The term computer crime can mean many things, but is generally the unauthorized access to a computer or network; the theft of data, goods, or services as a result of this access; or the destruction of data, computer equipment or network. For example, someone who hacks into a secured computer network to steal confidential data has committed a computer crime. These offenses often relate to other crimes, such as identity theft or invasion of privacy, but most states have statutes directly related to unauthorized access.
Other offenses that fall under the "computer crime" umbrella include damaging software or data, introducing viruses or other malware to computer systems, using a computer to aid in the commission of fraud, and falsifying one's email source information. See FindLaw's Cyber Crimes section for related articles and resources.
What is Computer Crime Under Oregon Law?
Oregon's computer crime statute identifies three main categories of computer crimes:
- Knowingly accessing or using a computer or network (or attempting to do so) for the purpose of fraud; to obtain money, property, or services; or to commit theft of proprietary information.
- Knowingly and without authorization altering, destroying, or damaging any computer, network, software, data, etc. (or attempting to do so).
- Knowingly and without authorization using or accessing a computer or network (or attempting to do so).
While the first two offenses may be charged as a Class C felony, the third offense is charged as a Class A misdemeanor. Conviction on either charge may result in a prison sentence, as much as one year for a Class A misdemeanor and as much as five years for a Class C felony.
See the following chart for more details about Oregon's computer crime statute.
|Mental State Required for Prosecution
|Misdemeanor Computer Crimes
||Access is class A misdemeanor; theft of services is Class C misdemeanor if total of services is less than $100; Class A misdemeanor if total of services is more than $100 but less than $1,000
|Felony Computer Crimes
- Class C felony: access plus scheme to defraud; alter, damage or destroy hard/software; theft of data or services
- Class C felony if total of services is between $1,000 and $10,000
- Class B felony if total of services is more than $10,000
|Attempt Considered a Crime?
|Civil Lawsuit Permitted?
Note: State laws are not set in stone and may change at any time, usually through the passage of new legislation or through the opinions of appellate courts. You may want to contact an Oregon criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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Oregon Computer Crime Laws: Related Resources