New Canaan Computer Crimes Lawyer
If you are facing charges under Connecticut’s computer crimes statute, you should strongly consider retaining a defense attorney experienced with handling this unique type of case. A seasoned New Canaan computer crimes lawyer could help you understand exactly what this offense entailed, what consequences your charges could end up having, and what your options you have for defending your rights and best interests.
How Does State Law Define “Computer Crimes”?
Connecticut General Statutes §53a-251 defines five distinct actions that may comprise a “computer crime,” all of which a New Canaan computer crimes attorney could explain in greater detail and help to contest in criminal court. First, anyone who accesses a computer system while knowing they are not authorized to do so. Notably, this is the only type of computer crime with an affirmative defense, which only applies if the defendant reasonably thought they have permission to access the system in question or had no reasonable way of knowing their access was restricted.
A person may alternatively face charges for a computer crime if they steal computer services or access a computer system with the intent to steal computer services. Likewise, interruption of computer services for any authorized user by way of disrupting, degrading, or otherwise tampers with computers or computer systems is considered a computer crime.
Additionally, it is a computer crime for anyone to “misuse” computer system information, which may entail altering, destroying, damages, taking, adding to, receiving, or distributing secure data without authorization. Finally, destroying, altering, concealing, or otherwise damaging physical computer equipment may result in prosecution for a computer crime.
What Are The Penalties For Committing a Computer Crime?
C.G.S. §§53a-252 through 53a-256 lay out five degrees of computer crimes, with the fifth degree being the least serious charge and the first degree being the most serious charge. Importantly, state law does not differentiate between degree of computer crimes based on the specific illicit action allegedly taken but instead based on how damage a computer crime caused in financial terms.
Any computer crime resulting in less than $1,000 of property damage is a misdemeanor offense punishable by no more than six months to one year in jail and a fine of $1,000 to $2,000. Conversely, a computer crime that causes more than $1,000 of damage is a felony, which—depending on the specific degree—could lead to mandatory minimum prison sentences and maximum penalties as high as 20 years in prison and $15,000 in fines. Assistance from a skilled cybercrimes lawyer in New Canaan could be essential to effectively contesting any degree of charge pursued under these sections of state law.
Speak with a New Canaan Computer Crimes Attorney About Legal Options
If you have been accused of any criminal impropriety with a computer or computer system, retaining a New Canaan computer crimes lawyer could make all the difference in what kind of outcome your ensuing criminal case has. Click here to read our hundreds of certified 5-star client reviews, then call today to schedule a consultation.