Westchester County Student Cybercrimes Lawyer
Although being charged with a computer crime or other cybercrime is never a desirable situation, such charges can be especially problematic for students, especially those who have no experience dealing with the criminal justice system. Trying to defend themselves in court while balancing studies and other school activities often lead to unsatisfactory results in all three areas of a defendant’s life.
The good news is that a Westchester County student cybercrimes lawyer is available to help you defend yourself in such circumstances. A criminal defense attorney familiar with different cybercrimes and New York law regarding these crimes could help you identify your legal options and defend your rights both in and out of court.
What is a Cybercrime?
Although cybercrimes come in many different forms, almost every cybercrime involves alleged improper access or manipulation of a computer or computer network. Under New York Penal Law §156.00, cybercrimes may involve any of the following:
- A computer
- Computer programs installed on a computer
- Any data or material on the computer
- Any computer service or network, including the Internet
For example, allegations against a defendant may include the assertion that they improperly accessed a computer or computer network. Alternatively, they may center around an individual allegedly retrieving or downloading data or information on a computer they did not have permission to access. Students facing such accusations may be in dire need of help from a Westchester County student cybercrimes attorney to appropriately address and contest those charges.
Unauthorized Use of a Computer
The unauthorized use of a computer is a misdemeanor under New York Penal Law. According to NYPL §156.05, an individual may not knowingly use or access a computer or computer network without authorization.
Students are often accused of unauthorized computer use in the form of unauthorized access to closed on-campus networks or faculty computers. However, some students may be able to defend themselves by claiming that they reasonably believed they had the authorization to use the computer or network in question. Under NYPL §150.50, such a defense would nullify any unauthorized use charge if held up in court.
NYPL §156.10 defines computer trespass as the knowing use or access of a computer, computer service, or computer network without authorization with the intent to commit a felony and/or knowingly gain access to computer material.
Computer trespass is a Class E felony, which means conviction could result in possible jail time of between three to four years, according to NYPL §70.00.
As a result, any student accused of improperly accessing a computer and gaining information on that computer may face serious consequences. Fortunately, student cybercrimes lawyer in Westchester County may be able to assist students in defending their rights.
Cyber-harassment by a student is considered a form of cybercrime. This offense involves any communication transmitted electronically that is intended to annoy, threaten, alarm, or harass another individual. This offense covers communications that are made anonymously. Upon conviction, this Class A misdemeanor could lead to as much as one year in jail as well as a fine.
What are the Collateral Consequences of Student Cybercrime Convictions?
It is understandable for students to focus on the potential for incarceration that comes with a cybercrime conviction. However, there are also collateral consequences that can come with these criminal cases that could disrupt a student’s life long after they pay any fines and serve any time behind bars.
For students, the steepest consequences involve the loss of educational opportunities, as a criminal conviction could result in suspension or expulsion from school. It could also lead to the loss of a scholarship or other form of financial aid.
A conviction for a cybercrime could impact a student’s life after they have completed their education as well. The job market can be tough under the best circumstances, but a conviction for a cybercrime could make obtaining employment after graduation especially challenging. The same is true for obtaining a license necessary for certain professions, including nursing, practicing law, or working as a pilot. A Westchester County attorney could work hard to minimize these potential consequences if a student is facing cybercrime charges.
Speak with a Westchester County Student Cybercrimes Attorney
Cybercrimes cases can be complicated, often involving technical evidence and multiple parties. As a result, defending yourself against a cybercrimes charge while at school can be difficult even in the best of situations.
To increase your chance of a successful outcome, it may be wise to hire a lawyer with cybercrimes case experience who knows how to construct effective defenses for students facing such charges. If you are a student facing cybercrimes charges, call a Westchester County student cybercrimes lawyer today to schedule a consultation and start exploring your legal options.