Stamford Computer Crimes Lawyer
If you are facing criminal allegations over the improper use of computers or computer systems, consult a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible. A Stamford computer crimes lawyer could help you contest the accusations and protect your best interests throughout your case.
What are the Types of Computer Crimes?
The Connecticut penal code classifies various criminal offenses involving the use or abuse of computers under the umbrella of “computer crimes.” Computer crimes are serious offenses that could be punishable by multiple years in prison and excessive financial penalties, depending on the circumstances.
Various actions may constitute a computer crime as defined under Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §53a-251, including:
- Unauthorized computer system access
- Misuse of system information
- Theft or interruption of computer services
- Destruction of computer equipment
Regardless of the specific activity, the severity of a computer crime is based on the total value of damage to the computers, computer systems, and owners.
What are Misdemeanor Electronic Crimes?
According to C.G.S. §53a-256, all computer crimes that result in less than $500 of total damage are considered computer crimes in the fifth degree. These are class B misdemeanor offenses punishable by up to six months of jail time and a maximum fine of $1,000.
Computer crimes causing between $500 and $1,000 worth of damage are considered fourth-degree offenses, which C.G.S. §53a-255 categorizes as a class A misdemeanor. This could lead to maximum penalties of one year in jail plus $2,000 in fines. Assistance from a Stamford computer crimes attorney could be crucial to avoid or mitigate these serious repercussions.
When Does a Computer Offense Become a Felony?
Once the value of harm caused by a computer crime exceeds $1,000 and/or the computer crime consists of the accused’s choice to recklessly engage in conduct which may cause serious physical injury to another person, it becomes a felony offense punishable by time spent in state prison rather than county jail. Additionally, C.G.S. §53a-257 allows courts to impose fines of up to twice the value of financial gain the defendant achieved through a computer crime. This can significantly increase the fines for a felony computer crime conviction.
C.G.S. §53a-254 defines third-degree computer crimes causing between $1,000 and $5,000 in damage as class D felony offenses, meaning a conviction could result in a maximum five-year prison term and a maximum $5,000 fine. As per C.G.S. §53a-253, second-degree computer crimes involve between $5,000 and $10,000 of damage and are considered class C felonies. These are punishable by a minimum of one year in prison up to 10 years at most, plus a maximum fine of $10,000.
In accordance with C.G.S. §53a-252, first-degree computer crimes are class B felonies involving more than $10,000 in damage. The penalties for a conviction under this statute range from a one to 20-year maximum prison sentence, plus a fine equal to double the value of the defendant’s financial gain. Regardless of the specific penalties a defendant faces, representation from a knowledgeable computer crimes lawyer could be crucial to achieve a positive resolution.
Seek Help from a Stamford Computer Crimes Attorney
Even if you have no criminal history to speak of, a conviction for a felony computer crime could put you behind bars for years and permanently alter the course of your life. To learn more about the experienced, dedicated Stamford computer crimes attorneys that will help you avoid these severe consequences, click here, and set up a consultation today.