Overview of the Penalties Associated with the Unlawful Interference or Denial of Access To or Use of Computers

Being charged with the unlawful interference of denial of access to, or use of, computers is a serious criminal offense in Las Vegas and elsewhere in Nevada. A conviction for computer fraud, hacking, or unlawfully interfering or denying access to a computer can result in a felony conviction that remains on your permanent record for decades into the future. Having this proverbial scarlet letter on your record may make it extremely difficult to secure employment in the future or pass a background check for a particular type of employment.

The seriousness of these criminal charges, and the potential ramifications on your future, are just some of the reasons why you should take the time to speak with an experienced and knowledgeable computer crime defense attorney in Las Vegas to discuss your legal defense options today. You should not try to take on the state and/or federal government alone when charged with a computer crime.

According to NRS 205.477, a person who willfully, maliciously, knowingly and without authorization denies, interferes or causes denial of access to a computer, system or network to another person who is supposed to be able to use it, has committed a gross misdemeanor.

Also, a person who willfully, maliciously, knowingly and without authorization uses, causes use of, attempts to get access to, accesses or causes access to a system, computer, network or telecommunications devices is also guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

If the violation of any part of this section:

  1. Was done to execute or devise a crime to illegally obtain property or to defraud;
  2. Caused costs for response, injury, loss or any other damage more than $500 or
  3. Caused there to be an interruption or the disruption of a public service, such as a governmental operation, system of public communication, or supply or transportation of water, gas or electricity

That person is guilty of a category C felony. It can be punished as described in NRS 193.130. Punishments can include imprisonment in a state prison for a minimum term of one year, and not more than five years. Also, the court can impose a fine of at least $10,000. A greater fine also could be required by statute up to $100,000.  The court can also order the convicted to pay restitution.

Next, it is an affirmative defense to a criminal charge made related to this section that at the time the offense allegedly occurred that the accused reasonably believed that:

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  1. The defendant was allowed to access or use the computer, system, network or telecommunications device or information service, and such use by the accused was within the scope of the authorization;
  2. The owner or other party allowed to give consent would give permission to the accused to use or access the system, computer, network or telecommunications device.

A defendant who plans to offer an affirmative defense as described above at a trial or hearing must, at least 14 days before the trial or hearing, file and serve to the prosecuting attorney a notice in writing to that effect.

Contact an Experienced Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Were you or a family member charged with allegedly engaging in the unlawful interference with or denial of access to or use of computers? Now is the time to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney in Las Vegas for a free and confidential case review.