UConn Computer Crimes Lawyer
If you are charged with a “computer crime,” it is crucial to seek help from an experienced student defense attorney. A qualified UConn computer crimes lawyer could help you understand exactly what you have been accused of and what your options are for defending yourself in and out of court.
What is a “Computer Crime” Under CT Law?
Given how rapidly and dramatically technology has evolved over the past several years, law enforcement authorities are playing catchup when it comes to criminalizing and prosecuting computer-related offenses. The Connecticut penal code groups several specific types of technological offenses under the single blanket term of “computer crime.”
Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §53a-251 lists five specific actions that may constitute a “computer crime.” A knowledgeable UConn computer crimes attorney could explain these categories in more detail and clarify what types of acts may or may not meet these definitions.
Unauthorized Computer System Access
It is a criminal offense in Connecticut for someone to knowingly and intentionally access a computer system without permission. Notably, this is the only kind of computer crime that has an affirmative defense. If a person accesses a computer system while reasonably believing they were authorized to do so, or if they had no reasonable way of knowing that access to the system was restricted, they cannot be convicted of this computer crime.
Theft of Computer Services
This type of computer crime entails accessing or using a computer system in some way in an intentional attempt to obtain computer services without payment and/or authorization.
Interruption of Computer Services
A person who causes computer services for other authorized users to be disrupted, degraded, or denied in any way may be charged with a computer crime. Importantly, both reckless and intentional acts that result in the interruption of computer services qualify as criminal offenses.
Misuse of Computer System Information
It is a computer crime to “misuse” computer system information in any way. This may entail:
- Recklessly or intentionally damaging data
- Intercepting data without permission
- Knowingly retaining or disclosing information obtained through unlawful means
Destruction of Computer Equipment
It is a computer crime to tamper with, conceal, alter, damage, or destroy computer hardware or computer system infrastructure.
What are the Ranges of Penalties for Computer Crime Convictions in UConn?
C.G.S. §§53a-252 through 53a-256 define five “degrees” into which a computer crime may be classified. These offenses are differentiated by the financial value of damage done rather than the specific type of computer crime alleged.
- Fifth degree – less than $500 of total damage
- Fourth degree – between $500 and $1,000 of total damage
- Third degree – between $1,000 and $5,000 of total damage, or an offense that puts someone else at risk of serious physical injury
- Second degree – between $5,000 and $10,000 of total damage
- First degree – over $10,000 of total damage
Furthermore, as a local attorney can explain, C.G.S. §53a-257 allows courts to impose fines equivalent to as much as double the amount of financial gain the defendant achieved through the computer crime. Because of how broadly computer crimes are defined in the Connecticut penal code, it is critical to work with a nearby lawyer on an effective defense.
Get in Touch with a UConn Computer Crimes Attorney
Having dependable legal representation is essential to challenge the merits of the prosecution’s case and minimize the severity of penalties that could come from a conviction. Contact a UConn computer crimes lawyer today to assist with your case. The lawyers at Mark Sherman Law have over 340 5-star client reviews at Avvo.com you can read to see exactly what it’s like working with a zealous team of UConn Criminal Lawyers.