New York Penal Law § 156.30: Unlawful duplication of computer related material in the first degree

Unlawfully accessing computers has been a serious crime for the past 20 years. Crimes related to unlawful access include unauthorized access into a computer or computer network in order to commit a felony such as grand larceny, unauthorized access in order to copy material, or unauthorized access in order to destroy or alter data. Under New York Penal Law § 156.30 you have committed the crime of unlawful duplication of computer related material in the first degree if you duplicated computer material without permission, the material included medical records for identifiable persons, and:

  1. You intentionally deprived the owner an economic value or benefit in excess of $2,500, or
  2. You had the intent to commit any felony.

It is important to note that under the New York criminal code the term "computer," has a specific definition. Under New York Penal Law § 156.00(1) a computer is any device that uses a computer program to automatically perform arithmetic, storage and other operations with or on computer data. This definition also includes any device that enables the computer to store, retrieve or communicate to or from another computer or device. This definition would encompass not only desktop or laptop computers, but also handheld devices such as smartphones or tablets.

Related Offenses
  1. Unauthorized use of a computer: N.Y. Pen. Law § 156.05
  2. Computer trespass: N.Y. Pen. Law § 156.10
  3. Unlawful duplication of computer related material in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 156.29
  4. Criminal possession of computer related material: N.Y. Pen. Law § 156.35
Defenses

In order to violate this statute, not only must you have duplicated computer material without permission, in doing so you must have also deprived the own an economic benefit that exceeds $2,500, or you must have done so in furtherance of committing a felony. If the prosecutor cannot show either of these elements, then the prosecutor will have difficulty proceeding with the case against you.

Sentence

Because unlawful duplication of computer related material in the first degree is a class E felony, if you are convicted you could be sent to prison for up to 4 years. It is also possible for the judge to sentence you to a 5 year probation term instead of jail.

New York Penal Law § 156.30: Unlawful Duplication of Computer Related Material in the First Degree

A person is guilty of unlawful duplication of computer related in the first degree material when having no right to do so, he or she copies, reproduces or duplicates in any manner: 1. any computer data or computer program and thereby intentionally and wrongfully deprives or appropriates from an owner thereof an economic value or benefit in excess of two thousand five hundred dollars; or 2. any computer data or computer program with an intent to commit or attempt to commit or further the commission of any felony.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you or a loved one are facing a charge of duplication of computer related material in the first degree, it is important to take the charge seriously. If you are convicted you could end up in prison for up to 4 years. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with computer crimes as well as grand larceny, embezzlement, and other white collar crimes. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of larceny in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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