Computer trespass, also known as unauthorized access or hacking, is probably the best-known computer crime. Hacking occurs when someone gains access to a computer system without permission.
Agencies, like the FBI, relentlessly track computer crimes such as unauthorized access of federal computers. Federal law enforcement has created new technology and investigative techniques to find and prosecute those violating federal cyber offenses.
If you are indicted on federal computer crime charges, a determined federal prosecutor will work hard to build a strong case against you. You can face being sent to a federal prison for years.
What You Need To Know About Computer Trespass
You can be arrested for computer trespass if you steal funds electronically from banks or other businesses. You can also be charged if you take valuable information, such as passwords or credit card numbers.
People don’t always use computer trespass for financial reasons. Hackers can be motivated by anything from revenge, to political reasons, to maliciousness – or just to prove they can.
Federal Computer Trespass
The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), passed by Congress in 1986 and amended many times since, is the basic law used by federal prosecutors to prosecute computer crimes. This law was enacted to curtail computer crime, and legislators have tried to keep up with evolving criminal activities.
Computer trespass is one of the main crimes CFAA addresses. CFAA makes it a federal crime to intentionally and destructively trespass in the following computer systems where you are not an authorized user:
- Federal computers
- Bank computers
- Computers used for interstate and/or foreign commerce
Under some circumstances even if you are an authorized user you can be at risk of criminal charges if you go beyond your authorized system access and cause harm.
The key to the severity of your punishment for CFAA violations centers on whether you illegally entered the system with the intent to cause harm or destruction or commit fraud.
If you enter a computer system without authorized access and cause at least $1,000 of damage, you can be prosecuted for destructive trespass under CFAA. This part of the statute is used to prosecute hackers who release malware, including worms and viruses, which damage computer systems.
How A Lawyer Will Help
When you are up against a federal computer crime charge, you will be facing inflexible laws and a determined US prosecutor. You will need an attorney who can help you determine all of your options and achieve the best outcome for your circumstances.
United States Code
Read more about federal criminal offenses in the United States Code.
Questions? Contact us today.
If you are charged with a federal crime, the consequences can be devastating. Fienman Defense will fight tenaciously to protect your constitutional rights. We will guide you through a court system that can be complex and intimidating, and provide you with the strongest possible defense.