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Computer crimes and how you can defend yourself in Texas

Understanding what is and is not legal when it comes to using the Internet can be a great help in your case if you've been accused of a crime. There are a number of activities that are legal unless a child is involved, for instance, so it's wise to always know exactly whom you're speaking to and what you're doing online.

For instance, if you are talking to a child online whom you think is an adult, but you go to meet her or him, you could be accused of the solicitation of that minor. You could be accused of being a potential sex offender or having impure thoughts, even though you may not have known the child was underage. Despite the fact that Texas law says you must have knowingly solicited a minor under 17 to get in trouble, the accusations themselves can be incredibly harmful to your reputation.

Uploading images of a minor in sexual situations is also illegal, since it can be seen as the spread of child pornography. This is true even if it's a photo of yourself and you're the teen in the photo. Despite having the permission to take that photo, uploading it can be considered a computer crime.

There are some ways to defend yourself against computer crime charges. If you can prove consent was given, that you didn't know a child was underage and can prove there was no way to know, or if you were less than three years older than the minor at the time of the alleged solicitation, then you may be able to have your case dropped or be found innocent in some cases.

Source: FindLaw, "Texas Computer Crimes Laws," accessed April. 01, 2015

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