Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act: A Necessary Solution
Wherever you find computers, you will find computer crime. Hackers, skimmers, identity thieves, and leakers are everywhere these days. Computer crimes are on the rise. As a result, Oklahoma has passed the Computer Crimes Act. The Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act attempts to address the kinds of computer crimes that are so present in this internet age. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1951, et seq.
What is a Computer Crimes Act Charge?
Computer crimes are willful. Oklahoma law states that providing proof that a person has accessed; damaged; destroyed; altered; disrupted; deleted; or caused to be accessed, copied, or disclosed; or taken possession of a computer, computer system, network, or any other property; or attempted such action without permission or exceeding the limits of any permission or authorization given is prima facia evidence of the willful violation of the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1954
Some computer crimes as classified as misdemeanor offenses, but many are felonies.
For example, merely gaining unauthorized access is a misdemeanor, but any damage inflicted may be charged as a felony.
What Types of Crimes are Covered by the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act?
- Any willful and unauthorized attempt or the gaining of access to damage, modify, copy, destroy, use, or take possession of another’s computer, computer system, or network (felony);
- Using another’s computer service without authorization (misdemeanor);
- Using another’s computer in any way for the purpose of defrauding; deceiving; or obtaining money, property, or anything else of value (felony);
- Attempting to or gaining access to a computer, computer system, or network willfully and without authorization(misdemeanor);
- Causing the disruption of computer services or the denial of services to an authorized user of a computer or computer network (felony);
- Using a computer, computer system, or network to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass another person (misdemeanor);
- Willfully using a computer, computer system, or network to put another person in fear of physical harm or death (felony).
Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1953
In addition, it is a federal crime to engage in defrauding, altering, or destroying hardware or software belonging to another. It is also illegal to traffic in computer passwords. These crimes are felonies.
Using a computer for sexual exploitation; copyright violations such as illegally downloading music; and developing or distributing computer viruses, spyware, or malware are felonies. OUJI-CR 5-130
Penalties Can Be Severe
A misdemeanor conviction is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000, a jail term of up to 30 days, or both.
If you are convicted of a felony computer crime, you face a fine between $5,000 and $100,000, imprisonment from 1 to 10 years, or both. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1955
The Computer Crimes Act also allows civil penalties for compensatory damages. All damages proximately caused by a defendant’s violation of the Act are compensable in addition to costs and attorneys’ fees. This makes a conviction much more costly.
An experienced Tulsa criminal defense attorney can help sort out your situation and can help you protect your rights and freedom. Make that call today.
Free Consultation: Tulsa Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are being charged with a computer crime in Oklahoma, it is important that you hire an experienced Tulsa criminal defense attorney. Criminal convictions can carry serious consequences.
Only a local attorney will know the court system and judges in the area. Do not delay. Our initial consultation is free.
Call Wirth Law Office – Tulsa at 918-879-1681 or toll free at 1-888-Wirth-Law (1-888-947-8452). You can also submit the question form at the top right of this page.
We pride ourselves on providing our clients with excellent representation at reasonable prices.