Computers are everywhere these days. We use them for everything.
Along with the dearth of computers, hackers and identity thieves seem more and more able to hack into our computers, invading our privacy and worse.
Computer crimes are on the rise in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, and they cause damage. To combat the rise in computer crimes, Oklahoma has passed the Computer Crimes Act.
Scope of the Computer Crimes Act
We may think of hackers as the savants of the underground computer world. But they are anything but cool. All computer crimes are serious.
If you convicted of a computer crime, you will most likely serve jail time and pay a fine. While some of these crimes are misdemeanors, most of them are felonies. A felony conviction will alter the course of your life.
Prohibited acts under the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act (Okla. Stat. tit.21 § 1952, et seq.) include any willful and unauthorized attempt or the gaining of access to another’s computer, computer system, or network to inflict damage, modify, copy, destroy, use, or take possession. Gaining access or attempting to do so is chargeable as a misdemeanor. Any damage inflicted is usually charged as a felony.
Using another’s computer in any way for the purpose of defrauding, deceiving, obtaining money, property, or anything else of value is also chargeable as a felony in Okmulgee. This includes illegally downloading or pirating music or videos. Using a computer in any way to defraud a person or steal will land you in jail.
Willfully and without authorization causing the disruption of computer services or the denial of services to an authorized user of a computer or computer network is also prohibited. This is the typical hacker crime such as the disruption of computer services that control traffic lights.
In addition, it is a federal crime to engage in defrauding, altering, or destroying hardware or software belonging to another. It is also illegal to traffic in computer passwords. These crimes are felonies and carry significant consequences.
Finally, it is a felony to use a computer for sexual exploitation, developing and/or distributing computer viruses, spyware or malware, or using a computer to threaten another person with physical harm or death. (Okla. Stat. tit.21 § 1955; OUJI-CR 5-130)
While this list of prohibited acts is not exclusive, it provides the framework to prosecute a number of computer crimes. As hackers and thieves continue to expand their activities, statutes will continue to change to enable prosecution.
Penalties are Severe
A conviction under these statutes can spell real trouble. A misdemeanor conviction can mean a fine of up to $5,000 and/or up to 30 days in county jail. However, if you are convicted of a felony charge, you may be subject to a fine between $5,000 and $100,000, and/or imprisonment for up to 10 years.
The Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act also allows civil penalties. Any computer or business owner who is damaged by your actions may bring a civil action against you for compensatory damages. These damages can include all costs associated with determining whether the computer or computer system was altered, damaged, destroyed, or disrupted. It can also include attorney’s fees awarded by the court to the winning party. This can add up to staggering sums of money.
Free Consultation: Okmulgee Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one needs to speak with an Okmulgee criminal defense attorney regarding a charge under the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act, call 918-756-9600 now for a free consultation.
Or, enter your legal question or concern in the form at the top right of this page, and one of our attorneys will promptly return your message.