The internet makes it possible to communicate with people around the world, make purchases with the click of a button, and surf the internet anonymously. Unfortunately, the perks of the internet are not without some drawbacks. The same addictive tendencies that result in problems with drugs and alcohol also tempt many people with sexual addiction.
Not all sex crimes are nonconsensual sexual acts with other people. Sex crimes in Oklahoma also include accessing pornography over the computer. When a person downloads or distributes child pornography, uses technology to solicit minors, or shares obscene materials with someone who is underage, the person may have committed a crime without ever meeting a victim in person.
Although the internet may seem anonymous, it isn't. But the sense of anonymity and no boundaries make it easy for some people to commit an act they would never attempt in person. When a person makes a mistake and downloads illegal images, or is curious about a certain type of pornography, the law treats these activities as crimes. Oklahoma's Computer Crimes Act makes it illegal for people to use the computer or other technology to commit illegal acts.
Violations of the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act carry fines, jail time, and prison sentences. To be convicted of the crimes, the prosecutor must show that the violations are willful and without authorization. This law applies to computers, computer systems, and networks.
Misdemeanor and Felony Computer Crimes in Oklahoma
Some of these crimes are considered misdemeanors, but the majority of the violations are felony crimes.
Misdemeanor offenses include:
- Gaining or attempting to gain access a computer, system or network without authorization with the intent to damage, delete, destroy, modify, alter, copy, disclose, or take possession;
- Using or allowing the use of a computer service without authorization;
- Using a computer, computer system, or computer network to abuse, threaten, harass, or annoy another individual.
Felony violations of the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act include the following acts:
- Internet fraud or use with the purpose of devising or executing a scheme or artifice with the intent to defraud, deceive, extort, or for the purpose of controlling or obtaining money, property, services, or other thing of value by means of a false or fraudulent pretense or representation;
- Assisting in providing a means of accessing a computer;
- Computer sexual exploitation;
- Copyright violations such as illegally downloading music;
- Hacking or disrupting or causing the disruption of computer services or denying access to an authorized user by the development and distribution of viruses, spyware, and malware;
- Storing, communicating, and retrieving data for the purpose of using the access to violate the statute is a felony crime punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
- Using a computer to put another person in fear of physical harm or death.
Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act Penalties
Conviction of a misdemeanor computer crime is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and up to $5,000 in fines.
For felony offenses, Oklahoma's Computer Crimes Act creates felonies which are punishable by up to 10 years in jail, with total fines between $5,000 and $100,000. Oklahoma law also allows victims to sue the perpetrator for violations of their rights. As a result, a person convicted is also subject to civil liability for compensatory damages and attorneys’ fees. See Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1955.
Call a Computer Crimes Defense Attorney in Oklahoma
If you have been accused of violating Oklahoma's Computer Crimes Act, serious penalties may attach. You need an experienced defense lawyer on your side. Schedule a meeting with an experienced Oklahoma criminal defense attorney to find out more. Contact our law firm today, or call 405-542-2529 (542-CLAW) and one of our attorneys will speak with you about your case. Read more about our team, or continue reading and researching our free legal information library, or enter live chat.