In New Jersey, hacking into someone’s computer to disrupt its operation or to steal the owner’s personal information is a serious offense with serious consequences. “Hacking” is defined in New Jersey as a computer criminal activity when the “hacker” purposefully or knowingly and without authorization or in excess of authorization accesses or attempts to access, alters, damages, destroys, obtains, steals or takes any data from a computer or network. The full and detailed law is at N.J.S.A. 2C:20-25.
The punishment for hacking is severe and based on the amount of damage done. The charges range from a crime of the fourth degree (up to 18 months in jail) to a crime of the first degree (up to 20 years in prison). Because of the drastic increase in computer use and the prevalence of the Internet, charges of hacking are increasing exponentially. The need for an experienced and successful attorney to defend you in your hacking case is vital, as the courts’ interpretation of the law is constantly shifting and evolving.