New York Cyber Crimes Frequently Asked Questions
In New York a cyber crime involves unauthorized access to confidential or private information that is stored online, on computers, or on internet databases. Examples of information that is often target in cyber crimes include names, addresses, birth dates, passwords, Social Security numbers, bank account information, credit and debit card numbers, PINs, trade secrets, and trademark and copyright information.
Cyber crimes can be accomplished a number of ways such as hacking personal computers, hacking business computers or entire networks, theft of passwords, fraud or misrepresentation, and other means. Specific cyber crime offenses in the New York criminal code include unauthorized use of a computer, computer trespass, and computer tampering.What are examples of cyber crimes?
Examples of cyber crimes include:
- Stealing someone’s password or computer security information. This would allow the thief to access variety of information store on a computer or online.
- Using computer programs or viruses to access computer files. A common way to hack into a computer is by infecting a computer with a virus that allows someone to access private or personal information.
- Using hacking techniques to gain entry into computer networks from a remote location.
- Tampering with wi-fi connections in order to gain access to local networks. Public wi-fi connections are particularly susceptible to this type of
Some cyber crimes are misdemeanors while others are felonies. Whether or not the charge is a misdemeanor or felony depends on factors such as the defendant’s criminal history, the value of the damage caused by the crime, and whether or not the victim suffered a physical injury as a result of the cyber crime. Penalties range from less than a year in jail for misdemeanors to 15 years in prison. Since cyber crimes often involve additional crimes such as larceny, the penalty could be significantly more prison time based on the value of the property stolen.Are there any defenses to cybercrime?
Defendants who are charged with a cyber crime such as unauthorized use of a computer, computer trespass, or computer tampering may have defenses to the charges that may result in the charges being reduced or dropped, or that may result in the defendant being acquitted at trial. Possible defenses include:
- Authorization: The defendant presents evidence that he or she actually was authorized to access the information.
- Lack of knowledge: Cyber crimes typically require that the defendant intend to engage in the illegally activity. If the defendant can show the he or she inadvertently accessed another’s information, or did not realize that an online form was fake, he or she can challenge the prosecution’s case.
- Duress: The defendant presents evidence that he or she was forced to commit the cyber crime under threat of harm to him or her or to another person.
The prevalence of cyber crimes has increased dramatically over the years resulting in increased pressure to apprehend and prosecute those suspected of cyber crimes. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with misdemeanors and felonies. Contact us at 800.NY.NY.LAW (800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of crimes in the following locations: Bronx, Nassau County, Queens, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Staten Island, Suffolk County, and Westchester County.