New York Computer Crimes: Article 156
New York Computer Crimes as codified in New York Penal Law 156 run the gamut of severity from bad to worse. That is, even in the best case scenario - a misdemeanor Desk Appearance Ticket for a computer related offense - you may still face as much as one year in jail and a criminal record that will be branded upon your permanent record for all future employers to see. In the day an age where it is not atypical for love interests, friends and others to do background checks, the last thing you want is a New York Computer Crime "rap sheet" whether that offense involves one of the misdemeanors listed here or a life altering felony arrest.
New York Computer Crimes are all encompassing. Laptops? Macs? PCs? IPhones? Tablets? Yes, yes, yes, yes and, you go it, yes. Devices such as these fall under the potential shadow of an Article 156 crime.
Article 156: Misdemeanor Computer Crimes
Although not as damaging as their more punishing felony brethren linked above, the misdemeanor crimes involving computers are extremely serious and have significant collateral consequences. These crimes include:
- Computer Tampering in the Fourth Degree: NY PL 156.20
- Unauthorized Use of a Computer: NY PL 156.05
- Unlawful Duplication of Computer Related Materials: NY PL 156.29
Not just incarceration, a conviction for one of these offenses could result in the termination of a job, the loss or suspension of a professional license and the revocation or inability to renew a legal status in the United States.
New York Computer Crime Definitions
There are terms defined and used throughout Article 156 of the New York Penal Law. These words include "computer," "computer program," "computer data,""computer service," "computer material," and "computer network." Although you and your New York Computer Crime defense attorney or lawyer will fully vet what these definitions mean and how they are applicable to your particular arrest or charge, the following is a brief analysis of those key terms.
Computer: A computer is any device that can automatically perform logical storage or retrieval operations with or on computer data and includes any connected or directly related device.
Computer Program: A computer program is an ordered set of data representing coded instructions or statements that, when executed by a computer, cause the computer to process data or directs the computer to perform at least on computer operation.
Computer Data: Computer data is a representation of information or concepts that are being processed or have been processed in a computer.
Computer Service: A computer service is any service provided b or through a computer communication system allowing, among other things, a transfer of computer data or computer programs from one computer to another.
Computer Material: Computer material is any computer data or computer program that contains medical history or treatment of a readily identifiable individual, certain records maintained by the State, and any materials not intended to be available to anyone other than the persons who rightfully possess the materials.
Defenses to New York Computer Crimes
Whether you are charged in NYC, such as in Manhattan, Brooklyn or Queens, or you are arrested in White Plains, New City, Rockland or Westchester, a year spent on Rikers Island or the County Jail is a year wasted. What are your defenses? What is your response to the allegations? It should go without saying that each case calls for a tailored defense, but there are stator defenses and other means to challenge these arrests. For example, did you have authorization to access the computer in question or the materials contained therein? Did you have a right or permission to destroy or duplicate those same materials? Even if you did not, what direct evidence puts your fingers on the keyboard (in a figurative sense since this is not a requirement)? Are there logs of your access? Was the IP traced back to an account associated with you? If so, could someone else have used your wireless access because it was not password protected? Was a search warrant issued on legal grounds? Explore these defenses further with your attorney or lawyer.
Whatever the allegation, arrest or trial involve, an offense relating to a computer crime is potentially devastating. Protect yourself and your future. Retain counsel who has experience with the laws and rules of New York Computer Crimes. Arm yourself with experience and knowledge and advocacy.
Our law firm serves clients in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Westchester, Putnam and Rockland Counties. Call us at 212.312.7129 or contact us online today to speak with our New York attorneys and former Manhattan prosecutors about misdemeanor computer crimes.