Prosecutors in New York are vigilant about finding and routing out all forms of crime related to computers. Unfortunately, there are many criminal defense attorneys in New York City whose experience with computers barely goes beyond knowing how to turn one 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, as a New York City computer crime defense attorney he has trained with MARES, SEARCH, NYPTI and other organizations. Similarly, Elizabeth “Liz” Crotty served in both the Trial Division and the Investigatory Division where her experience regularly involved crimes involving computers and search warrants on the same.
Since leaving the District Attorney’s Office more than a decade ago, the criminal defense attorneys at Crotty Saland PC have represented many clients confronted with computer crimes as both defendants accused of various offenses and victims of other’s malfeasances. For example, our attorneys represent clients who are victims of unauthorized use where someone 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 such as Embezzlement 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 or are victims of some other person’s conduct.
Some of the crimes that are associated with computers and related devices include:
- Unauthorized Use of a Computer
- Computer Tampering
- Computer Trespass
- Unlawful Duplication of Computer Related Material
- Criminal Possession of Computer Related Material
In addition to these crimes, offenses that are often associated with computer crimes are:
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 Barnes and Nobles or that small rectangular device on his key chain might also be a thumb drive. Computers and related equipment are constantly taking new forms in devices that we could not have contemplated or grasped only a few years ago.
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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 programs such as FTK 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 and 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 to you.
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 or share more of your personal and private information or law enforcement to get into the recesses of your computers they are now searching or strengthen their cases as they ready for an arrest, indictment or trial.
Let experience, knowledge and advocacy be your strongest 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.