Norwalk Computer Crimes Lawyer
Connecticut law groups several various types of offenses together under the blanket term of “computer crimes.” If you are accused of one of these offenses, it is crucial to get legal guidance from a dedicated, experienced Norwalk computer crimes attorney in order to effectively defend your rights and avoid serious penalties.
How does Connecticut Law Define Computer Crimes?
Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §53a-251 lists five different actions that may be considered “computer crimes.” First, this section of the Connecticut penal code makes it a crime for someone to access a computer system while being aware that they lack proper authorization to do so.
Next, this statute prohibits the theft of computer services, as well as the unauthorized access of computer services with the intent to use them without paying. Further, it is likewise unlawful for someone to intentionally or recklessly interrupt or degrade computer services to authorized system users, including through denial of service (DoS) and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.
The fourth type of computer crime this statute defines is the “misuse” of computer system information. “Misuse” may include partaking in any of the following actions without authorization:
- Altering or deleting data
- Intercepting or adding data
- Displaying or copying data
- Knowingly receiving or retaining data
- Using or disclosing data
Finally, it is considered a computer crime to intentionally damage, tamper with, conceal, or take computer system equipment. In any of these scenarios, a Norwalk computer crimes attorney could provide further explanation about the specific offense.
What are Misdemeanor Versus Felony Computer Crimes?
Importantly, the specific action involved in a computer crime is not relevant when it comes to determining the severity of penalties upon conviction. Instead, the five “degrees” of computer crimes defined in C.G.S. §§53a-252 through 53a-256 are separated by the financial value of the harm done to affected computers, computer systems, and/or computer equipment.
Generally, any computer crime that results in less than $1,000 of total damage is a misdemeanor offense, while any offense causing more than that amount is a felony. However, C.G.S. §53a-259(c) establishes that private personal data has a financial value of $1,500, meaning that any computer crime involving the misuse, theft, alteration, or destruction of such data is automatically a felony offense.
What are the Fines for Computer-Related Crimes?
C.G.S. §53a-257 allows courts to ignore the guidelines for criminal fines suggested by the Connecticut penal code. Instead, the court may impose fines up to twice the financial gain achieved through a computer crime. In practice, this means the fines associated with felony computer crimes may be significantly higher than those associated with other offenses categorized in the same felony class.
Regardless of whether you have a prior criminal record, a single computer crime conviction could have an immense impact on your future prospects. Not only could you face significant fines and prison time, but you may also lose certain civil rights for a felony conviction. Accordingly, you should take computer crime allegations seriously and retain a skilled computer crimes attorney to help you.
Talk to a Norwalk Computer Crimes Attorney About Legal Options
Without help from an attorney who understands computer crime laws, those accused may have a difficult time effectively defending themselves. To learn more about our experienced, dedicated Norwalk computer crimes attorneys, click here to read our over 300 certified client reviews on Avvo.com and schedule a consultation today to discuss your situation and get the representation you need.