Computer technology has come a long way over the decades. However, with the rise of computers and the Internet came various computer crimes. Many computer crimes are considered white-collar crimes. Those who violate laws regarding computer crimes could face serious penalties.

Hacking is a computer crime that many people in Wisconsin may already be familiar with. Other types of computer crimes include: improperly accessing a network; improperly copying, modifying, damaging or using data; introducing a virus into a network; interfering with someone else’s access to a computer; and more. However, to be criminally charged with a computer crime, a person must have acted willfully and knowingly. Unintentional actions are not subject to prosecution.

Some computer crimes are class A misdemeanors. These are offenses against computer data, programs, equipment and supplies. However, if the offense is committed to either defraud or obtain property, then the computer crime will be considered a felony. Depending on the financial damage caused and whether the act creates the risk of bodily harm, felony computer crimes could range from class D felonies to class F felonies to class H felonies.

We can use computer technology in so many useful ways. Computers are behind the incredible advancements in the fields of business, science and even entertainment that we have seen over the years. However, the unlawful tampering with or use of computers can constitute a crime in Wisconsin. Those in the Badger State who need more information on what constitutes a computer crime are advised to seek guidance on the matter from a criminal defense professional, as this post does not contain legal advice.