Computers play an important role in the lives of practically every New Yorker. While children use them to complete their schoolwork, adults use them for job duties, entertainment, and person communications. Many homes have computers in them, and most employers provide computers to their workers so that they can perform their jobs.
While how a person uses their personal computer device is up to them, workers who have computers issued by their employers may be held to specific rules and policies about what they can access and use from their devices. Their failure to comply with applicable regulations and laws may result in allegations of computer crimes, which can be very serious legal matters. The state of New York, though, recognizes some defenses to computer-based fraud crimes.
Defenses grounded in reasonable beliefs
At the core of these possible defenses is the reasonableness of the defendant’s belief that they had the right or permission to do what their employer has alleged is in violation of the law. For example, most white collar crimes require individuals to intend to break the law with a mindset that acknowledges they know they are committing wrongdoing. When a person reasonably believes that what they are doing is appropriate or within the scope of their duties, they may not be found to have intentionally broken the law. Workers can allege that they reasonably believed they were permitted to use computers for particular purposes, destroy materials on computers, or copy and duplicate materials on computers.
Preparing for a computer crime trial
Allegations of computer crimes are serious and should be taken seriously by those facing them. This post only provides a basic overview of some of the defenses individuals may use when facing alleged computer crime charges. Defense attorneys can help their clients develop criminal defense plans that meet their specific case needs.