There are several different offenses included in the Computer Crime statute in Colorado. Unlawful access to a computer system, theft using a computer, and use of a computer to cause damage are all found within its definition. Charges can either be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the crime and the amount of damage involved. Consulting a skilled computer crime attorney is a critical step if you or someone you know is facing this criminal charge.
What are Computer Crimes in Denver?
C.R.S. 18-5.5-102 describes the offense of Computer Crime in Colorado. Someone commits a computer crime when they knowingly:
- access or utilize a computer, network, or computer system without authorization,
- access any computer for the purpose of fraud,
- access any computer via false pretenses, misrepresentations, false promises, or false passwords,
- access any computer to commit theft,
- alter, damage, or interrupt any computer, computer network, or computer system without authorization,
- cause the transmission of a computer program, software, information, code, data, or command by means of a computer to cause damage,
- utilize a software application that runs automated tasks over the internet to access a computer or system to circumvent or disable any electronic queues intended by the seller to limit the number of event tickets that may be purchased by a single person in an online event ticket sale.
These offenses can be more commonly referred to as hacking, phishing scams, data stealing, identity theft, and spreading malware / viruses. It is important to note that smartphones and tablets can be considered a computer within these definitions as well. Committing any of the above via those devices can be seen as a computer crime and lead to devastating charges.
Sentencing for Computer Crimes in Denver
There are many different levels of consequences for computer crimes in Colorado. For example, accessing a computer without authorization is a class 2 misdemeanor. However, it is a class 6 felony if the defendant has a previous computer crime conviction. Much like Theft, other computer crimes are charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the value of what was damaged or stolen. Below is an outline of the potential sentencing parameters:
- <$50 = class 1 petty offense
- $50 – $299 = class 3 misdemeanor
- $300 – $749 = class 2 misdemeanor (3-12 months in county jail / up to $1,000 fine)
- $750 – $1,999 = class 1 misdemeanor (6-18 months in county jail / up to $5,000 fine)
- $2,000 or more = felony punishments (prison time + amplified fines)
Denver Computer Crime Attorney
Being charged with a computer crime demands representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney. The law can be especially complex and understanding the potential ramifications is important. Contacting our office for a free consultation allows our expert defense lawyers the opportunity to analyze your unique situation and outline next steps.
If you or someone you know is facing a computer crime charge, be smart. Contact the experienced defense attorneys at O’Malley and Sawyer at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.
Photo Credit: Pexels – Vojtech Okenka