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What are Ohio's computer crime laws?

Ohio has a number of specialized laws regarding computer crimes. In reality, technology changes so fast that there can never be a law for every situation, but the state does try to cover its bases. There are laws regarding internet crimes against children, internet fraud and other types of negligent or criminal behavior.

There are two laws that you should know in Ohio. The first is that unauthorized use of a computer is a fourth-degree misdemeanor. Second, the unauthorized use of computer property is a fifth-degree felony. Even attempting to hack or use a computer without authorization is against the law in Ohio.

To be prosecuted for a computer crime, the prosecution has to show that you knew you were committing a crime. Ohio makes it so you must have the mental state of intent to be convicted of a computer crime. For example, if you were using a computer in your home that you thought was a family unit but later faced charges for using it since it was your father's coworker's computer, you could show that you were not intending to commit a crime and did not knowingly violate a law.

It can be difficult for the prosecution to pursue charges if you can show that you did not have the intent to hack into or use a computer without authorization. If you're accused of this crime, it's important to talk to your attorney as soon as possible about your options. There are solid defenses available to help you avoid a conviction, so you can protect your reputation.

Source: FindLaw, "Ohio Computer Crimes Laws," accessed June 02, 2017

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