If you suspect your spouse is having an affair, can you guess at possible passwords until you access your spouse’s email or Facebook account? Or can you hire a young geek to hack into your spouse’s computer accounts for you?
Despite the fact that the clues of your spouse’s affair are driving you crazy and you just have to know the whole truth, there are legal privacy boundaries you must not cross. While all seems fair in love and divorce battles, all is not. Hacking is a criminal offense that violates federal and Texas laws.
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) says in regards to hacking, “‘Unauthorized access’ entails … retrieving data from or otherwise intercepting and changing computer resources without consent.”
Texas Law lists the following as a computer crime: “Knowingly accessing a computer, computer network or computer system without the consent of the owner.” It is also a computer crime to impersonate someone else without consent by creating a web page or leaving messages on a social networking site with the intent to harm, defraud, intimidate or threaten someone.
A Hacking Divorce and Criminal Case
In 2011, the Huffington Post published an article about criminal charges filed against a Michigan man who suspected his wife of having an affair and hacked into her computer. The wife filed a criminal complaint for computer hacking when her emails turned up as evidence during the divorce. She claimed her husband didn’t have permission to access her personal computer, and yet he claimed he did because it was a family computer.
CBS Detroit reported in 2012 that charges were dropped against Leon Walker because evidence showing he did not have computer permission was insufficient to stand up to the criminal burden of proof — guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Had the case gone forward, Walker potentially faced five years of imprisonment for committing a felony.
If you are considering divorce, consult with an attorney as soon as possible and find out what you can and cannot legally do. C.E. Borman & Associates brings more than 20 years of experience to every case we handle and works closely with you to resolve your issues.