UConn Computer Crimes Lawyer
Depending on the situation, computer crimes can be either misdemeanors or felonies in Connecticut. Assistance from a knowledgeable UConn computer crimes lawyer could make a tremendous difference in how your case ultimately plays out, as they could help you avoid a conviction and the substantial sanctions that might come with it.
What Actions Qualify as “Computer Crimes”?
Connecticut General Statutes §53a-251 defines five types of unlawful activities involving computer systems, software, and/or hardware that are all considered “computer crimes.” Anyone who commits any of the following acts could face charges for a computer crime under this statute:
- Knowingly accessing a computer system without authorization;
- Stealing computer services or obtaining such services without authorization in some other way;
- Intentionally or recklessly causing the disruption or degradation of computer services for other authorized users;
- “Misusing” computer data by intentionally displaying or copying data without authorization, intentionally or recklessly damaging computer data, intercepting computer data without authorization, or knowingly retaining and/or using data that was obtained through unlawful means; and/or
- Tampering with, stealing, or damaging computer system hardware or equipment.
There is only one affirmative defense to computer crime charges in Connecticut, and it only applies to the first type of computer crime listed above. If someone accesses a computer system without authorization, but their access is based on a reasonable belief that they had authorization or that the system’s owner would have authorized their access, they cannot be convicted of committing a computer crime through that specific act.
What are the Degrees of Computer Crimes Under Connecticut Law?
C.G.S. §§53a-252 through 53a-256 outline five “degrees” of computer crimes that a Connecticut resident may be convicted of, each differentiated by the monetary value of harm the defendant caused to the computer systems they targeted. Computer crimes resulting in $1,000 of damage or less are considered to be misdemeanors, whereas computer crimes causing more than $1,000 in damage are classified as felonies. The most severe type of computer crime listed in the Connecticut penal code is computer crime in the first degree, a class B felony which causes over $10,000 of damage.
It is worth emphasizing that the “damage” caused to certain forms of computer information and digital assets can be very subjective in nature, which means the actual severity of a computer crime can vary a lot from case to case. A seasoned lawyer can be a crucial ally to anyone at UConn accused of a computer crime and looking to mitigate their risk of facing severe long-term consequences.
Call a UConn Computer Crimes Attorney for Help
Fighting computer crime charges effectively can require significant legal experience and knowledge, given how much the valuation of damaged computer systems and services can fluctuate depending on who is doing the valuating. A qualified UConn computer crimes lawyer at Mark Sherman Law can protect your best interests and advocate for a fair case result from beginning to end of your legal proceedings. Click here to read our over 300 certified client reviews on Avvo.com, and call today to schedule your confidential consultation.