Unauthorized Use of Telecommunications Service graphic with Texas flag

Unauthorized Use of Telecommunications Service

The Unauthorized Use of Telecommunications Service crime in the state of Texas gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you worked for a telecommunication service provider and used a telecommunications service for your own benefit or the benefit someone else without the proper authority. Learn more detailed information about the Unauthorized Use of Telecommunications Service offense below.

Have you been charged with Unauthorized Use of Telecommunications Service? Call criminal lawyer Paul Saputo at (888) 239-9305 to discuss legal representation.

Unauthorized Use of Telecommunications Service is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 7 “Offenses Against Property,” Chapter 33A “Telecommunications Crimes.”

What is the current Texas law about Unauthorized Use of Telecommunications Service?

The current Texas law is as follows:1

(a) A person commits an offense if the person is an officer, shareholder, partner, employee, agent, or independent contractor of a telecommunications service provider and the person knowingly and without authority uses or diverts telecommunications service for the person’s own benefit or to the benefit of another.

How can I be charged with Unauthorized Use of Telecommunications Service?

You can be charged with Unauthorized Use of Telecommunications Service if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 33A.02(a) as described in the section above have been met.

What is the punishment for Unauthorized Use of Telecommunications Service?

If the telecommunication device used is valued at less than $500 then a conviction for Unauthorized Use of Telecommunications Service is punished as a Class B misdemeanor,2 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $2,000 and jail time of up to 180 days.

If the telecommunication device used is valued at more than $500 but less than $1,500 or the actor has been previously convicted of this offense then a conviction for Unauthorized Use of Telecommunications Service is punished as a Class A misdemeanor,3 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $4,000 and jail time of up to one year.

If the telecommunication device used is valued at more than $1,500 but less than $20,000 or the actor has been previously convicted of this offense two or more times then a conviction for Unauthorized Use of Telecommunications Service is punished as a State Jail Felony,4 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and jail time of up to 2 years.

If the telecommunication device used is valued at more than $20,000 but less than $100,000 then a conviction for Unauthorized Use of Telecommunications Service is punished as a Felony of the Third Degree,5 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and prison time of up to 10 years.

If the telecommunication device used is valued at more than $100,000 but less than $200,000 then a conviction for Unauthorized Use of Telecommunications Service is punished as a Felony of the Second Degree,6 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and prison time of up to 20 years.

If the telecommunication device used is valued at more than $200,000 then a conviction for Unauthorized Use of Telecommunications Service is punished as a Felony of the Second Degree,7 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and life in prison. Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors


Legal References:

1 Texas Penal Code §33A.02

2 Texas Penal Code §33A.02(b)(1)

3 Texas Penal Code §33A.02(b)(2)

4 Texas Penal Code §33A.02(b)(3)

5 Texas Penal Code §33A.02(b)(4)

6 Texas Penal Code §33A.02(b)(5)

7 Texas Penal Code §33A.02(b)(6)

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