We’re all using computers more often these days, for everything from email to Internet banking and stock trading. So it’s no wonder criminals are using computers, too. From annoying spam and invasive viruses to hackers and identity theft, there’s virtually no end to the ways criminals can use computers. So how do we keep our computers, our personal information, and most importantly ourselves safe from computer crime? Luckily the Rocky Mountain State has strict laws on the books to help protect its citizens from online theft or fraud. This is a brief summary of Colorado computer crime laws.
Most of us have heard of “hacking,” whether on TV or in books. But that’s just one aspect of criminal computer use outlawed by state laws that identify and prohibit offenses collectively called “computer crimes.” These laws can cover everything from damaging a computer system and spam operations to hacking into a secure network.
Computer Crime Laws in Colorado
The following table outlines Colorado’s computer crime statutes.
|Code Section||COL. REV. STAT. §18-5.5-101 et seq.: Computer Crime|
|Mental State Required for Prosecution||Knowingly|
|What is Prohibited||Accessing or using a computer, computer network, or computer system without authorization or exceeding authorized access or use;
Accessing any computer, computer network, or computer system for the purpose of devising or executing any scheme or artifice to defraud;
Accessing any computer, computer network, or computer system to obtain, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, money; property; services; passwords or similar information through which a computer, computer network, or computer system or any part thereof may be accessed;
Accessing any computer, computer network, or computer system to commit theft;
Without authorization or in excess of authorized access, altering, damaging, interrupting or causing the interruption or impairment of the proper functioning of, 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;
Causing the transmission of a computer program, software, information, code, data, or command by means of a computer, computer network, or computer system with the intent to cause damage to or to cause the interruption or impairment of the proper functioning of or that actually causes damage to or the interruption or impairment of the proper functioning of any computer, computer network, computer system; or
Using or causing to be used a software application that runs automated tasks over the internet to access a computer, computer network, or computer system that circumvents or disables any electronic queues, waiting periods, or other technological measure intended by the seller to limit the number of event tickets that may be purchased by any single person in an on-line event ticket sale.
|Misdemeanor and Felony Computer Crimes||Class 3 misdemeanor if loss or damage is less than $100; class 2 if between $100 and $500
Class 4 felony if between $500 and $15,000; class 3 felony if $15,000 or more
|Attempt Considered a Crime?||No|
|Civil Lawsuit Permitted?||No|
Charged with a Computer Crime in Colorado? Contact a Lawyer
Understanding the intricacies of computers and computer crime laws can seem impossible. If you would like legal advice regarding a possible computer crime issue, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer in Colorado who can help you understand the charges against you and present your case in front of a jury, if necessary.