Unauthorized Use of Property (O.R.C. 2913.04)
The unauthorized use of property statute is one of several “cybercrime” laws on the books in Ohio, and it makes it a crime to access computers or computer networks, cable devices or networks, and telecommunication devices or services, without the consent of the owner or beyond the scope of the “implied consent” of the owner. It also criminalizes the dissemination of materials gained through unauthorized use of property.
The law is broader than criminalizing hacking and has even been used to prosecute employees who violate the terms under which company computers are used. The severity of the charges is determined based on a number of factors, including the monetary loss that the owner of the device or network suffered, and the nature of the unauthorized use. The penalties for unauthorized use of computer, cable, or telecommunication devices can be anywhere from a low misdemeanor to a high felony, or multiple charges that include O.R.C. 2913.04.
Telecommunications Fraud (O.R.C. 2913.05)
Similar to the federal wire fraud statute, Ohio’s Telecommunications Fraud (O.R.C. 2913.05) statute criminalizes the use of telecommunications to execute or further a fraud scheme within the state. Prosecutors in Cleveland will grade the charge according to the value of the underlying fraud, with the base charge being a fifth degree felony with a 6-12 month sentence possible. When the value of the fraud is between $1,000 and $7,500, the crime is a fourth degree felony, with a 6-18 month sentence possible. When the amounts in question are $7,500 to $150,000, it is a third degree felony, with a sentence of 9 months to 5 years if convicted. At the level of $150,000 to $1,000,000, a second degree felony will be charged, with penalties as high as 8 years in prison. Telecommunications Fraud can be charged at the first degree level when more than $1,000,000 was fraudulently taken from one or more victims, and you’ll be facing a maximum of 11 years in prison.
Unlawful Use of Telecommunications Device (O.R.C. 2913.06)
Among the many crimes associated with modern communications technology, Unlawful Use of Telecommunications Device (O.R.C. 2913.06) is charged by Cleveland prosecutors when they believe you manufactured, possessed, sold, or even advertised a counterfeit telecommunications device with the purpose of using it criminally. The statute also makes it a crime for such a device to be used to access a phone or data network without paying for access, and prohibits the creation and use of telecommunication devices whose intent is to conceal itself from or hide data from a telecommunications network.
The penalties for unlawful use of a telecommunications device can be serious and charged as a fifth degree felony that can put you in jail for six to twelve months, and unfortunately, it is often charged along with other allegations of criminal conduct or theft. The attorneys at Patituce & Associates provide our clients with a thorough, aggressive defense of their rights, and the highest quality legal guidance available.
Possession / Sale of Unauthorized Cable Television Device (O.R.C. 2913.041)
Ohio’s Possession or Sale of Unauthorized Cable Television Device statute (O.R.C. 2913.041) makes it a crime in Cleveland to possess or sell devices, software tools, chipsets, or any other instrument whose purpose is to access a cable television system without paying the owner for such access. Whether you were charged with possession or selling a Cable TV device, you’re facing penalties of felony charges that can put you in custody for anywhere from six months to a year and a half. More importantly, each device you’re found with constitutes a separate charge, meaning that skilled legal help is required if you want to avoid significant punishment.
If you’re facing criminal charges, call today for a free consultation!