Computer crimes have become more rampant as computers have become a part of every day life from lap tops and ipods to pdas and even cell phones. As a result, it is no longer atypical to find individuals charged with computer crimes such as Unauthorized Use of a Computer, Computer Trespass, Computer Tampering, and Unlawful Duplication of Computer Related Material. Both Jeremy Saland and Elizabeth Crotty, founding members of Crotty Saland PC,served as prosecutors under Robert Morgenthau in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and received hands on training to deal with these and other crimes. Whether it was representing clients in computer related matters as their criminal defense attorney, prosecuting targets for these crimes or taking classes in computer offense, Crotty Saland PC, has the skills and real experience to assess your case and mount the best possible defense.
In conjunction with examining the strength and weaknesses of the case, one of the first places to start an analysis of a computer crimes case is to go directly to the Penal Law. Section 156.60 lays out some specific defenses as follows:
1) In a prosecution for either Unauthorized Use of a Computer or Computer Trespass, it shall be a defense that the defendant had reasonable grounds to believe that he had authorization to use the computer.
2) In a prosecution for Computer Tampering i shall be a defense that the defendant had reasonable grounds to believe he had the right to alter in any manner or destroy the computer data or the computer program.
3) Finally, in a prosecution for Unlawful Duplication of Computer Related Material it shall be a defense that the defendant had reasonable grounds to believe that he had the right to copy, reproduce or duplicate in any manner the computer data or the computer program.
Assuming any of the above defenses are applicable there are many questions still to be answered. For example, what constitutes “reasonable grounds” in your case or is there written or recorded proof of your authorization? Whatever the facts may be, it is in your best interest to retain skilled and experienced criminal defense attorneys to challenge the prosecution to their burden of proof and to maintain your integrity, freedom and livelihood.