Texas Penal Code 33A.05 – Publication of Telecommunications Access Device
WHAT IS PUBLICATION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACCESS DEVICE IN TEXAS?
The Texas law against publication of telecommunications access device prohibits negligently disseminating another’s information or method used to access a telecommunications device or service.
- What is a telecommunications access device? Texas Penal Code Section 33A.01 defines “telecommunications access device” as “an instrument, device, card, plate, code, account number, personal identification number, electronic serial number, mobile identification number, counterfeit number, or financial transaction device that alone or with another telecommunications access device can acquire, intercept, provide, receive, use, or otherwise facilitate the use of a telecommunications device, counterfeit telecommunications device, or telecommunications service.”A telecommunications access device is a method of accessing a telecommunications service, such as a SIM card, SquareⓇ, modem or cell phone serial numbers, or any other identifier used to facilitate one’s use of telecommunication technology.
WHAT IS THE PUBLICATION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACCESS DEVICE LAW IN TEXAS?
Tex. Penal Code § 33A.05. PUBLICATION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACCESS DEVICE.
(a) A person commits an offense if the person with criminal negligence publishes a telecommunications access device or counterfeit telecommunications access device that is designed to be used to commit an offense under Section 33A.04.
(b) Except as otherwise provided by this subsection, an offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor. An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree if the person has been previously convicted of an offense under this chapter.
WHAT IS THE PENALTY CLASS FOR PUBLICATION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACCESS DEVICE IN TEXAS?
The penalty classification for the first offense of publication of a telecommunications access device is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in county jail. If a person has been previously convicted of a telecommunications crime, a subsequent charge of publishing a telecommunications access device is a third degree felony, punishable by two to ten years in prison.
WHAT IS THE PUNISHMENT RANGE FOR PUBLICATION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACCESS DEVICE IN TEXAS?
The punishment range for publication of a telecommunications access device charged as a Class A misdemeanor is up to one year in jail, and a maximum $4,000 fine. If charged as a third degree felony, the punishment range is two to ten years in prison, and a maximum $10,000 fine.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR PUBLICATION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACCESS DEVICE IN TEXAS?
A person charged with publication of a telecommunications access device may be eligible for probation after a conviction, or deferred adjudication without a conviction. The period of community supervision for a Class A misdemeanor may not exceed two years.
A person charged with third degree felony publication of a telecommunications access device may be placed on probation for a term between two and five years, or deferred adjudication for up to ten years.
WHAT ARE THE DEFENSES TO PUBLICATION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACCESS DEVICE IN TEXAS?
The statute does not authorize specific defenses to publication of a telecommunications access device. A person accused thereof may attempt to negate at least one of the elements the State must prove at trial.
WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR PUBLICATION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACCESS DEVICE IN TEXAS?
The limitation period for publication of a telecommunication access device categorized as a Class A misdemeanor is two years. If charged as a third degree felony, the limitation period is three years.
PUBLICATION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACCESS DEVICE IN TEXAS
Negligently disclosing another’s personal information used to access a telecommunications device or service is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor in Texas, unless a person has a previous conviction for a telecommunications crime, in which case it is a felony.
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DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED .15
Driving facts involved failing to maintain a single lane and speeding. Client refused breath test and forced law enforcement to obtain search warrant for blood. Blood test result was not used after challenge from Defense, and State waived and abandoned charge.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Client was a college student, worried about the collateral consequences of an alcohol offense. After negotiation and review of the traffic stop, the case was dismissed. Client received no criminal conviction. The charge was later expunged and deleted from client’s record.
DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED .15+
Client was involved in minor accident. Client was at fault in accident. A young executive, client was concerned that a criminal conviction for DWI would result in termination. After review of the traffic stop, it was clear the officer lacked probable cause for arrest. State eventually dismissed DWI charge. Client received no criminal conviction.
Client, a military veteran, was facing up to one year in jail. State could not prove intoxication by alcohol, and was prepared to proceed on loss of use by marijuana. After challenging the State to prove that marijuana was ingested at or near time of driving, and that marijuana impaired client’s driving, the State dismissed the case on the day of trial.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Driving facts involved a false claim by police that taillight was out. After challenging the reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop, the State was forced to dismiss the case when video did not match police report. Client has since expunged arrest, and has no criminal record.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Client is a public school teacher and faced immediate termination upon conviction. The facts of the case were bad. State was unwilling to budge in negotiation, and matter was set for trial – the last shot at avoiding a conviction and preserving client’s livelihood. State was forced to dismiss on day of trial. Client has no criminal record, and has since expunged the DWI arrest.
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