With the growth of technology today, the Internet and computer networks have increasingly been used to commit “cyber crimes.” The laws in Texas regarding many different charges, including identity theft and solicitation of a minor, have been placed in a grey area due to the anonymity provided to users of new technology. The Texas Penal code includes online harassment, tampering with electronic voting results, and online solicitation of a minor within the category of cyber crimes. Cyber crimes comprise a number of established criminal acts that may be committed with the aid of new technology and the Internet.
Technology has digitized much of our personal and confidential information, making it easier for criminals to get a hold of. It is illegal to access someone else’s computer or network without their consent. With the use of technology, criminal acts can be committed from a distance-and quickly, too. There are many active fraudulent schemes, including elaborate scams and phishing (impersonating legitimate businesses to obtain personal information). As technology continues to become more complex and more information is posted on the Internet, many people may find themselves facing serious allegations.
The anonymity of the internet has allowed those who commit illegal acts to operate in relative safety, while at the same time allowing innocent people to appear knowingly involved or even responsible. Tracking down the party who engaged in the illegal activity can be extremely difficult. When embarrassed victims hesitate to report the crime, the investigation becomes even more complicated. If you have been a victim of a fraud and are facing a charge, contact an experienced defense lawyer.
In 2003, Texas established the use of another person’s identity to create false profiles and pose as them on the Internet (or through text message) as an illegal act. A person who does so can be charged with fraud or even cyber bullying, given that there was intent to cause harm. Being accused of cyber bullying or online harassment is a serious matter. Penalties can range from a Class A misdemeanor to a third degree felony. Seek legal help immediately if you have been charged.
The Internet has facilitated the distribution of child pornography. As a result, law enforcement agencies have developed “sting” operations to catch buyers and sellers. Officers will pose as an interested buyer or swapper of child pornography and use the information gained to identify those actually in possession of the pornographic material. The consequences of a child pornography charge can be severe. There are defenses available to those unaware that their downloaded or shared images were child pornography. Regardless, if you have been charged with possession of child pornography, you should seek legal help immediately.
SOLICITATION OF A MINOR
Also in 2003, Attorney General Greg Abbott established a Cyber Crimes Unit, primarily to catch child predators online. In order to obtain a solicitation of a minor charge, law enforcement officers pose as minors in online chat rooms, even on adults-only, sexually oriented websites. Officers, some who are experts at identifying lonely or unaware individuals, attempt to instigate a statement “to solicit or entice” a meeting or sexual conduct. Cases may be brought against persons who lacked intent to actually engage in any activity, believing their conduct to be an anonymous Internet fantasy. Unexpectedly, an individual may be facing a felony charge, which entails prison time and possible life-time registration as a sexual predator. If you’re facing a charge of solicitation of a minor, you will need a practiced defense lawyer to present your case.
While they encompass a broad range of criminal activities that can be performed with new technology, all cyber crimes carry harsh consequences. Paul is an experienced trial lawyer who will aggressively fight to ensure you receive a fair case in court. Paul conducts extensive investigations for his clients, knowing that the prosecution can often overlook important facts that may render a different judgment. Investigation is especially important regarding cyber crimes. Innocent people may easily be charged with crimes they didn’t commit and actual perpetrators are often hard to find. Paul works to analyze the details of each of his client’s case to marginalize the possible consequences of a cyber crime conviction.
If you or someone you know has been accused of a cyber crime, you need a lawyer who has dealt with similar cases and has the knowledge to defend you. Contact Paul Doyle now to discuss your case.
Recent Case Results
- State of Texas vs. ______, Possession of Child Porn (3 Counts), 12/11, Deferred Adjudication and no Jail Time.
- State of Texas v. ____, Possession of Child Porn, INVESTIGATION
- State of Texas v. ____, ONLINE SOLICITATION OF A MINOR, 10/2009