Fricano&Weber P.L.L.C. successfully provides personalized representaion.
At Fricano&Weber P.L.L.C., we have been representing New Hampshire clients for over 50 years. Whether your case proceeds to trial or not, we will prepare a meticulous defense for you, and you can trust that you will be working with the best trial lawyers around at our firm. We take pride in providing personalized service to our clients, especially when they are facing charges for matters as nuanced as computer crimes. In a rapidly digitizing world, the law is also growing more and more stringent regarding online activity; if you have been accused of committing a cyber crime in Nashua, let our firm represent you.
What Is Considered a Computer Crime?
Under New Hampshire law, computer crimes are offenses that involve:
- unauthorized access to a computer or network;
- theft of computer services;
- interruption of computer services;
- misuse of compute or computer network information;
- destruction of computer equipment; and
- computer contamination.
The law provides specific descriptions of the above acts that can be charged under criminal law. For instance, a person is guilty of unauthorized access when they, knowing that they are not authorized to do so, access or cause to be accessed any computer or computer network without authorization. Possible defenses against such an accusation could be if the person:
- reasonably believed that the owner of the computer or computer network, or a person empowered to license access, had authorized them to access;
- reasonably believed that the owner of the computer or computer network, or a person empowered to license access, would have authorized them to access without payment of any consideration; or
- reasonably could not have known that their access was unauthorized.
Regarding the second type of computer offense listed above, a person may commit theft of computer services if they knowingly access, cause to be accessed, or use a computer or computer network to obtain unauthorized computer services. Similarly, they may be guilty of interruption of computer services when they, without authorization, knowingly or recklessly disrupt or degrade computer services or deny computer services to an authorized user.
The misuse of computer or computer network information may occur when:
- due to their access to a computer or computer network, the person knowingly makes or causes an unauthorized display, use, disclosure, or copy of data produced by a computer or computer network; or
- the person knowingly or recklessly and without authorization tampers with, takes, deletes, or intercepts data residing within a computer or computer network;
- the person knowingly receives or retains data obtained in violation of the above; or
- the person knowingly uses or discloses any data they know or believes was obtained in violation of the above.
The destruction of computer equipment may occur when an individual, without authorization, knowingly or recklessly tampers with any equipment used in a computer or computer network.
Lastly, a person could be guilty of computer contamination if they knowingly introduce a computer contaminant into any computer, computer program, or computer network which results in a loss of property or computer services.
Note that attempts to commit computer crimes are not considered offenses, and accidental access of secured networks or computers is not a crime.
The penalties and sentencing for computer and Internet crimes depend on a few factors, primarily the value of damages involved. A person can be charged with a misdemeanor if the alleged damage to or the value of the property or computer services is $1,000 or less. On the other hand, they could be charged with a Class B felony if:
- the damage to or value of the property or computer service is $1,000-$1,500; or
- the person recklessly engages in computer conduct which creates a risk of serious physical injury to another person.
In more extreme cases, a person can be charged with a Class A felony if:
- the damage to or value of the property or computer service exceeds $1,500; or
- the defendant has a previous conviction of a computer-related crime.
When the value of the property or computer services cannot be satisfactorily determined, New Hampshire law establishes that the value will be $500.
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