Cybercrime in Arizona: Are There Adequate Laws against it?

Arizona ranks seventh among all states as far as the prevalence of cybercrime is concerned, a 2016 study shows. More than 60,500 people reported being the victim of a cybercrime in Arizona during the year and the losses exceeded 20 million dollars.

The situation has worsened since 2015 when Arizona ranked ninth among all states and the cybercrime losses reached approximately nine million dollars.

Cybercrime is an umbrella term that encompasses numerous activities. Luckily, Arizona has laws that address some of the most common offenses.

Arizona’s Cybercrime Laws

Arizona Revised Statutes 13-2316 highlights crimes like computer tampering. The act of tampering is committed by accessing or destroying a computer, as well as modifying information knowingly and recklessly. Some of the activities that fall under the category include:

  • Damaging a computer or a part of a computer network
  • Altering information for fraudulent purposes
  • Introducing a virus or malware knowingly in a computer system
  • Recklessly causing the disruption of a computer system, network or service
  • Using a computer to engage in a fraud scheme or to cause emotional distress/torment
  • Preventing a user from exiting a website, a network or a computer system to force communication or forcefully maintain a connection
  • Acquiring digital information that has to be kept confidential

Such computer crimes are classified as felonies under Arizona law. Computer fraud in the first degree is a Class 3 felony. Computer fraud to the second degree will lead to Class 5 felony charges.

A person facing Class 3 felony charges can expect probation of up to one year, jail time or a maximum prison sentence of 8.75 years. Individuals found guilty of a Class 5 felony can be sentenced to anywhere between four months in jail and two years in prison. Fines will also be imposed and they come in the range from a few hundred to more than 100,000 dollars.

Where are Trials to Take Place?

It’s more than obvious that computer crime can affect individuals in another state or country. Thus, A.R.S. 13-2316 has detailed provisions concerning where a trial is going to take place following cybercrime charges.

According to the regulation, a trial can be held in any of the following places:

  • The country in which the computer or the network is located
  • The country where the computer system used to commit cybercrime is located
  • The country in which an authorized user experienced a denial of service of access to the respective network
  • The country where infrastructure, data or critical resources were either tampered with or destroyed by cybercriminals

Other Types of Cyber Crime

Apart from computer tampering laws, Arizona has other regulations that criminalize a number of digital activities.

People who engage in child pornography viewing or dissemination are committing a cybercrime in Arizona. Individuals who are found to possess pornographic images depicting minors are going to face prosecution.

cybercrime in arizonaCyber stalking is another prosecuted activity. This is the use of a computer and internet to monitor the activities of another individual or group of people, to make threats, commit identity theft or gather information that will eventually be used to harass someone.

Identity theft could be prosecuted separately as an individual crime rather than a part of cyber stalking. Other cybercrime activities include cyber terrorism, information warfare, software piracy and the commitment of fraud via a digital channel.

Cybercrime is a serious offense and the sanctions are going to be life-changing whenever a person is found guilty. Getting in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney will be of utmost importance in such situations. A lawyer can craft the best possible defense scenario that’s based on a violation of the defendant’s rights, proving that an individual is authorized to use a computer/access a network or the lack of recklessness/intention for the commitment of the crime.