Internet Crimes Defense
Internet crimes is a vastly growing area of Texas judicial legislation, aggressively pursued and prosecuted at both the state and federal levels. The majority of people become involved in internet-related violations because it seems to involve a lesser degree of criminal activity than, say, other forms of theft. Plus, it is usually easier to remain anonymous and hide their identities. However, it is imperative to realize that internet crimes are not treated with any more leniency than other charges. In fact, in recent years, the state of Texas, as well as the federal government, have implemented new legislation with more rigid penalties for offenders of Internet crimes. While there are currently few laws formally under the umbrella of internet crimes, it is an area that is expanding and quickly.
It is crucial that you limit communication with law enforcement to an attorney when you are charged with an internet crime. The nature of the internet necessitates the importance of knowing your rights and what is permitted in an investigation. The Fourth and Fifth Amendments provide certain protections as to how authorities can perform search and seizures, enter your property, or initiate contact with your internet provider.
The Huston Firm serves clients all over the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and will rigorously fight to defend your rights and minimize the penalties in an internet crimes charge. We will demand proof beyond a reasonable doubt, challenge current evidence, and prepare to dismantle the prosecutor’s case before a jury if necessary. With privacy a complicated arena in the internet world, we ensure that investigations will not trample your constitutional rights.
Texas State Laws on Computer Crimes
Ever since they were first passed in 1985, Texas state laws on computer crimes have been repeatedly amended to keep up with the rapid evolution of technology and computer-based crime. These basis of these laws is as follows:
- It is illegal for anyone to introduce a computer-based virus or other contaminants to computer that is the property of another individual.
- Any intentional damage to or destruction of computer equipment that is public property or belongs to another individual is unlawful.
- It is illegal for anyone to access or use another individual’s computer without their consent. This includes the using of their password to obtain information that should remain confidential. In addition to this, if it can be demonstrated in a court of law that the person who illegally obtained such information benefits from it, they may also be charged with a felony.
In essence, the Texas government views the use of a computer and the internet as a tool for unlawful activities as an “internet crime.” Because of how diverse, vast, and complex the internet has become, the type of activities that have had to be added to these basic legal definitions are vast and varied. Today they include a number of charges like gambling, child pornography, cyber stalking, online scams, and more.
Additionally, many internet crimes are also being policed by the FBI, so there is a chance that federal law may affect your case. For these reasons, it’s highly important to contact a knowledgeable, experienced, and reputable criminal defense attorney in your local area who understands the nature of internet crimes and how to combat them in a court of law. For anyone standing accused of an internet crime in the greater Fort Worth area, The Huston Firm is proud to offer the best available defense for the various internet crimes as listed below.
Experienced Internet Crimes Representation in DFW
We represent clients in the following computer crime and internet-related criminal cases:
- Solicitation of a minor via internet
- Child pornography
- Monetary scams
- Internet identify theft
- Internet fraud
- Phishing scams
- Non-auction/non-delivery of merchandise
- Credit card fraud
- Computer fraud or computer theft
- Inappropriate use of government property
Online Solicitation of a Minor
This is a very serious offense in the eyes of Texas state law. It involves any communication with a minor over the internet that is of a sexually explicit manner. This includes the distribution of sexually-explicit materials, soliciting sexual conduct, or contacting someone 17 or under with an intent to commit a sexual offense. This can happen over an internet chat room, through various messages and emails, or via text messages.
Anytime you engage in any of the following with both the intent to harm or defraud and without consent, the resulting charge will be online impersonation:
- Sending a text or email using the name of another individual
- Sending or posting messages on a social network posing as another individual
- Using someone’s name to create a web page
Any recording, transmitting, broadcasting, or promotion of visual images obtained over the internet or by any other electronic means of another person changing or in the bathroom without their consent is considered an invasion of their privacy and a criminal offense.
Common Defenses Against Internet Crimes
Just because you are accused of an internet crime does not mean your only option is to plead guilty and accept the penalties. In fact, there are several arguments we can make in your defense. These include:
- There is insufficient evidence to prove that you were the person who committed the crime
- Your computer has been compromised or hacked
- The computer that the crime was committed from is regularly used by other individuals than yourself
- There was insufficient probable cause when your computer was confiscated