Arizona Computer Crimes Charges: Understanding the Laws and Penalties

In the digital age, crimes involving computers have become increasingly prevalent. Arizona law addresses computer crimes under A.R.S. §13-2316, §13-2316.01, and §13-2316.02. These statutes encompass a spectrum of offenses, including “Computer Tampering,” “Unlawful Possession of an Access Device,” and “Unauthorized Release of Proprietary or Confidential Computer Security Information.”

At The Law Office of Daniel Hutto, we believe it is essential to have a solid understanding of these crimes and their potential consequences to ensure a strong defense. In this article, we will discuss computer crimes in Arizona, the possible charges, fines and penalties, as well as effective defense strategies

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What You Should Know if Charged with a Computer Crime in Arizona

computer crimes in Arizona

Computer Tampering: Unlawful Access and Disruption

Under A.R.S. §13-2316, Computer Tampering encompasses various acts that involve unauthorized access to computer systems with the intention to disrupt, alter, damage, delete, or destroy data or programs. An example of this crime could be when a disgruntled employee intentionally sabotages the company’s computer system before leaving. Additionally, hacking attempts to obtain confidential data or using a computer to threaten or terrorize others may lead to charges of computer tampering. It is crucial to note that computer tampering can be prosecuted in the county where the affected computer or network is located, where the offense was committed, or where critical infrastructure resources were tampered with.


Unlawful Possession of an Access Device: Control and Distribution

A.R.S. §13-2316.01 addresses the crime of Unlawful Possession of an Access Device. This offense occurs when an individual knowingly possesses, sells, traffics, controls, or publishes an access device without the issuer’s consent, with the intent to use or distribute it. Possessing five (5) or more access devices without consent establishes the presumption of intent to use or distribute. The severity of the offense varies depending on the number of access devices involved.

Possessing five (5) or more access devices without consent establishes the presumption of intent to use or distribute.


Unauthorized Release of Proprietary or Confidential Computer Security Information

A.R.S. §13-2316.02 pertains to the Unauthorized Release of Proprietary or Confidential Computer Security Information. This crime involves the communication, release, or publication of proprietary or confidential computer security information without the owner’s authorization. This statute is commonly applied when hackers share information with other hackers, enabling them to bypass security systems. It is important to note that this statute excludes publishers, vendors, users, and researchers who disclose warnings or information about security measures or software defects.


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Fines and Penalties for Computer Crimes

The fines and penalties associated with computer crimes depend on the severity of the offense. Here is an overview of the potential punishments for each felony class:

  1. Class 2 Felony:
    • Probation or prison time ranging from three (3) years to twelve and a half (12.5) years.
  2. Class 3 Felony:
    • Probation or prison time ranging from two (2) to eight and three-quarters (8.75) years.
  3. Class 4 Felony:
    • Probation or prison time ranging from one (1) year to three and three-quarters (3.75) years.
  4. Class 5 Felony:
    • Probation or prison time ranging from six (6) months to two and a half (2.5) years.
  5. Class 6 Felony:
    • Probation or prison time ranging from four (4) months to two (2) years.

Note having prior convictions can result in enhanced prison-only ranges for certain felony classes.

Defense Strategies for Computer Crimes

Mounting a strong defense for cases involving computer crimes is vital. Here are some effective defense strategies that our experienced criminal defense attorneys at The Law Office of Daniel Hutto employ:

  1. Challenging the evidence: We thoroughly analyze the evidence against you, looking for weaknesses or violations of your constitutional rights.
  2. Asserting lack of intent: Depending on the circumstances, we may argue that you did not have the necessary intent to commit the alleged computer crime.
  3. Investigating improper search and seizure: If law enforcement violated your Fourth Amendment rights during the investigation or seizure of your computer systems, we may challenge the admissibility of the evidence obtained.
  4. Demonstrating lack of knowledge: We may argue that you were unaware of any unauthorized access or tampering, showing that you were not involved in the alleged offense.

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Criminal Defense Attorney Daniel HuttoHow The Law Office of Daniel Hutto Can Help You

Navigating the complex world of computer crimes requires the expertise of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. At The Law Office of Daniel Hutto, we understand the intricacies of computer crime laws in Arizona. Our skilled attorneys have a wealth of experience in defending clients facing computer crime charges. We will analyze the specific details of your case, build a robust defense strategy, and fight vigorously to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome.

Contact Us If you have been arrested or are being questioned for computer-related crimes in Arizona, it is crucial to seek the guidance of a trusted and experienced attorney. Contact The Law Office of Daniel Hutto at (602) 536-7878 for a free consultation. Our highly skilled legal team is available 24/7 to provide comprehensive assistance and protect your rights throughout the legal process.

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