What Are the Most Effective Defense Tactics Against Felony Computer Crimes in New York?

Computers are everywhere in today’s digital era and take many different forms. However, the growing sophistication of cybercriminals and malware can easily associate you with a cybercrime, internet scam, or criminal conduct without you realizing it. This is a serious matter in New York, as computer-related offenses carry severe penalties. Therefore, it’s essential to comprehend the potential defenses available to protect yourself in such situations. Please continue reading to learn more about these charges and how a seasoned Rockland County Criminal Defense Attorney can help safeguard your rights. 

How Are Computer-Related Offenses Classified Under New York Law?

In New York, there are five distinct offenses associated with computers and cybersecurity:

  • Computer trespass
  • Unauthorized use of a computer
  • Unlawful duplications of computer-related material
  • Computer tampering
  • Criminal possession of computer-related material

Cybercrimes, such as computer trespassing, unlawful duplication of computer-related material, and criminal possession, are felony offenses. These computer crimes are all classified as Class E felonies. This means you could face a maximum prison sentence of four years, a fine of up to $5,000, or double the gain from the commission of the crime.

What are the Best Defenses Against Felony Computer Crimes?

The burden of proof lies with the prosecution. Therefore, the prosecution must prove all the elements of the crime beyond any reasonable doubt to get a conviction. When people use computers, they sometimes make careless mistakes, such as clicking the wrong icon or on malicious links. If a defendant mistakenly clicked on a link that causes malware to be released or a hack into a protected computer, then this mistake could be raised as a viable legal defense since the defendant didn’t intentionally mean to click on the item, nor did they intent for the harm that ultimately resulted.

Another common defense a defendant may assert is that they had reasonable grounds to believe they had authorization to do the proscribed activities. You may be able to show that this was an error and you were trying to access another computer or network. Furthermore, the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects individuals from unlawful searches and seizures without warrants. This means if your rights have been violated during the arrest, the evidence seized may be deemed inadmissible in court, which could weaken the prosecution’s case against you.

If you have been charged with a felony computer crime, please don’t hesitate to contact a trusted Rockland County criminal defense attorney who can help you mount a strong defense. At the Law Office of Carl Spector, we understand how complex these matters can be. Allow our firm to effectively represent your interests.