Yale Computer Crimes Lawyer
Even if you do not have a record of prior criminal accusations or convictions, a single guilty finding for a “computer crime” could leave you facing life-changing fines, prison time, and a loss of civil privileges. Fortunately, assistance is available from our knowledgeable defense attorneys. If you are a current or former student facing allegations of computer-based criminal activity, contacting a Yale computer crimes lawyer is vital in achieving the most favorable resolution possible.
What are the Degrees of Computer Crimes Under State Law?
The Connecticut Penal Code is somewhat behind the times in comprehensively addressing the different crimes a person can commit using computer systems and networks. However, the law is clear enough to allow for substantial penalties against anyone convicted of such an offense.
The severity of a computer crime’s possible consequences depends mainly on the financial value of property or computer services taken, destroyed, or otherwise impacted. There are five degrees this type of offense may be classified into as defined in Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §§ 53a-252 through 53a-256:
- Computer Crime in the Fifth Degree, a Class B misdemeanor – $500 or less;
- Computer Crime in the Fourth Degree, a Class A misdemeanor – Between $500 and $1,000;
- Computer Crime in the Third Degree, a Class D felony – Between $1,000 and $5,000;
- Computer Crime in the Second Degree, a Class C felony – Between $5,000 and $10,000; and
- Computer Crime in the First Degree, a Class B felony – Over $10,000.
Any person who, while committing a computer crime, recklessly puts another individual at risk of serious injury has committed a Computer Crime in the Third Degree, regardless of whether the financial impact of their actions exceeded $1,000. As a Yale computer crimes attorney can affirm, state law allows courts to combine damages from multiple acts committed as part of one scheme or course of conduct when determining the severity of the offense.
What Counts as a Computer Crime at Yale?
There are five distinct actions that a person can engage in which may constitute a computer crime as defined under C.G.S. §53a-251:
- Theft of computer services;
- Intentional or reckless disruption of computer services for authorized users of a computer system;
- Physical alteration or destruction of computer system hardware;
- Unauthorized copying, distribution, alteration, display, interception, or receipt of computer system information; and/or
- Unauthorized access to a computer system or information.
Notably, the last type of computer crime listed above has an affirmative defense defined under the same statute, which a skilled attorney can help someone at Yale work into their defense strategy where appropriate. Put simply, someone cannot be convicted of a computer crime involving unauthorized system access if they reasonably believed they were authorized to access that system.
Get in Touch with a Yale Computer Crimes Attorney Today
Computer-based criminal offenses are taken incredibly seriously by law enforcement and prosecuted very harshly by courts in Connecticut. If you try to fight against charges of this nature without a seasoned legal advocate on your side, your odds of securing a positive result in or out of court are likely to be slim.
A dedicated Yale computer crimes lawyer can make sure your rights are respected and will work diligently to defend your best interests. Call Mark Sherman Law today for a private meeting and check out our Avvo profile with over 300 certified reviews.