) makes or maintains a connection, whether physically, electrically, electronically, or inductively, to:

(A) a cable, wire, or other component of or media attached to a multichannel video or information services system; or

(B) a television set, videotape recorder, or other receiver attached to a multichannel video or information system;

(2) attaches, causes to be attached, or maintains the attachment of a device to:

(A) a cable, wire, or other component of or media attached to a multichannel video or information services system; or

(B) a television set, videotape recorder, or other receiver attached to a multichannel video or information services system;

(3) tampers with, modifies, or maintains a modification to a device installed by a multichannel video or information services provider; or

(4) tampers with, modifies, or maintains a modification to an access device or uses that access device or any unauthorized access device to obtain services from a multichannel video or information services provider.

How can I be charged with Theft of or Tampering with Multichannel Video or Information Services?

You can be charged with Theft of or Tampering with Multichannel Video or Information Services if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 31.12(a) as described in the section above have been met.

What is the punishment for Theft of or Tampering with Multichannel Video or Information Services?

A conviction for Theft of or Tampering with Multichannel Video or Information Services is punished by default as a Class C misdemeanor,1 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $500.

However, if it is shown in trial that you have already been convicted once of this offense, then a conviction for Theft of or Tampering with Multichannel Video or Information Services is punished as a Class B misdemeanor, and if it is shown that you have already been convicted twice of this offense, then a conviction is punished as a Class A misdemeanor.2

Also, if it is shown that you were paid for the installation of the device, then the conviction is punished as a Class A misdemeanor, unless it is also shown on the trial of the offense that you have been previously convicted two or more times of this offense, in which event the offense is a Class A misdemeanor with a minimum fine of $2,000 and a minimum term of confinement of 180 days.3 Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors


Legal References:

1Texas Penal Code Section 31.12(d)

2Texas Penal Code Section 31.12(d)(1)

3Texas Penal Code Section 31.12(d)(2)

Published by Criminal Defense Attorney on and last modified