New York Computer Crimes Laws
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed February 26, 2018
Overview of New York Computer Crime Laws
Reflecting the state legislature's effort to address a full range of computer abuses, Article 156 of the New York Penal Code criminalizes a wide range of computer crimes. Specifically, the law enumerates five distinct offenses involving computers: unauthorized use of a computer, computer trespass, computer tampering, unlawful duplication of computer related material, and criminal possession of computer related material.
Unauthorized Use of a Computer
A person is guilty of the crime of "unauthorized use of a computer" when he or she knowingly uses, causes to be used, or accesses a computer, computer service, or computer network without authorization. A person uses or accesses a computer "without authorization" when such person knows that his or her use or access is without the owner's permission, or where such person had actual notice that he or she lacked the owner's permission.
A person commits computer trespass when he or she commits the offense of unauthorized use of a computer (or computer service or computer network) and either
- does so with the specific intent to commit, attempt to commit, or further the commission of any felony; or
- knowingly gains access to computer material.
Computer Tampering: Four Degrees
The crime of computer tampering is divided into four degrees. Fourth-degree computer tampering - the most basic of the offenses - occurs when a person commits the offense of unauthorized use of a computer (or computer service or computer network) and "intentionally alters in any manner or destroys computer data or a computer program of another person."
Duplication and Possession of Computer-Related Materials
New York additionally penalizes the unlawful duplication and criminal possession of computer related material. The former occurs when a person copies, reproduces or duplicates computer material, data, or a program and has no right to do so. A person commits the latter offense when having no right to do so, he or she knowingly possesses in any form any copy, reproduction or duplicate of any computer data or program that was the subject of unlawful duplication - with the intent to benefit him or herself or another.
Below you will find a brief overview of New York computer crimes laws and penalties.
|Definition of "Computer"||
|Federal Internet Gambling Law||
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
New York Computer Crime Laws Related Resources:
Get Legal Help with Your Computer Crimes Case in New York
There are a number of crimes you can be accused of involving your mobile device, tablet, or desktop computer. Regardless of the device involved, it's a good idea to contact a local criminal defense attorney who can explain the charges you're facing and help you fight these charges.
Was this helpful?
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney
Contact a qualified attorney.