South Dakota Computer Crimes Laws

While many may be familiar with "hacking" from watching their favorite television shows or reading the latest news headline, a broader variety of activities may qualify as computer crimes. Examples of common computer crimes include:

  • Improperly accessing a computer, system, or network;
  • Introducing a virus or other contaminant into a computer system;
  • Modifying, damaging, using, disclosing, copying, or taking programs or data;
  • Interfering with someone else's computer access or use;
  • Using encryption in aid of a crime;
  • Falsifying e-mail source information; and
  • Stealing an information service from a provider.

In South Dakota, one of the most common computer crimes is called "Unlawful Use of a Computer System," and encompasses a wide array of actions a person can illegally do on a computer. In order to be guilty of this crime, the perpetrator must have have "knowingly " committed these acts.

Possible Defenses to Computer Crimes Charges

There are several possible defenses to a computer crimes charges in South Dakota. Among them are:

  • Reasonable grounds to believe the accused person had authorization to use computer (for unauthorized use of a computer; defendant must provide written notice of intent to utilize defense);
  • Reasonable grounds to believe the accused person had authorization to alter or destroy computer data or computer program (for computer trespass in any degree; defendant must provide written notice of intent to utilize defense);
  • Reasonable grounds to believe the accused person had right to copy, reproduce or duplicate computer data or computer program (for unlawful duplication; defendant must provide written notice of intent to utilize defense).

The following table highlights the basics of South Dakota computer crimes laws. To learn more about computer crimes in general, see FindLaw's Cyber Crimes and Online Scams sections.

Code Section S.D. Cod. Laws § 43-43B-1 to § 43-43B-8
Definition of Gambling Knowingly
Misdemeanor Computer Crimes Obtaining use, altering or destroying system, access and disclosure without consent where value is $1000 or less, class 1 misdemeanor; obtaining use, altering or destroying system as part of deception where value involved is $1000 or less, class 1 misdemeanor.
Felony Computer Crimes Obtaining use, altering or destroying system, access and disclosure without consent where value involved is more than $1000, class 6 felony; Obtaining use, altering or destroying system as part of deception; value is more than $1000, class 4 felony.
Attempt Considered a Crime? Yes

Note: State computer crimes laws are constantly changing -- contact a South Dakota criminal attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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