Computer Tampering in Illinois
Illinois passed a Computer Crime Prevention Law in 1996 that makes computer tampering and related crimes illegal in Illinois. The statute addresses computer tampering, aggravated computer tampering, and computer fraud. If you are charged with a crime under this statute, you should contact knowledgeable computer tampering lawyers as soon as possible to defend you against the charges.
Computer tampering involves accessing data, a computer, or a computer program, without permission from the owner. To be found guilty of computer tampering, the prosecutor must also prove that the person who tampered with the computer did it knowingly. Unauthorized access on its own is a misdemeanor, but if there are data or services that are obtained it is classified as a misdemeanor for the first offense and thereafter is a felony.
However, if the computer is tampered with to send computer viruses or is used in other ways to destroy, alter, or damage programs, data, or computers, then it is a felony.
Aggravated Computer Tampering
Aggravated computer tampering is similar to regular computer tampering except it involves the government, and it is always a felony. Aggravated computer tampering occurs when computer tampering results in interference or disruption to state or local governments or a public utility. The interference or disruption must affect vital services. It is also considered aggravated computer tampering if there is a strong probability of this interference causing death or bodily harm to someone else.
Computer fraud is also a felony and occurs when the use or access of a computer, data, or program is used to defraud others. Defrauding others through the use of a computer encompasses many different activities that involve one person unlawfully getting control of services, money, or property, including electronic property and software.
The specific penalties for different computer crimes depend on what has happened, whether there are previous offenses and the amount of the value property that was fraudulently obtained. It is a Class four felony for a first offense to tamper with a computer for the purposes of fraud or to gain control of money or property valued at less than $1,000, and a Class three felony for any subsequent offenses. However, if the value of the property is between $1,000 and $50,000 it is a Class three felony for the first offense and a Class two felony for property valued at $50,000 or more.
Contact Us Today for Assistance
Computer crimes are serious and convictions under the Computer Crime Prevention Law can come with severe penalties. If you have been charged with or are being investigated for a computer tampering crime, you should contact the passionate Naperville computer tampering attorneys at Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC to help you get the charges reduced or dropped.