“Computer.” In this day and age, it is becoming harder and harder to know what that really means. It no longer has to be a big gray or beige box that lives in a single room. Or even a laptop that we carry with us.
We have computers in our cars. In kids’ toys. In-store checkout lines. Game consoles are computers. The phones that we constantly keep on our person. Our appliances even “talk” to each other.
In other words, they are everywhere. And we use them for just about everything.
Crime is no exception.
Unfortunately, a lot of Coloradans do not quite understand that. They hear someone talk about a “computer crime” and assume it has to mean something like hacking. While that certainly is one type of computer crime, the law is by no means limited to that single act.
This can cause a lot of confusion if you find yourself charged with a computer crime in our state. You might think that you could not be facing a computer crime because you are no expert, which may lead you to attempt to talk your way out of the problem.
Whatever you do, fight this urge.
Even if the charges against you are totally baseless, it is all too easy for law enforcement officials to get people to say or do things to harm their case and make them more likely to be found guilty.
How should you handle the situation? Get in touch with Jacob Martinez as soon as possible.
As a Denver defense attorney, Mr. Martinez has been helping people facing these types of charges for years. He understands the ins and outs of Colorado criminal law in general and how our state handles computer crimes specifically.
Compared to other states, we have one of the strictest computer crime statutes and one of the most complex. Jacob Martinez will work to ensure you understand your charges and then do everything he can to get them reduced, dropped, or dismissed.
The Denver Computer Crimes Attorney Who Understands the Law
What does it mean to be charged with a computer crime in Colorado?
Here is how the actual statute breaks it down:
“(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.”
In slightly more straightforward terms, it is a crime to use a computer, system, or network:
- Without permission
- In excess of the permission granted
- To devise or commit fraud
- To steal
- To harm or change anything on the computer, system, or network (including transmitting something that causes harm)
- To run or cause others to run software that circumvents online ticket sale limits
That covers quite a bit of ground – potentially including crimes like ID theft and credit card theft. Even then, it does not cover everything. Our state also includes specific statutes for Cyberbullying, Internet Luring, and Internet Sexual Exploitation.
Penalties Associated with Computer Crimes in Colorado
Why is it so important to fight back against your charges? Because if you are convicted, it can have a substantial negative impact on your life.
Depending on the specific nature of your offense, you face not only prison time and high fines but also the possibility of restitution, classes or counseling, and the loss of some rights.
Beyond this, there are the non-criminal consequences of having a conviction on your record. A conviction can make it far more challenging to land a good job, find a place to live, secure loans, or even get a date.
What are the penalties?
General Computer Crime. This offense can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the amount of damages or loss the criminal act is deemed to have caused.
Less than $100 – Class 3 misdemeanor, which includes the possibility of up to six months in jail and fines up to $750.
$100-$500 – Class 2 misdemeanor, which includes the possibility of up to 12 months in jail and fines up to $1,000.
$500-$15,000 – Class 4 felony, which includes the possibility of up to six years in prison and fines up to $500,000.
Over $15,000 – Class 3 felony, which includes the possibility of up to 12 years in prison and fines up to $750,000.
Cyberbullying. If you bully someone over text, social media, email, online, or otherwise, it is a form of harassment.
Class 2 misdemeanor with up to 12 months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
Internet Luring. If a child is under 15 and you are at least four years older than him or her, it is a crime to use any electronic device to send sexual content to that child and then try to meet with them.
Class 5 felony, which includes the possibility of up to three years in prison and fines up to $100,000.
Class 4 felony if your purpose in communicating with the child was your own sexual gratification or to sexually exploit them, including the possibility of up to six years in prison and fines up to $500,000, as well as the requirement of registering as a sex offender. This may be charged as Internet Sexual Exploitation.
Start Fighting for Your Future Now – Reach Out to Denver Computer Crimes Lawyer Jacob Martinez
Mr. Martinez has helped countless people like you throughout his career to put up an aggressive defense against their charges and reach a positive outcome. He may be able to get the charges against you reduced, dropped, or even dismissed altogether. However, he cannot do anything for you unless you get in touch first.
Do not wait until it is too late. Protect your rights. Protect your future.
Reach out to our office today: