Online Manipulation Lawyer in Houston – Brett A. Podolsky
One of the most common forms of “identity theft” involves online impersonation. Individuals can commit online fraud by pretending to be someone else, whether it’s sending email without permission or using social media to communicate with others or to slander someone’s reputation.
Internet Impersonation Harassment Behavior
According to the Texas Penal Code, individuals are guilty of impersonating someone online if they pretend to be another person in an effort to “harm, defraud or threaten” a victim. Setting up websites or social media profiles with this intent can render someone guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, which has punishments that include:
- Up to one year in jail
- Fine of up to $4,000
In addition, those who are found guilty of harming others online in Houston could be liable for civil damages, especially if the actions cause damage to a person’s business or professional reputation.
How Online Imposter Crimes are Defended
There are a few defenses that can be used in cases where individuals pretend to be someone else, and a few of them are:
- Lack of intent
- Computer hacking
- Acting under duress or threat
- Lack of knowledge (person creates an alter ego online without knowing that someone else has the same name)
- Actor had permission to impersonate another
Online Impersonation is Serious
Pretending to be someone else online is sometimes thought of as a joke, but Texas law makes it clear that it is no laughing matter. Since serious consequences could arise from online manipulation charges, those who are accused of this crime would do well to speak with a criminal defense attorney about the matter. Get a hold of Brett A. Podolsky today by calling 713-227-0087.