From spam to viruses, and hackers to identity theft, we’re still learning all the ways criminals can use computers and how we can keep ourselves safe. Can you get in trouble for sexting? And is it safe to use your smart phone to transfer money? Fortunately for those of us in the Hoosier State, Indiana has statutes in place intended to protect us from online theft or fraud. This is a brief summary of computer crimes laws in Indiana.
Most people are familiar with the term “hacking,” however, there are various types of criminal activities that fall under the umbrella of “computer crimes” in Indiana. Many state laws identify and prohibit a number of offenses collectively called “computer crimes,” which can include a variety of topics such as hacking into a secure network, damaging a computer system, or even large-scale spam operations. Indiana computer crime laws require the act to be intentional. However, an attempted computer crime is not considered unlawful in the state.
Computer Crime Laws in Indiana
The highlights of Indiana’s computer crime laws are listed below. You can visit FindLaw’s Cyber Crimes section for more general information.
|Code Section||35-43-1-4; 35-43-2-3|
|Mental State Required for Prosecution||Knowingly; intentionally|
|Misdemeanor Computer Crimes||Access, class A misdemeanor|
|Felony Computer Crimes||Class D felony: computer tampering; class C felony if for purpose of terrorism; class B felony if for purpose of terrorism and results in serious bodily harm to a person|
|Attempt Considered a Crime?||No|
|Civil Lawsuit Permitted?||No|
Computer crimes can commonly be referred to as “cyber” crimes, and include:
- Interference with another person’s computer access or use
- Use of a computer in a scheme to defraud
- Use of encryption in aid of a crime
- Improper access to a computer, system, or network
- Improper use, copy, modification, damage, or disclosure, of programs or data
- Introduction of a virus or other contaminant into a computer system or network
- Falsification of email source information
- Theft of information service from a provider
Depending on the purpose of the offense, a computer crime conviction in Indiana could mean anywhere from six months to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. To help protect yourself against computer crime, be sure to keep sensitive data like passwords, bank account codes, and social security numbers as private as possible, and install quality antivirus software on your own computer.
Charged under Indiana Computer Crimes Laws? Contact an Attorney
Many state computer crime laws are still relatively new and can therefore seem confusing. If you’d like legal advice regarding a possible computer crime case in Indiana, you can contact a local criminal defense attorney. A skilled attorney will review the facts of your case, explain the law and any possible defenses, and even represent you in court.