Computer Crime

Computer Crime Charges - Douglas and Arapahoe County Lawyer, C.R.S. 18-5.5-102

This law involves the use of a computer to commit a crime. It covers hundreds of potential activities involving theft, invasion of privacy, accessing confidential information and malicious code transmission. Whether the charged conduct relates to banks, brokerage firms or hacking on a major scale, Computer Crimes covers it. We've even had cases under this statute which involve the unauthorized use of a cell phone - which prosecutors alleged was essentially a computer. The bottom line is that this law is designed to punish people who use computers to harm others. C.R.S. 18-5.5-102 is written very broadly.

Computer Crime Definition for Jefferson County and Douglas County Colorado Courts

Colorado's computer crime law provides:

(1) A person commits computer crime if the person knowingly:

(a) Accesses a computer, computer network, or computer system or any part thereof without authorization; exceeds authorized access to a computer, computer network, or computer system or any part thereof; or uses a computer, computer network, or computer system or any part thereof without authorization or in excess of authorized access; or

(b) Accesses any computer, computer network, or computer system, or any part thereof for the purpose of devising or executing any scheme or artifice to defraud; or

(c) Accesses any computer, computer network, or computer system, or any part thereof to obtain, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, money; property; services; passwords or similar information through which a computer, computer network, or computer system or any part thereof may be accessed; or other thing of value; or

(d) Accesses any computer, computer network, or computer system, or any part thereof to commit theft; or

(e) Without authorization or in excess of authorized access alters, damages, interrupts, or causes the interruption or impairment of the proper functioning of, or causes any damage to, any computer, computer network, computer system, computer software, program, application, documentation, or data contained in such computer, computer network, or computer system or any part thereof; or

(f) Causes the transmission of a computer program, software, information, code, data, or command by means of a computer, computer network, or computer system or any part thereof with the intent to cause damage to or to cause the interruption or impairment of the proper functioning of or that actually causes damage to or the interruption or impairment of the proper functioning of any computer, computer network, computer system, or part thereof; or

(g) Uses or causes to be used a software application that runs automated tasks over the internet to access a computer, computer network, or computer system, or any part thereof, that circumvents or disables any electronic queues, waiting periods, or other technological measure intended by the seller to limit the number of event tickets that may be purchased by any single person in an online event ticket sale as defined in section 6-1-720, C.R.S.

Computer Crime Examples in Adams County, Colorado

When former employees, hackers, or the curious access a computer or network and invade private information or pictures, they will be charged with a Computer Crime violation. Data is valuable. Imagine the Adams County salesperson for XYZ company. They get a new job and before they leave, they download the company's customer list for use as leads at their new job. Or, what if someone gets into their ex's Facebook account and posts fictitious pictures of a demeaning nature? Electronic data, whether personal or professional, are very valuable and in addition to financial loss can cause personal embarrassment. In many cases, innocence or guilt hinges on the definition of the word computer. We should study that definition.

Definition of Computer Under Colorado's Computer Crime Statute in Denver

A "computer" is: "an electronic, magnetic, optical, electromagnetic, or other data processing device which performs logical, arithmetic, memory, or storage functions by the manipulations of electronic, magnetic, radio wave, or light wave impulses, and includes all input, output, processing, storage, software, or communication facilities which are connected or related to or operating in conjunction with such a device." This definition covers cloud storage, DVD's, Flash Drives, CD's, and even cell phones. This broad definition gives police the ability to charge many crimes as a felony, when a short time ago no such crime existed. It is sure to greatly broaden the "criminal activity" of ordinary citizens in Denver County.

Denver Felony and Misdemeanor Computer Crime Classes in Colorado

Most computer or cell phone entry without permission should result in class 2 misdemeanor charges under (1)(a) above. Yet, other sections cover theft or damages to the computer and data, which greatly raises the stakes. This new law sets the following loss value classifications:

"If the loss, damage, value of services, or thing of value taken, or cost of restoration or repair caused by a violation of this section is:

(I) Less than fifty dollars, computer crime is a class 1 petty offense;

(II) Fifty dollars or more but less than three hundred dollars, computer crime is a class 3 misdemeanor;

(III) Three hundred dollars or more but less than seven hundred fifty dollars, computer crime is a class 2 misdemeanor;

(IV) Seven hundred fifty dollars or more but less than two thousand dollars, computer crime is a class 1 misdemeanor;

(V) Two thousand dollars or more but less than five thousand dollars, computer crime is a class 6 felony;

(VI) Five thousand dollars or more but less than twenty thousand dollars, computer crime is a class 5 felony;

(VII) Twenty thousand dollars or more but less than one hundred thousand dollars, computer crime is a class 4 felony;

(VIII) One hundred thousand dollars or more but less than one million dollars, computer crime is a class 3 felony; and

(IX) One million dollars or more, computer crime is a class 2 felony.

In many cases, it is difficult for police to prove who was getting into another person's computer. Sure, the electronic evidence back-tracking may lead to your computer. But, it is also necessary to prove the person behind the computer use. Without a confession, police are stuck at this point - particularly if we can establish other people had access to your PC or Mac. This is the reason officers come to speak with you. They need your statements to convict you. Keep quiet and don't talk with police when they call or come by. You have the right to remain silent, so use it. Next, contact our Computer Crime defense lawyers at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.

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