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White Collar Crime

Prohibited Access to Stored Communications

Under certain circumstances, Florida law prohibits accessing stored communications. Florida Statute Section 934.21 applies to the unlawful access to stored communications.

Section 934.21 is contained in Title XLVII of Chapter 934 for the Security of Communications and Surveillance.

Under Section 934.21(1), Florida Statute, it is unlawful for a person to:

  • intentionally access a facility through which an electronic communication service is provided; or
  • intentionally exceed an authorization to access; and
  • obtain, alter, or prevent authorized access to a wire or electronic communication while it is in electronic storage in such a system.

The penalties for the offense of prohibited access to stored communications vary based on the specific intent and the number of offenses as listed in Section 934.21(2), F.S. Under most circumstances, the crime is charged as a second degree misdemeanor which is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

Florida law makes the crime a first degree misdemeanor if the offense is committed for purposes of commercial advantage, malicious destruction or damage, or private commercial gain as provided in Section 934.21(2), F.S. A first degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up $1,000, or both.

A second or subsequent offense with this intent is a third degree felony. A third degree felony is punishable by up to 5 years in state prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

Attorney for Illegally Accessing Communications in Tampa, FL

If you were charged with accessing stored communications in a prohibited manner under Section 934.21, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Sammis Law Firm in Tampa, FL.

Our attorneys represent clients charged with computer or cyber crimes prosecuted in Florida. Our main office is located in downtown Tampa. Our second office is located in New Port Richey in Pasco County, FL.

Call 813-250-0500.

This article was last updated on Friday, April 24, 2020.

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