Is Hacking A Cell Phone a Crime?

In Virginia, there are several laws against hacking into a computer, cell phone or other internet account. These laws center around foundational principles against fraud, identity theft, harassment and other crimes. Cyber criminals are a real threat to basic privacy. The Virginia Computer Crimes Act and the Virginia Identity Theft Statutes apply to computer and internet-based crimes. Basically, your smartphone applies under the law as a computer. If you have been charged with a crime you should call me for a free consultation, I am a Virginia Criminal Defense Lawyer.

Federal Law:

Federal crimes that apply to cell phone communications include the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the broad applicability of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act has such broad applicability that basically anyone with nefarious intent that accesses another person’s smartphone or computer can be prosecuted under the law. This Act carries with it the potential for years in Federal Prison.

According to the Department of Justice "in the large majority of “exceeds authorized access” cases brought by the Department, the operator of the computer system made some technological effort to protect the information at issue, thereby signaling the importance or sensitivity of that information.  It is not necessary that this technological effort erect an impenetrable “technological barrier” or that the technology succeed in its intended purpose of preventing access." CDOJ Website on the CFAA Essentially, as long as someone has take a step to protect their personal information then a hacker has committed a crime by accessing it. For example, a basic password for an account, cell phone or computer.


The reality is that although invasion of privacy can have severe effects on individual victims, companies and communities, the government does little to enforce these laws. Often, there is a shortage of capable law enforcement officers for these kinds of crimes. Also, and this must be noted that when these laws are enforced, they have been used to pursue political agenda and  not always directly criminal conduct. If you find yourself in a pickle, you should call me, I am a  Virginia Criminal Defense Law.

Technology In Your Pocket:

Think about it, our cell phones are so sensitive they have the ability to “hear” your heartbeat from another room. What happens when a hacker gets a hold of that kind of access? Are you even safe with your cell phone around unless you are directly using it? When I go to sleep, I put mine in another room in a faraday cage but, realistically that’s probably not enough. And, all that is before we even begin to speak about your personal text messages to family members and loved ones. Or, dare I say whose listening while your intimate? Honestly, I find myself concerned every time I receive text messages from a client because the Attorney-Client Privilege may easily be broken by a thief. Jammed up by the law? Call me for a free consultation I’m a Virginia Criminal Defense Lawyer.

Virginia Law:

Virginia Hacking Law: Article 7.1. Computer Crimes. Under this section, a computer is a device that transmits digital information like knowledge, facts, concepts, and so forth. § 18.2-152.3. Computer fraud; penalty. This is means any person who uses a computer or computer network, without authority and: obtains property or services by false pretenses; embezzles or commits larceny; converts the property of another is guilty of the crime of computer fraud. These crimes are punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Virginia Criminal Defense Lawyer

Chris White Lawyer, LLC. is a Lynchburg, Virginia Attorney Law Firm available for free consultations in person, via Facetime, Skype, Zoom or phone (434) 660-9701. Please also check out my practice areas in Criminal Defense Attorney and Car Accident Lawyer. At my Law Firm we focus on the best result for the client. To stay connected I have a Youtube InstagramFacebookTwitterLinkedInTumblrBlogger, Reddit, Yelp, Avvo and Justia.

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Available with appointment (434) 660-9701:

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