Fairfield Computer Crimes Lawyer
After an arrest for computer crimes in Fairfield, CT, you could find yourself facing anything from minor misdemeanor charges to serious felony allegations. Either one could lead to significant repercussions upon conviction.
A Fairfield computer crimes lawyer could ensure that you understand the situation you are dealing with and work tirelessly to pursue a positive resolution to it on your behalf.
What Counts as a Computer Crime in Fairfield?
Under Connecticut General Statutes §53a-251, any of the following actions could constitute a “computer crime” if they are performed without authorization and lead to some kind of financial loss for a computer user or owner:
- Accessing information in a computer system
- Accessing or attempting to access computer services
- Misusing data within a computer system
- Interrupting computer services for other users
- Destroying computer equipment
There are five different degrees of computer crime that a person could face charges for under state law, but those degrees are not related to the specific computer crime allegedly committed. They instead are based on the severity of the financial harm allegedly caused to the users or owners of impacted machines and systems.
What is a Misdemeanor Computer Crime Charge?
According to C.G.S. §53a-256, any computer crime that results in damage totaling $500 or less in value constitutes a computer crime in the fifth degree. This is a class B misdemeanor offense, meaning that convicted individual may face up to six months in jail plus a $1,000 fine.
C.G.S. §53a-255 defines computer crimes in the fourth degree as those resulting in between $500 and $1,000 worth of damage. The increased value of harm caused makes this offense a class A misdemeanor, which means a conviction could result in maximum jail time of one year in addition to $2,000 in fines.
When Does a Computer Crime Become a Felony?
Computer crimes increase in severity to a felony if the amount of damage caused exceeds $1,000 in value. Under C.G.S. §53a-254, any computer crime that creates between $1,000 and $5,000 of harm—or which results in anyone being subjected to serious threat of physical injury—is a third-degree offense classified as a class D felony and punishable by up to five years of prison time plus a $5,000 fine.
Additionally, C.G.S. §§53a-253 and 53a-252 respectively define computer crimes resulting more than $5,000 and more than $10,000 of damage as computer crimes in the second and first degrees. The former offense is a class C felony that could lead to a prison sentence of one of 10 years and $10,000 in fines, and the latter is a class B felony that could leave a convicted defendant facing a maximum prison sentence of 20 years on top of a $15,000 fine.
C.G.S. §53a-257 allows courts to increase fines for both misdemeanor and felony computer crimes up to twice the value of financial gain a defendant achieved through their offense. Additionally, C.G.S. §53a-262 distinguishes extortion involving computer ransomware as a unique class E felony offense, which a cybercrime lawyer in Fairfield could also help contest in criminal court.
Seek Help from a Fairfield Computer Crime Attorney Today
If you are facing charges for committing any kind of computer-related criminal offense, it may be in your best interests to speak with a Fairfield computer crimes lawyer about your legal options. Follow this link to read the over 330 five-star reviews from prior clients on Avvo.com. Call today to set up a consultation.