New York Computer Crime Lawyer

Robert Reuland defends computer crimes in New York

 

Modern crimes need a modern defense

If you have been charged with committing a crime through the use of a computer or the internet, you need an experienced criminal attorney who, owing to the highly technical nature of this relatively new area of law, can speak your language. Even an experience criminal defense lawyer can’t help you if he lacks understanding of computer crimes and just “doesn’t get it.”

Robert Reuland has defended numerous people in cases in which computers provided the evidence against or for the defense.

In one recent case, for instance, we were able to negotiate a favorable plea for a client charged with conducting robberies after setting up victims on Craigslist.

Additionally, Robert Reuland was the first criminal defense attorney in the United States to successfully interpose a “cyberspace alibi” defense. Our client was identified in a lineup as the perpetrator of an armed robbery. We were able to show, however, that our client could not have committed the robbery inasmuch as he was on Facebook at the time of the incident. We presented proof to the DA consisting of the client’s IP address, his Facebook records, and other electronic material that plainly showed that he was in upper Manhattan when the robbery took place in Brooklyn.

 

Exactly what is a computer crime anyway?

As computers and electronic devices gradually integrate themselves into the fabric of our daily life, it is unsurprising that criminal law has come to address them.

The generic term “computer crime” generally refers to two types of crime: thefts committed through the use of a computer and sexual crimes facilitated by a computer. As noted already, computers can also provide part of the method used to facilitate the alleged crime, and they may also aid in the defense against such charges.

Theft or larceny type computer crime includes, for instance, computer fraud, “black-hat” computer hacking, identity theft, phishing, and the like.

Sex crimes committed via computer would include possession of child pornography downloaded from the web and solicitation of a minor over the Internet. We have advised clients, for instance, who were alleged to have met police officers posing as minors as part of a “sting” operation undertaken in adults-only chat rooms online.

 

Call Robert Reuland today

We are pleased to confer with you at no cost to discuss your case. Call Robert Reuland any time at 718-300-0626, or e-mail his office today. We will be happy to take the time to set your mind at ease. Regardless of whom you hire, protect your rights! Contact a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney today.

 

The written law

New York’s Penal Law contains a specific set of statutes relating to larceny and other misconduct committed by computer. These are set out below for your convenience:

 

Section 156.00 Offenses involving computers; definition of terms

The following definitions are applicable to this chapter except where different meanings are expressly specified:

1. “Computer” means a device or group of devices which, by manipulation of electronic, magnetic, optical or electrochemical impulses, pursuant to a computer program, can automatically perform arithmetic, logical, storage or retrieval operations with or on computer data, and includes any connected or directly related device, equipment or facility which enables such computer to store, retrieve or communicate to or from a person, another computer or another device the results of computer operations, computer programs or computer data.

2. “Computer program” is property and means an ordered set of data representing coded instructions or statements that, when executed by computer, cause the computer to process data or direct the computer to perform one or more computer operations or both and may be in any form, including magnetic storage media, punched cards, or stored internally in the memory of the computer.

3. “Computer data” is property and means a representation of information, knowledge, facts, concepts or instructions which are being processed, or have been processed in a computer and may be in any form, including magnetic storage media, punched cards, or stored internally in the memory of the computer.

4. “Computer service” means any and all services provided by or through the facilities of any computer communication system allowing the input, output, examination, or transfer, of computer data or computer programs from one computer to another.

5. “Computer material” is property and means any computer data or computer program which:

(a) contains records of the medical history or medical treatment of an identified or readily identifiable individual or individuals. This term shall not apply to the gaining access to or duplication solely of the medical history or medical treatment records of a person by that person or by another specifically authorized by the person whose records are gained access to or duplicated; or

(b) contains records maintained by the state or any political subdivision thereof or any governmental instrumentality within the state which contains any information concerning a person, as defined in subdivision seven of section 10.00 of this chapter, which because of name, number, symbol, mark or other identifier, can be used to identify the person and which is otherwise prohibited by law from being disclosed. This term shall not apply to the gaining access to or duplication solely of records of a person by that person or by another specifically authorized by the person whose records are gained access to or duplicated; or

(c) is not and is not intended to be available to anyone other than the person or persons rightfully in possession thereof or selected persons having access thereto with his or their consent and which accords or may accord such rightful possessors an advantage over competitors or other persons who do not have knowledge or the benefit thereof.

6. “Uses a computer or computer service without authorization” means the use of a computer or computer service without the permission of, or in excess of the permission of, the owner or lessor or someone licensed or privileged by the owner or lessor after notice to that effect to the user of the computer or computer service has been given by:

(a) giving actual notice in writing or orally to the user; or

(b) prominently posting written notice adjacent to the computer being utilized by the user; or

(c) a notice that is displayed on, printed out on or announced by the computer being utilized by the user. Proof that the computer is programmed to automatically display, print or announce such notice or a notice prohibiting copying, reproduction or duplication shall be presumptive evidence that such notice was displayed, printed or announced.

7. “Felony” as used in this article means any felony defined in the laws of this state or any offense defined in the laws of any other jurisdiction for which a sentence to a term of imprisonment in excess of one year is authorized in this state. 


Section 156.05 Unauthorized use of a computer

A person is guilty of unauthorized use of a computer when he knowingly uses or causes to be used a computer or computer service without authorization and the computer utilized is equipped or programmed with any device or coding system, a function of which is to prevent the unauthorized use of said computer or computer system.

Unauthorized use of a computer is a class A misdemeanor. 


Section 156.10 Computer trespass

A person is guilty of computer trespass when he knowingly uses or causes to be used a computer or computer service without authorization and:

1. he does so with an intent to commit or attempt to commit or further the commission of any felony; or

2. he thereby knowingly gains access to computer material.

Computer trespass is a class E felony. 


Section 156.20 Computer tampering in the fourth degree

A person is guilty of computer tampering in the fourth degree when he uses or causes to be used a computer or computer service and having no right to do so he intentionally alters in any manner or destroys computer data or a computer program of another person.

Computer tampering in the fourth degree is a class A misdemeanor. 


Section 156.25 Computer tampering in the third degree

A person is guilty of computer tampering in the third degree when he commits the crime of computer tampering in the fourth degree and:

1. he does so with an intent to commit or attempt to commit or further the commission of any felony; or

2. he has been previously convicted of any crime under this article or subdivision eleven of section 165.15 of this chapter; or

3. he intentionally alters in any manner or destroys computer material; or

4. he intentionally alters in any manner or destroys computer data or a computer program so as to cause damages in an aggregate amount exceeding one thousand dollars.

Computer tampering in the third degree is a class E felony. 


Section 156.26 Computer tampering in the second degree

A person is guilty of computer tampering in the second degree when he commits the crime of computer tampering in the fourth degree and he intentionally alters in any manner or destroys computer data or a computer program so as to cause damages in an aggregate amount exceeding three thousand dollars.

Computer tampering in the second degree is a class D felony. 


Section 156.27 Computer tampering in the first degree

A person is guilty of computer tampering in the first degree when he commits the crime of computer tampering in the fourth degree and he intentionally alters in any manner or destroys computer data or a computer program so as to cause damages in an aggregate amount exceeding fifty thousand dollars.

Computer tampering in the first degree is a class C felony. 


Section 156.30 Unlawful duplication of computer related material

A person is guilty of unlawful duplication of computer related material when having no right to do so, he 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.

Unlawful duplication of computer related material is a class E felony. 


Section 156.35 Criminal possession of computer related material

A person is guilty of criminal possession of computer related material when having no right to do so, he knowingly possesses, in any form, any copy, reproduction or duplicate of any computer data or computer program which was copied, reproduced or duplicated in violation of section 156.30 of this article, with intent to benefit himself or a person other than an owner thereof.

Criminal possession of computer related material is a class E felony. 


Section 156.50 Offenses involving computers; defenses

In any prosecution:

1. under section 156.05 or 156.10 of this article, it shall be a defense that the defendant had reasonable grounds to believe that he had authorization to use the computer;

2. under section 156.20, 156.25, 156.26 or 156.27 of this article it shall be a defense that the defendant had reasonable grounds to believe that he had the right to alter in any manner or destroy the computer data or the computer program; 
 3. under section 156.30 of this article it shall be a defense that the defendant had reasonable grounds to believe that he had the right to copy, reproduce or duplicate in any manner the computer data or the computer program.