Have You Committed a Stamford Computer Crime?
With the increasing prevalence of powerful technology in this day and age, more and more cybercrimes are occurring, and more consumers are at risk. However, it can also be more difficult in some cases to determine whether or not you have actually committed a computer crime. If you have questions or concerns about computer-related crimes, it is important to contact an experienced attorney who can guide you in the right direction.
Cybercrime Laws Are Vague
Connecticut’s computer crime law is quite wide-ranging, but because of this, it can also be vague, at least to the average person. There are five different broad categories of offenses that qualify as computer crimes under the relevant law: unauthorized access to a computer system, theft of computer services, interruption of computer services, misuse of computer system information, and destruction of computer equipment. These headings can mean little or nothing to the man on the street.
Some of the charges contained under Sec 53a-251 are self-explanatory - destruction of computer equipment is just that. However, many others may require a dedicated attorney to explain, because they require several criteria before the offense can actually be charged. For example, accidentally using another person’s identical laptop without permission is technically unauthorized access to a computer system, but it would not necessarily be charged because the intent to cause harm was missing.
If You Are Charged
If you do wind up being charged with a Connecticut cybercrime, you should be aware that the degree of the charge will depend almost exclusively on the amount of damage that your actions caused (or the value of services stolen or disrupted). Generally, if the amount is over $10,000, the charges will be in the first degree, which in Connecticut is a Class B felony and carries up to 20 years in prison, but even misdemeanor charges can result in six months behind bars.
It is possible to try and fight these charges or have them reduced. Malicious or reckless intent is a component of some computer crimes, and if you can establish that you lacked that intent, it may result in a dismissal. Alternatively, you may have had consent to access the computer system in question, or to destroy the computer equipment at issue. Ensuring that all the relevant information is available to your attorney is crucial so that you can get your fair day in court.
Ask a Fairfield County Cybercrimes Attorney for Help
Cybercrimes can be innocuous, or they can be extremely serious. Either way, you need the services of an experienced Stamford criminal defense attorney so that you can be sure your rights are protected. Attorney Daniel P. Weiner and the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner have handled many of these cases and can try to help guide you through what can be a complex and intimidating legal process. Contact our office today at 203-348-5846 for a free consultation.