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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 20295
Experience:  Licensed attorney with 29 yrs. exp. in criminal law
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Question regarding cyber crime, computer and emails - lets

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Question regarding cyber crime, computer and emails - let's say someone hacked into my email or Instant messaging 6 month ago, he read my email, or text, but didn't do anything else. this obviously violates the law, but what kind of penalty can be imposed.


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:
The 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.

Marsha411JD and 2 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the legal answer I provided to you on the 1st. The Site has been a little buggy lately so the Experts are not always getting replies or ratings (which is how we get credit for our work) that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed. You can bookmark my page at:

Thank you.