First Degree Unlawful Duplication of Computer Related Material

Significantly more serious than its misdemeanor "sibling" of New York Penal Law 156.29, Unlawful Duplication of Computer Related Material in the First Degree (New York Penal Law 156.30) is a felony offense. In fact, as an "E" felony, NY PL 156.30 is punishable by up to one and one third to four years in state prison for a first time offender. In the event this is not your first felony offense over the previous ten years, there is a mandatory minimum of one and one half to three years and a maximum of two to four years in state prison.

Although Unlawful Duplication of Computer Related Material in the First Degree has many legal terms specifically defined in the New York Penal Law (please see the main information section for some of those definitions), the following is a general description of this crime:

You are guilty of NY PL 156.30 if you copy or duplicate any computer data or program and you do so without permission. Additionally, you must intentionally and wrongfully deprive the rightful owner of that property or appropriate from the same an economic value greater than $2,500. Alternatively, under the second subsection of First Degree Unlawful Duplication of Computer Related Material, the duplication of computer data or material must occur during an attempt or in furtherance of any felony offense.

Unfortunately for an individual arrested or charged with NY PL 156.30 in New York, the second subsection of this crime is a tremendous weapon for prosecutors in their arsenal. For example, if you copy any type of computer material that may be relatively insignificant, but you do so in connection to a creating a fraudulent document or a theft of $1,001 or more, your relatively innocuous conduct is "bumped" up to a felony crime.

Because of the many nuances of this computer crime statute, it is critical to attack an investigation, arrest or indictment for New York Penal Law 156.30 as early on in the process as possible. How will the prosecution prove you did not have permission to access and duplicate the data? Barring a recovery of the data or material from you, how will prosecutors establish you are the guilty party? Have you accessed this information in the past? How will the prosecution establish a loss of $2,500 or more? What method is used to calculate this amount? Further, if the prosecution fails in proving a felony beyond a reasonable doubt, will the NY PL 156.30 charge automatically be downgraded to NY PL 156.29?

The above questions and issues are directly on point with some of the matters you and your New York computer crime lawyer must confront when a "cybercrime" such as Unlawful Duplication of Computer Related Materials is alleged. Once you have a grasp on the issues and defenses, take the steps to protect your future, livelihood and liberty.

Call the New York criminal defense attorneys and former Manhattan Assistant District Attorneys at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today to discuss your case and possible defenses.

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