Felony Offenses in the Texas Penal Code

Austin Criminal Lawyer


Federal Defense Attorney

Texas Penal Code, Section 16.05 - Illegal Divulgence of Public Communications

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

§ 16.05.  ILLEGAL DIVULGENCE OF PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS.
        (a)  In this section, "electronic communication," "electronic communications service," and "electronic communications system" have the meanings given those terms in Article 18.20, Code of Criminal Procedure.
        (b)  A person who provides electronic communications service to the public commits an offense if the person knowingly divulges the contents of a communication to another who is not the intended recipient of the communication.
        (c)  It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under Subsection (b) that the actor divulged the contents of the
communication:
                (1)  as authorized by federal or state law;
                (2)  to a person employed, authorized, or whose facilities are used to forward the communication to the communication's destination; or
                (3)  to a law enforcement agency if the contents reasonably appear to pertain to the commission of a crime.
        (d)  Except as provided by Subsection (e), an offense under Subsection (b) that involves a scrambled or encrypted radio communication is a state jail felony.
        (e)  If committed for a tortious or illegal purpose or to gain a benefit, an offense under Subsection (b) that involves a radio communication that is not scrambled or encrypted:
                (1)  is a Class A misdemeanor if the communication is not a public land mobile radio service communication or a paging service communication; or
                (2)  is a Class C misdemeanor if the communication is a public land mobile radio service communication or a paging service communication.
        (f) Repealed by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1051, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1166, Sec. 17, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Renumbered from Penal Code Sec. 16.04 by Acts 1990, 71st Leg., 6th C.S., ch. 12, Sec. 2(24), eff. Sept. 6, 1990. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1051, Sec. 12, 13, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

NOTE: This information is NOT LEGAL ADVICE. It is provided for EDUCATIONAL USE ONLY. If you need legal advice regarding a criminal matter in the state of Texas, please contact us at (512) 478-0758 or fill out a brief case questionnaire.