Colorado Computer Crime Defense Lawyers

In Col­orado, “com­puter crime” is an offense that cov­ers a wide range of unlaw­ful com­puter activ­i­ties. Com­puter crimes range from class 2 mis­de­meanors to class 3 felonies.

A per­son com­mits com­puter crime if he or she know­ingly does any of the following:

  • Accesses com­put­ers with­out autho­riza­tion, or exceeds authorization.
  • Accesses com­put­ers to devise or exe­cute a scheme to defraud.
  • Accesses com­put­ers and uses false or fraud­u­lent pre­tenses or promises to obtain money, prop­erty, pass­words, or any­thing else of value.
  • Accesses com­put­ers to com­mit theft.
  • Accesses a com­puter sys­tem with­out autho­riza­tion or in excess of autho­riza­tion, and does dam­age to that com­puter sys­tem or any com­puter, com­puter net­work, com­puter sys­tem, com­puter soft­ware, pro­gram, appli­ca­tion, doc­u­men­ta­tion, or data con­tained in such com­puter, com­puter net­work, or com­puter sys­tem or any part thereof.
  • Causes the trans­mis­sion of a virus.
  • Uses auto­mated soft­ware to cir­cum­vent event ticket pur­chas­ing limits.

For most types of com­puter crime, the sever­ity is deter­mined by the amount of finan­cial harm caused. If the dam­age is less than $500, then com­puter crime is a class 2 mis­de­meanor that car­ries a min­i­mum pun­ish­ment of three months of impris­on­ment, or a $250 fine, or both. The max­i­mum pun­ish­ment is twelve months of impris­on­ment, or a $1,000 fine, or both.

If the dam­age is between $500 and $1,000, com­puter crime is a class 1 mis­de­meanor that car­ries a min­i­mum pun­ish­ment of six months of impris­on­ment, or a $500 fine, or both. The max­i­mum pun­ish­ment is eigh­teen months of impris­on­ment, a $5,000 fine, or both.

If the dam­age is between $1,000 and $20,000, com­puter crime is a class 4 felony that car­ries a pre­sump­tive min­i­mum sen­tence of two years of impris­on­ment and a pre­sump­tive max­i­mum sen­tence of six years. Under extra­or­di­nary aggra­vat­ing cir­cum­stances, a court may impose a sen­tence of more than six years, and under extra­or­di­nary mit­i­gat­ing cir­cum­stances, a court may impose a sen­tence of less than two years.

If the dam­age is $20,000 or more, com­puter crime is a class 3 felony that car­ries a pre­sump­tive min­i­mum sen­tence of four years of impris­on­ment and a pre­sump­tive max­i­mum sen­tence of twelve years. Under extra­or­di­nary aggra­vat­ing cir­cum­stances, a court may impose a sen­tence of more than twelve years, and under extra­or­di­nary mit­i­gat­ing cir­cum­stances, a court may impose a sen­tence of less than four years.

How­ever, two com­puter crimes’ pun­ish­ments are not deter­mined by the amount of finan­cial harm done. Access­ing com­put­ers with­out or beyond autho­riza­tion is a class 2 mis­de­meanor for the first offense, and it’s a class 6 felony if the per­son has ever com­mit­ted a com­puter crime of any sort in the past.

Using auto­mated soft­ware to cir­cum­vent event ticket pur­chas­ing lim­its is a class 1 mis­de­meanor, and each ticket pur­chased in this man­ner is a sep­a­rate offense.