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Union County NJ Criminal Defense Lawyers

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Computer Related Crimes

Elizabeth NJ Computer Offense Defense Lawyer

New Jersey has adopted several laws intended to combat crimes involving computers. Offenses falling within this category include unauthorized access to a computer or system, altering or damaging computer files, stealing computer data and/or file information, and disclosure of computer file information. If  you have been charged with a computer offense in a municipality like Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Union or Roselle, your case will be heard at the Superior Court in Elizabeth as this is the court with jurisdiction to decide a crime of the fourth degree, third degree or second degree. Our team of defense lawyers can assist you in defending a computer offense as former prosecutors and skilled advocates with over 100 years of combined experience. An attorney with the know-how to successfully navigate the court system and defend your computer charge is available immediately to assist you at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall. To speak to a lawyer on our defense team anytime 24/7 about a computer or data theft, contact our Union NJ Office at 908-272-1700 for a free consultation.

Unauthorized Access To A Computer

It is a crime of the third degree under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-25 for someone to attempt or gain unauthorized access to the computer of another. For purposes of this criminal offense, “access” includes any data, data base, computer storage medium, computer program, computer software or computer equipment, computer, computer system or computer network. In order to convict an individual of third degree unauthorized access to a computer or file, the state must prove the accused knowingly or purposely instructed, communicated with, made use or attempted to make use of any resources of a computer, computer system or computer network, without authorization.

Altering or Damaging Database of Software

It is a second degree crime in New Jersey for someone to alter, damage, or destroy any data, data base, computer, computer storage medium, computer program, computer software, computer system or computer network, or to disrupt or impair computer services, including access to any part of the Internet, that are available to any other user of the computer services. While this offense is primarily directed at those who contaminate or attempt to introduce a virus into a computer or computer system, the law covers any activities intended to alter or damage data, files or systems.

Unauthorized Access To A Computer, Database or Software System to Defraud or Steal from Third Party

Almost every day you learn of another computer system that has been hacked so that individuals can steal valuable credit card information in hopes of committing fraud. This law is designed to combat these types of activities by making it either a second degree or third degree crime to do so. If a person accesses or attempts to access any data, data base, computer, computer storage medium, computer program, computer system or computer network for the purpose of executing a scheme to defraud, or to obtain services, property, personal identifying information, or money, from the owner of a computer or any third party, this offense is committed. As with the first two violation previously set forth, the conduct of the accused must be intentional (i.e. knowing or purposeful) to result in a conviction. They must intend to steal information, software, etc., owned by another and intend to use it in a scheme to defraud. This offense is a second degree crime where the value of services, property or personal information is $5,000 or more, and a third degree crime where the value is less than this amount.

Unauthorized Copying of Database, Computer or Software Information

Depending on the nature of the information involved, it is either a second degree or third degree crime to copy data, files, software, or other information stored on a computer without authorization. This violation occurs if someone obtains, takes, copies or uses any data, data base, computer program, computer software, personal identifying information, or other information stored in a computer, computer network, computer system, computer equipment or computer storage medium. Again, the conduct must be intentional and unauthorized in order to give rise to this violation. This offense is typically a third degree crime but is elevated to a second degree crime where the information involves personal information, governmental records or other information that is protected from disclosure by law, court order or rule of court, or where the value involved is more than $5,000.

Recklessly Damaging or Destroying Data or Computer Files

It is a crime to recklessly alter, damage or destroy any data, data base, computer, computer storage medium, computer program, computer software, computer equipment, computer system or computer network. This offense is a crime of the fourth degree crime except where the value involved exceeds $5,000, then it is a third degree crime.

Disclosure of Data or File Information

A person may be convicted of a third degree crime if he/she purposely or knowingly and without authorization, or in excess of authorization, accesses any data, data base, computer, computer storage medium, computer software, computer equipment, computer system and knowingly or recklessly discloses or causes to be disclosed any data, data base, computer software, computer programs or personal identifying information.

Penalties for Computer Offenses

The severity of the penalties that may be imposed for a computer offense hinge on the grade of charge involved. For a fourth degree crime, you face up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. A third degree crime carries up to 5 years in prison and a $15,000 fine. A second degree crime results in maximum penalties that include 10 years in prison and a $150,000 fine.

Cranford NJ Computer Offense Attorneys

The attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have been defending computer offenses throughout the state for several decades now. We also have extensive experience handling indictable charges in Elizabeth at the Superior Courthouse where your offense will be heard. It would therefore be in your best interests to take advantage of a free consultation to discuss your arrest in Kenilworth, Mountainside, Elizabeth, Linden or Garwood with an lawyer at our firm. Call us at 908-272-1700 for a free consultation with an attorney on our staff.