Even if we’re just checking email, we’re all using computers more nowadays. And criminals are using them more, too, looking to exploit security flaws in computers and use our personal information for their financial gain. For those of us who spend a lot of time on our laptops and smart phones, we can rest a little easier knowing the Land of Enchantment has strict criminal laws to protect its citizens from online theft or fraud. This is a basic overview of computer crimes laws in New Mexico.
When we think of computer crime, most of us might be thinking of “hackers” breaking into secure government or bank systems. But “computer crimes” can refer to anything from spam email operations to misusing public or work computers. State computer crime laws identify and prosecute these kinds of offenses.
Computer Crime Laws in New Mexico
New Mexico’s computer crime statutes are highlighted below.
|Code Section||New Mexico Statutes 30-45-1, et seq.: Computer Crimes|
|What is Prohibited||New Mexico Statutes 30-45-3: Computer Access
Accessing or causing to be accessed a computer, computer system, computer network or any part thereof with the intent to obtain, by means of embezzlement or false or fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises, money, property or anything of value;
New Mexico Statutes 30-45-4: Computer Abuse
Directly or indirectly altering, changing, damaging, disrupting or destroying any computer, computer network, computer property, computer service or computer system;
Directly or indirectly introducing or causing to be introduced data that the person knows to be false into a computer, computer system, computer network, computer software, computer program, database or any part thereof with the intent of harming the property or financial interests or rights of another person;
New Mexico Statutes 30-45-5: Unauthorized Computer Access
Directly or indirectly accessing, using, taking, transferring, concealing, obtaining, copying or retaining possession of any computer, computer network, computer property, computer service, computer system or any part thereof
|Mental State Required for Prosecution||Knowingly, willfully|
|Misdemeanor Computer Crimes||Any of the following, causing damages less than $250: access; access plus scheme to defraud; alter, damage or destroy hard/software; disclosure, copy or display of computer information; less than $100 is a petty misdemeanor|
|Felony Computer Crimes||Any of the following, causing damages greater than $250: access; access plus scheme to defraud; alter, damage or destroy hard/software; disclosure, copy or display of computer information; $250 to $2500 in damages, 4th degree felony; $2500 to $20,000, 3rd degree felony, $20,000 or greater, 2nd degree felony|
|Attempt Considered a Crime?||No|
|Civil Lawsuit Permitted?||No|
More Resources for New Mexico Computer Crimes Laws
Understanding computers and computer crime laws isn’t easy. For additional articles and resources on this topic, you can visit FindLaw’s section on Cyber Crimes. If you would like legal assistance with a computer crime matter, you can consult with a New Mexico criminal defense attorney.