Computer tampering in the second degree is classified as a felony offense in the state of New York. This means that you must take the charge seriously and mount a vigorous defense in order to preserve your good name and reputation. There are a variety of reasons that such a charge can be issued against an individual, but it largely involves the accusation that a person has authorized a computer or serve without access and set out to do some type of harm as a result of that access. In any event, you will want to retain the services of an experienced NYC criminal lawyer in order to preserve your legal rights throughout the ordeal.
Computer Tampering in the Second Degree Explained
When law enforcement officials believe you accessed or destroy computer data as a result of gaining access in an unauthorized manner, a charge of computer tampering in the second degree may result. Unauthorized access to computer or server can be gained in a variety of ways, and this is further defined by New York Penal Code 156.26. Some of the methods include determining the password of another person and using to access that person’s computer with his or her permission, giving a password to another individual who is not authorized to gain access, actually hacking into the computer of another person by way of the Internet, or pretending to be somebody you are not in order to gain access to a system that would not other wise be available to you.
This particular is levied in the second degree if the damages that you caused exceed a value of $2,000, but under $50,000. Computer tampering in the second degree can also be charged against a person that gains unauthorized access to computer material that contains medical records specific to certain people, and such data is then used to alter information that results in serious physical injury. One can also be charged for this crime if he or she were aware of the risk that results from such access that could cause physical injury.
An Example of Computer Tampering in the Second Degree
Imagine that you are a computer technician and you are being sued by another entity for a breach of contract. You might become angry that you are involved in a lawsuit and, as a result, you hack into the computer system that belongs to the attorney for the plaintiff. While you are in the system, you proceed to alter or destroy 30 different documents and pleadings relating to the case in addition to a variety of contract and memos that represent the work of the client. Most of these documents can no longer be recovered as a result of your hack. The documents must then be recreated, creating a lot of work on the part of the attorney. The damage is estimated to be $5,000. This is the basis for the charge of computer tampering in the second degree due to the dollar amount involved and the fact that the access was unauthorized.
Defense of a Computer Tampering in the Second Degree
There are actually several different approaches that your NYC criminal attorney can take with such a case. If you believed that you had access to the computer in question, your innocence can be established. This is regardless of whether or not you actually had permission to access the computer or server. It could also be that someone else accessed the data from your machine, in which case you could be deemed innocent as well.