State and Federal Computer Crimes

Serious Charges That Can Ruin Your Life

The State of Texas and the United States government have special statutes to prosecute those suspected of using a computer while committing a crime. When a computer is involved an experienced attorney is best equipped to properly address the unique jurisdictional issues and rules for the collection and processing of evidence.

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Computer Crimes

The state of Texas prosecutes most computer crimes under Title 7, Chapter 33 of the Texas State Penal Code. Computer crimes consist of everything from breach of computer security, online impersonation, online solicitation of a minor, to outright computer fraud. If found guilty of a federal computer crime, penalties can include up to 99 years in state prison.

The United States federal government prosecutes most computer crimes under The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) of 1986, updated in 2002 by the Patriot Act and the 2008 Identity Theft and Restitution Act. While the minimum prison sentence under Federal law is 10 years, the term can extend to life in prison if a death occurred due to the crime.

Computer crimes are considered federal offenses for which individuals are charged in federal court and prosecuted by the US attorney, or a federal prosecutor. When it comes down to it, there are two basic categories of criminal computer activity: unauthorized access and intrusion.

Unauthorized Access

Unauthorized access is a computer crime which consists of entering a computer network without the proper authorization to do so. Some examples of unauthorized access include using someone else’s password to enter, guessing passwords, or any other method used to get into an area without authorization.

Additionally, even individuals with access or proper authorization can be charged with unauthorized access if they enter an area they’re not supposed to. Unauthorized access computer crime charges may result in federal court prosecution, as there are specific computer crime statutes.

Intrusion or Hacking

Intrusion (or hacking) is considered an aggressive crime, usually are due to serious or aggressive reasons. Intrusion or hacking crimes typically come with a search for sensitive company information, the status of a project, or important files. Intrusion computer crimes often come with planting spyware, which allows someone to access the computer system on an on-going basis to monitor emails or communications.

Typically, someone intrudes or hacks a computer system out of anger or a grudge against a company. Hackers or intruders may plant malware to destroy files, and/or to crash the computer network system. Intruding or hacking a company’s computer system usually results in disruptions for long periods of time, and potential money loss.

Hackers typically use an IP or email address fraudulently, or without authorization to intrude a computer system on someone’s behalf. Today, it’s easy for hackers or intruders to “spoof” someone’s email or IP address in order to hide their identity.

John Teakell Can Help

Computer crimes are serious business. If you are facing investigation or have been charged with an internet or computer crime, it’s ideal to be productive about your case. Attorney John R. Teakell understands the technical application of the law when it comes to computer crimes. With over 12 years of working in the U.S. Attorney’s Office as a federal prosecutor for the northern district of Texas, John Teakell can put that experience to work for you.

The Right Experience

The many years John Teakell spent in the Attorney’s Office didn’t just give him inside knowledge of how the prosecution works, it provided him valuable contacts and connections that he will put to work on your behalf. These contacts include former federal agents and computer experts who can identify gaps in the prosecution’s evidence, and bridge them to establish your innocence or reduce your liability.

Knowing What Questions to Ask

Sometimes, proving your innocence comes down to knowing which questions to ask. For example, were you trying to commit a crime? Were you aware that your actions were considered a crime? Were you the only one with access to the computer that was used? Does the action you are accused of committing warrant a formal charge?

Defend Yourself Against Computer Crime Charges

If you have been charged with a Texas State Feloney or Federal Computer crime you need to act now.

An initial consulation with John Teakell is the first step and it’s absolutely free.

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