Las Vegas Cybercrime Lawyer Explains Nevada Computer Crimes (NRS 205.4765)
Illegal acts using computers and information services are serious offenses in Nevada. They can also be punished under federal law as “computer fraud” or “cyber crime.”
All convictions in criminal cases are serious, and especially a computer fraud conviction. Computer fraud convictions in Nevada create a felony record that may make it difficult to get hired in the future or to pass a background check for any reason.
If you have been arrested for a Nevada computer crime, contact LV Criminal Defense to begin your defense today.
What acts are illegal for purposes of Nevada’s computer crimes law?
A person who knowingly, willfully and without authorization:
- Retains possession of
- Enters or
- Attempts to do any of the things on this list to a computer, computer program, network, or hardware device
is guilty of a computer crime in Las Vegas. The most important aspect of this crime is that the criminal defendant did not have authority to access the computer system at all, and therefore did not have permission to do any of the activities on the above list to the computer, network, or other computing component.
Attempting to install a virus on a computer, or actually installing a virus on a computer, is a crime in Nevada that is subject to its own set of penalties.
Sentencing for Nevada Cyber Crimes
Most computer crimes are misdemeanors in Nevada. Las Vegas misdemeanors carry up to 1 year in a county jail and fines up to $1,000. However, certain cybercrimes will be prosecuted as Category C felonies, including:
- Schemes to defraud a person or institution of property using computers
- Computer crimes which cause more than $500 in response costs and damages or
- Interrupted service of a government agency or utility.
Any of these crimes is punishable by 1 to 5 years in a Nevada prison and fines up to $100,000. A person convicted of a felony cyber crime in Nevada is also required to pay restitution to the victim. This type of crime is commonly used to further an identity theft scheme, to advance an agenda against a certain company or person, or otherwise to interrupt the operations of a person, business, or government agency.
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Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
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Federal law also defines and imposes punishments for computer crimes:
Computer crimes are punishable under federal law as well as state law
In addition to the penalties provided by the state of Nevada, the federal government also has laws which provide separate (and sometimes additional) penalties for computer crimes. Federal law is focused more on frauds carried out using computers, especially “hacking.” Not all hacking will result in a violation of federal law, but hacking which involves any of the following could result in federal computer crimes charges against you:
- Government computers
- Computers used in interstate commerce
- Crimes involving interstate commerce and
- Other crimes that are a matter of special interest to the government, such as currency schemes or trafficking of people and drugs.
Hacking can include gaining unauthorized access to a computer, changing the way a computer operates, and stealing information from a protected computer. Any of these behaviors individually or in combination can result in computer crimes charges in a federal case against you.
Sentences for federal computer crimes
If you are convicted of a federal computer crime, you can be subject to:
- 1 to 20 years in a federal prison
- Fines and
Nevada does not have a federal prison located within the state’s borders, which means that any sentence you have to serve based on a federal computer crime will be served in a different state.
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More information about computer crimes in Las Vegas, Nevada
Computer crimes are a specialized area of law that is best handled by a reputable Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer. Computer crimes investigations can be long and complex, and Nicholas Wooldridge – a federal criminal lawyer with a vast experience in defending cybercriminals – is in the best position to make sure that law enforcement did not break the law while investigating its case against you. If the law was broken during the investigation, critical evidence can be thrown out. The less evidence available against you in a computer crimes case, the less likely the prosecution can convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty.
Contact us today for a free consultation about your computer crimes case.