When someone hacks your e-mail, it involves figuring out your password, then getting into your account. When this happens, it can be a major inconvenience, and violate your privacy at the same time. While it may be a problem, you may not be able to prosecute those responsible for the act.
When an individual hacks into your e-mail account, it is considered a misdemeanour offence. Federal prosecutors do not typically have the resources or time to go after misdemeanour crimes. As long as the hacker does not use the information in your e-mail to do anything else, such as open an account in your name, it is not considered a felony crime. Because of this, the odds of prosecuting the hacker are very low in most cases.
Finding the Hacker
Another problem that typically comes up when a hacker is involved, is finding out who did it. Even if you know that your e-mail has been compromised, you most likely will not be able to figure out who did it. Many hackers are very good at hiding their identities and will not leave any clues behind. This means that it could be nearly impossible to determine who is responsible for the attack in the first place.
To show how difficult it is to prosecute e-mail hackers, you only need to look at the number of companies that freely advertise their hacking abilities. These companies advertise that they can hack almost any e-mail for a nominal fee. These companies have been operating for several years and have not been stopped as of yet. When hackers are situated outside of the United States, this only complicates the problem of prosecuting them in court.
If your e-mail is hacked, but nothing else is done, you should most likely change your password or get a new e-mail account and move on. While you may be angry and wish to file charges against a hacker, the reality of the situation usually makes this difficult or impossible. You may also want to avoid putting information that needs to be completely secure in an e-mail. If a hacker wants to get into your e-mail account badly enough, he can usually find a way to do it.