Unlawfully accessing computer systems has constituted a significant offense for the past two decades. Such unlawful acts are typically carried out with the intention of committing more serious crimes, such as grand larceny, or tampering with, and potentially damaging, data or computer programs. Even if you haven’t personally engaged in unauthorized computer access, you may still face legal consequences if you possess materials that were illicitly duplicated from a computer.
Under New York Penal Law § 156.35, you can be charged with the crime of criminal possession of computer-related material if, without lawful authority, you knowingly have any form of a copy, reproduction, or duplicate of computer data or computer programs that were copied, reproduced, or duplicated in violation of § 156.30 within this legal framework, with the intent to benefit either yourself or someone other than the rightful owner. To be in violation of this law, the person who unlawfully copied the material from a computer must have caused the owner to suffer an economic loss exceeding $2,500 or must have had the intent to commit a felony.
Criminal possession of computer-related material is categorized as a Class E felony, implying that upon conviction, the maximum prison sentence you may face is four years. Additionally, your sentence could encompass a five-year probation period and a significant monetary fine.
To contravene this law, you must knowingly possess such material, being aware that it was illicitly copied from a computer. If you possess it without this knowledge, you are not in violation of the statute.
Moreover, for this statute to be breached, the individual who unlawfully copied the material from a computer must have caused the owner to incur an economic loss exceeding $2,500 or must have had the intent to commit a felony. This implies that if the owner suffered no economic loss or if the loss was less than $2,500, you may have a valid defense against a charge of criminal possession of computer-related material.
New York Penal Law § 156.35: Criminal Possession of Computer Related Material
An individual commits the offense of criminal possession of computer-related material when, without lawful authorization, they knowingly have in their possession, in any format, a copy, reproduction, or duplicate of computer data or a computer program that has been copied, reproduced, or duplicated in violation of § 156.30 within this legal context, with the intention of benefiting either themselves or someone other than the rightful owner.
Hiring a New York Lawyer for Criminal Possession of Computer Related Material Case
Hiring a New York lawyer for a criminal possession of computer-related material case is essential for a strong defense. New York’s complex legal landscape requires the expertise of an attorney who understands the state’s specific laws and regulations. A skilled lawyer can assess the evidence, challenge illegal searches or seizures, and provide strategic guidance. They’ll work to protect your rights, ensuring a fair trial, and possibly negotiating reduced charges or dismissal. With technology’s rapid evolution, having a lawyer well-versed in cybercrime laws is crucial. Their experience can make the difference in securing the best outcome, minimizing consequences, or even securing an acquittal.