Wagoner Lawyer Blog How to Fight a Computer Crime Charge in Oklahoma

computer crimeComputer crime is on the rise everywhere, not just in Wagoner, Oklahoma.

As we spend more and more time online, we leave more available information for hackers, skimmers, identity thieves, and leakers to use and exploit.

Because we live in the age of the internet, jurisdictions have had to respond accordingly. Oklahoma has the Computer Crimes Act to cover cybercrime.

Types of Computer Crime

Ransomware is a huge industry these days. Tools are readily available for hackers and this type of cybercrime may well outstrip others in 2019.

Mining for cryptocurrencies is also increasing, along with hackers who are more and more able to compromise legitimate websites in their efforts to mine these currencies.

The healthcare industry continues to be mined for data by hackers. The area is rich with data that can be used and sold. And hackers are able to specifically target high-end security software.

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?

Every computer crime is willful. While some are treated as misdemeanors under Oklahoma law, most are treated as felonies.

In Oklahoma, a number of computer crimes are covered.

It is illegal without permission or while exceeding the permission given to willfully gain or attempt to gain access to and damage another’s computer, computer system, or network. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1953 This statute covers making unauthorized modifications and alterations, deleting or destroying, and making use of information.

The aforementioned actions are felony offenses. The statute encompasses most hacking and thieving actions. It also covers malware and the like.

You may not use a computer or networking system to devise or execute a scheme with the intent to defraud, deceive, extort, or to control or to obtain money, property, services, or other things of value by means of a false or fraudulent pretense or representation. This too is a felony computer crime. Oklahoma law covers all manners of thieving and other fraudulent activity.

Willfully and without authorization gaining or attempting to gain access to a computer or computer network is a misdemeanor offense. The same applies to using computer services willfully and without authorization.

The statute also expressly prohibits the willful and disruption of computer services or the denial of access to an authorized user. This is a felony count, as is willfully providing or assisting another to access a computer or networking system.

Merely using a computer to willfully harass, abuse, or threaten a person is a misdemeanor offense.

However, putting another person in fear of physical harm or death by using a computer is a felony crime.

In particular, it is a felony to use a computer for sexual exploitation, copyright violations such as illegally downloading music, and developing and distributing computer viruses, spyware, or malware.

Proving the Computer Crime

Hacker activity can be difficult to prove if one is not “caught in the act.” Therefore, Oklahoma law makes the burden of proof easier for prosecutors.

Providing proof of any of the following is legal proof of a willful violation of the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act.

A person has done or attempted any of the following: accessed, damaged, destroyed, altered, disrupted, deleted, or caused to be accessed, copied, disclosed, or taken possession of a computer or networking system or other property, or exceeded the limits of any permission or authorization given. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1954

Penalties are Harsh

Even a misdemeanor computer crime can be costly. If convicted of a misdemeanor, you could be fined up to $5,000, spend up to 30 days in jail, or both.

Felonies are punished even more severely. You could be fined $5,000 to $100,000, spend 1 to 10 years in prison, or both. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1955

In addition, the statute allows for civil penalties for all compensatory damages as a result of a computer crime in addition to costs and attorneys’ fees.

If you are facing charges, you need to seek expert help quickly. Get the help you need by calling us today.

Free Consultation: Wagoner Criminal Defense Attorney

The criminal defense lawyers at Wirth Law Office – Wagoner are here to provide you a free consultation to discuss what our team could do to handle your criminal matter.

Contact us at 918-485-0335 to schedule your confidential and no-cost consultation.

You may also contact us by email using the form at the top of this page.

Either way you reach out to our team, we’ll get back to you promptly to answer your legal questions.

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