Your Rights When Facing Internet Crime Charges in Texas

 Posted on March 13,2024 in Criminal Law

San Antonio criminal defense lawyerThe internet brings both opportunities and risks—including the potential for facing accusations of online crimes. If you find yourself in this situation, it is essential to understand your rights under state laws so you can protect yourself. A Texas lawyer can help you determine the best way forward based on your circumstances.

What Behaviors Qualify as Internet Crimes

Texas statutes specify a range of online behaviors that authorities can charge as internet-related crimes. These include the following:

  • Cyberbullying and Harassment: Using digital communications to repeatedly stalk, threaten, impersonate, or otherwise intensely torment other people.
  • Hacking: Intentionally accessing someone’s computer, network, email, social media, or other digital system without authorization.
  • Cyber Fraud: Knowingly deceiving or depriving someone of money, property, or assets using the internet.
  • Soliciting Minors: Using digital communication to intentionally solicit sexual content or contact from a minor under 17.

Burden of Proof Falls on the Prosecution

If confronted with accusations, you retain the presumption of innocence until prosecutors establish compelling evidence of your guilt. For charges to stand, the state must substantiate all elements of an alleged cybercrime.

Right to Remain Silent and Obtain Representation

If questioned by police or investigators, you can invoke your 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination and refrain from answering activity that could implicate you. Retaining legal representation quickly allows you to have an attorney present to defend you during any examination.

Trial and Confrontation Rights

Texas law grants you rights for serious criminal charges, such as trial by an impartial jury, facing your accuser in court, and questioning any witnesses for the prosecution. Your attorney can utilize these tools to challenge shaky accusations.

Bans on Excessive Punishments

The 8th Amendment requires punishments that fit the specific crime committed. Even if convicted, you have protection against penalties grossly disproportionate to the cyber offense.

How to Create an Active Defense Strategy

Work closely with your lawyer during any investigation to identify inconsistencies and surface facts that weaken accusations:

  • Scrutinize digital evidence like ISP records and device metadata.
  • Seek affidavits from technical experts who are able to refute claims.
  • Request subpoenas for materials proving where you were, what devices you used, and other specifics that counter the allegations.
  • Have witnesses who can corroborate your activities testify on your behalf.

Your input and your attorney’s expertise can expose flaws in the prosecution’s case.

Vigorously Dispute Any Indictments

If charges still emerge, mount an aggressive legal defense challenging:

  • The constitutionality of how evidence supporting charges was gathered.
  • Admissibility of certain prosecution evidence based on how it was obtained.
  • Use of affirmative defenses highlighting you did not commit the crime.

Even weak internet crime accusations can collapse under this scrutiny in court.

Protect Your Rights With a San Antonio, TX Criminal Defense Lawyer

Baseless accusations can arise from innocuous online activity. But knowing your protections allows you to avoid unfair convictions. With an experienced San Antonio, TX criminal defense attorney who prides himself on being hands-on and accessible to his clients, you can take action to defend yourself while avoiding self-incrimination. Call Law Offices of Sam H. Lock at 210-226-0965 for a private consultation.

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