Computer Crimes: NY Penal Law Article 156
Prosecutors in New York are vigilant about finding and routing out all forms of crime related to computers. Fortunately, there are a few experienced cybercrime attorneys in New York City, such as the computer crime and cybercrime defense team at Crotty Saland PC, whose knowledge of and skills with computers and related crimes can provide you with the foundation for a viable and strong defense to any computer offense. However, be warned. There are many other lawyers whose skills, or lack thereof, barely go beyond knowing how to turn a computer on. As a prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office under Robert Morgenthau and one of the founders of the Identity Theft Unit, Jeremy Saland has had real hands on computer forensic training and experience investigating computer crimes. In fact, prior to becoming a New York City computer crime defense attorney he trained with MARES, SEARCH, NYPTI and other organizations to hone the necessary skills to prosecute computer and cyber offenses in New York. Similarly, Elizabeth “Liz” Crotty served in both the Trial Division and the Investigatory Division of the New York County District Attorney’s Office where her experience regularly involved crimes where computers were the vehicles to perpetrate a great number of offenses. Both she and Sam Coe, another former Manhattan prosecutor and cybercrime lawyer at Crotty Saland PC, have spent countless hours on both sides of the criminal justice system immersed in New York’s computer crimes defense and prosecution. Whether a computer crime arrest, indictment or investigation is pending in New York City or the Hudson Valley, Crotty Saland PC is prepared to navigate you through the criminal justice system.
Since leaving the District Attorney’s Office more than a decade ago, the criminal defense attorneys and founding partners Crotty Saland PC have represented many clients confronted with computer crimes and continue to do so in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess, Putnam and Orange counties. In fact, Crotty Saland has both successfully represented clients to avoid felony and misdemeanor prosecution, criminal records and dispose of cases prior to arrest. Similarly, our attorneys have assisted victims of computer crimes to put an end to their tormentor’s malfeasances, abuse and unlawful access to and use of data from private computers. For example, our attorneys represent clients who are victims of unauthorized use where a former intimate partner accessed personal photographs and content from an iPhone for their own sexual gratification. We have also represented numerous defendants accused of using computers as tools for frauds, or installed keystroke loggers or other devices to access emails and personal information. Simply, the crimes involving computers are as diverse as the people who are alleged to commit them and the victims of these offenses.
Some of the crimes that are associated with computers and related devices include:
- Unauthorized Use of a Computer: NY Penal Law 156.05
- Computer Trespass: NY Penal Law 156.10
- Computer Tampering: NY Penal Law 156.25, 156.26, and 156.27
- Unlawful Duplication of Computer Related Material: NY Penal Law 156.29 and 156.30
- Criminal Possession of Computer Related Material: NY Penal Law 156.35l
In addition to these crimes, offenses that are often associated with computer crimes are:
- Identity Theft: NY Penal Law Article 190
- Forgery: NY Penal Law Article 170
- Grand Larceny: NY Penal Law Article 155
- Unlawful Disclosure of an Intimate Image: NYC Admin. Code 10-180
Instead of addressing each particular crime in this "wild west" and ever-expanding area of criminal law, it is first critical to understand what constitutes a computer. Anyone charged with a computer related offense should understand that a computer can be virtually any device that can store, transmit, receive, or manipulate data and how a computer is defined in the state of New York (Penal Law Article 156). Although most of the terms in New York's definition of a computer have their own legal definitions, today's computer is not merely the bulky box sitting on your desk as those types of devices become less and less common. Take a peak in your pocket…that mobile, smart or cell phone is more than what it seems. It makes no difference if its operating system is born from an Android or Apple device. That pen being used by the gentleman next to you at Starbucks or that small rectangular device on his key chain might also be a thumb drive. Computers and related equipment are constantly taking new forms –from watches to glasses – in devices that we could not have contemplated or grasped only a few years ago.New York Computer Crimes: Penalty and Punishment
Regardless of the specific offense, law enforcement has certain tools to investigate, seize and prosecute offenders and often use search warrants, preservation letters, subpoenas, and forensic programs to do so. With the evidence in hand, they may charge you with one of the above crimes that range from class “A” misdemeanors to class “C” felonies. In practical real-world terms, a conviction for these crimes is not only permanent, but punishable by up to one year in jail as a misdemeanor and as much as fifteen years in state prison as a felony. Clearly, with this type of exposure and the increasing dollars and training District Attorney’s Offices, the New York State Attorney General, NYPD and other police departments are putting into combating and identifying computer crimes and frauds, it is in your best interest to retain a skilled attorney with real experience in this area of law to aggressively fight for your rights and to identify certain defenses that may be available.
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We, at Crotty Saland PC, have the training and experience to aggressively pursue getting you the outcome you want and need. Whether as a victim of a computer crime or you are charged with the same, every moment you wait to take action vastly increases the opportunity for a fraudster to gain access to or share more of your personal and private information. Alternatively, this delay gives law enforcement a head start to get into the recesses of the computers they are now searching or to strengthen their case as they ready for your arrest, indictment or trial.
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Whatever side of cybercrime law you find yourself – victim or defendant – let experience, knowledge and advocacy be your strongest voice or defense. Don’t jeopardize your future. Protect yourself now.
Call our New York computer crime lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.