2012 South Carolina Code of Laws
Title 16 - Crimes and Offenses
Chapter 16 - COMPUTER CRIME ACT
Section 16-16-20 - Computer crime offenses; penalties.


SC Code § 16-16-20 (2012) What's This?

(1) It is unlawful for a person to wilfully, knowingly, maliciously, and without authorization or for an unauthorized purpose to:

(a) directly or indirectly access or cause to be accessed a computer, computer system, or computer network for the purpose of:

(i) devising or executing a scheme or artifice to defraud;

(ii) obtaining money, property, or services by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, promises; or

(iii) committing any other crime.

(b) alter, damage, destroy, or modify a computer, computer system, computer network, computer software, computer program, or data contained in that computer, computer system, computer program, or computer network or introduce a computer contaminant into that computer, computer system, computer program, or computer network.

(2) A person is guilty of computer crime in the first degree if the amount of gain directly or indirectly derived from the offense made unlawful by subsection (1) or the loss directly or indirectly suffered by the victim exceeds ten thousand dollars. Computer crime in the first degree is a felony and, upon conviction, a person must be fined not more than fifty thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

(3)(a) A person is guilty of computer crime in the second degree if the amount of gain directly or indirectly derived from the offense made unlawful by subsection (1) or the loss directly or indirectly suffered by the victim is greater than one thousand dollars but not more than ten thousand dollars.

(b) A person is also guilty of computer crime in the second degree where:

(i) he interferes with, causes to be interfered with, denies or causes to be denied any computer or network service to an authorized user of the computer or network service for the purpose of devising or executing any scheme or artifice to defraud, or obtaining money, property, or services by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, or committing any other felony;

(ii) he deprives the owner of possession of, or takes, transfers, conceals, or retains possession of any computer, data, computer property, or computer-related property, including all parts of a computer, computer system, computer network, computer software, computer services, or information associated with a computer, whether in a tangible or intangible form; or

(iii) the gain derived from the offense made unlawful by subsection (1) or loss suffered by the victim cannot reasonably be ascertained.

(c) Computer crime in the second degree is a misdemeanor and, upon conviction for a first offense, a person must be fined not more than ten thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one year, or both. Upon conviction for a second or subsequent offense, a person is guilty of a misdemeanor and must be fined not more than twenty thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

(4) A person is guilty of computer crime in the third degree if the amount of gain directly or indirectly derived from the offense made unlawful by subsection (1) or the loss directly or indirectly suffered by the victim is not more than one thousand dollars. A person is also guilty of computer crime in the third degree if he wilfully, knowingly, and without authorization or for an unauthorized purpose engages in computer hacking. Computer crime in the third degree is a misdemeanor and, upon conviction for a first offense, a person must be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days. Upon conviction for a second or subsequent offense, a person must be fined not more than two thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

(5) Each computer, computer system, or computer network affected by the violation of this chapter constitutes a separate violation.

HISTORY: 1984 Act No. 442, Section 2; 1993 Act No. 184, Section 184; 2001 Act No. 81, Section 2; 2002 Act No. 169, Section 3, eff February 8, 2002; 2002 Act No. 339,Section 10, eff July 2, 2002.

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