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Colorados Computer Crime Statutory Laws

Article 5.5 of Title 18 of the Colorado Revised Statutes is devoted to computer crimes. Because many crimes that have long existed are now being committed by computers, the state legislature has added this article.

C.R.S. ¤ 18-5.5-102(1)(a) – provides that a person commits computer crime if he or she knowingly accesses a computer, computer network, or computer system without authorization, exceeds authorized access, or uses a computer, computer network, or computer system without authorization or in excess of authorized access. This provision of the statute makes criminal the privacy invasion that occurs when someone accesses a computer without authorization. This crime is a class 2 misdemeanor. C.R.S. ¤ 18-5.5-102(3)(b). However, if a person has previously been convicted of a computer crime, then this crime is a class 6 felony. C.R.S. ¤ 18-5.5-102(3)(b).

It is also a crime to access any computer, computer network, or computer system with the purpose of devising or executing a scheme to defraud, C.R.S. ¤ 18-5.5-102(1)(b), or to access a computer by false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, C.R.S. ¤ 18-5.5-102(1)(c).

Accessing any computer, computer network, or computer system in order to commit theft is made criminal under C.R.S. ¤ 18-5.5-102(1)(d).

Finally, it is a crime to alter, damage, interrupt, or cause the impairment of the proper functioning of any computer or related network, system, software, program, application, document, or data without authorization or in excess of authorized access. C.R.S. ¤ 18-5.5-102(1)(e). It is also a crime to transmit a computer program, software, information, code, data, or command with the intent to cause damage to or cause the interruption or impairment of the proper functioning of any computer, computer network, or computer system. C.R.S. ¤ 18-5.5-102(1)(f).

If the loss, damage, value of services, or thing of value taken, or cost of restoration or repair caused by any of these crimes (other than 18-5.5-102(1)(a)) is less than $500, then the computer crime is a class 2 misdemeanor. If the value is $500 or more but less than $1,000, computer crime is a class 1 misdemeanor. If the value is $1,000 or more but less than $20,000, computer crime is a class 4 felony. Finally, if the value is $20,000 or more, then computer crime is a class 3 felony. C.R.S. ¤ 18-5.5-102(3)(a).

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