Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Hello,Thank you for the information and your question. If this person only read the email and did nothing else, then in California, this would be considered an infraction (not misdemeanor or felony), and result in a fine of up to a $1000. However, if the person hacked had to spend money because of the hacking (for example to have the computer examined or wiped clean of any spyware), then the State could charge this as a misdemeanor and the fine could potentially go up to $5000 with jail time of up to a year possible. You can see the statute, which is Calif. Penal Code section 502, by going to: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=pen&group=00001-01000&file=484-502.9The subsection that fits your facts is (7).Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.