Felony Offenses in the Texas Penal Code

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Texas Penal Code, Section 16.04 - Unlawful Access to Stored Communications

CHAPTER 16. CRIMINAL INSTRUMENTS, INTERCEPTION OF WIRE OR ORAL COMMUNICATION, AND INSTALLATION OF TRACKING DEVICE

§ 16.04.  UNLAWFUL ACCESS TO STORED COMMUNICATIONS.
        (a)  In this section, "electronic communication," "electronic storage," "user," and "wire communication" have the meanings assigned to those terms in Article 18.21, Code of Criminal Procedure.
        (b)  A person commits an offense if the person obtains, alters, or prevents authorized access to a wire or electronic communication while the communication is in electronic storage by:
                (1)  intentionally obtaining access without authorization to a facility through which a wire or electronic communications service is provided; or
                (2)  intentionally exceeding an authorization for access to a facility through which a wire or electronic communications service is provided.
        (c)  Except as provided by Subsection (d), an offense under Subsection (b) is a Class A misdemeanor.
        (d)  If committed to obtain a benefit or to harm another, an offense is a state jail felony.
        (e)  It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under Subsection (b) that the conduct was authorized by:
                (1)  the provider of the wire or electronic communications service;
                (2)  the user of the wire or electronic communications service;
                (3)  the addressee or intended recipient of the wire or electronic communication; or
                (4)  Article 18.21, Code of Criminal Procedure.

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