While computer tampering in the fourth degree is only a class A misdemeanor in the state of New York, it is nonetheless a serious charge that requires a vigorous defense. A conviction of this type can result in jail time, and there is almost certain to be probation in your future as well. This impacts your ability to gain employment, particularly in any sector in which the safeguarding of computer data is viewed as essential. If you have been charged with this crime, you will want to retain the services of a qualified and experienced NYC criminal attorney as soon as possible.
Computer Tampering in the Fourth Degree Explained
The charge of computer tampering in the fourth degree typically results from an individual being accused of illegally accessing a computer or computer network, or in effect allowing someone else to do that on their behalf. People can gain such illegal access by determining what another person’s password is, giving out a password to someone without proper permission, using the Internet to hack into someone’s computer or server, or presenting to be another individual in an effort to access information that is not otherwise available to you. Computer tampering in the fourth degree is the least serious charge in this category crime levied in New York, primarily because the monetary damages are so small or non-existent. That being said, the charge is still serious and needs to be dealt with swiftly, particularly if you wish to clear your good name.
An Example of Computer Tampering in the Fourth Degree in New York
It is important to remember that this charged is issued against individuals who are suspected of altering or destroying data stored on a computer or server without permission of the owner. This can occur in a number of different ways. One example would be the parent of a high school student who is struggling with his or her grades. In an effort to ensure that they pass and are promoted to the next level, the parent hacks into the school grading system and changes all of the grades to ensure a passing mark. Because the data was access illegally and then altered, the parent could be charged with computer tampering in the fourth degree. In New York, the charge in the fourth degree is usually issued if there is no monetary damage to note, yet the data was unquestionably altered in an unauthorized manner.
Possible Defenses Against a Charge of Computer Tampering in the Fourth Degree
When a NYC criminal attorney in on your side, he or she will immediately set out to analyze the facts pertaining to your case. There are actually several different defenses that could be employed on your behalf in fighting this charge. If you had reason to believe that you had authorizing to access the computer in question, even if the reality is that you did not have permission after all, you could be innocent. It is also possible that somebody else used your own computer without your knowledge to commit the crime. If this can be proven, then your innocence would also be established. The key is to remember that the prosecution must prove that it was who will willfully access another computer in an illegal manner. Barring that, NYC criminal lawyers will work hard to clear your name.
A misdemeanor charge, while not as serious as a felony, still goes on your record. You will, at minimum, receive probation if found guilty. Protect your legal rights and contact a criminal lawyer as soon as you realize you have been charged with this crime.