9.6-7 Destruction of Computer Equipment -- § 53a-251 (f) and §§ 53a-252 through 53a-256
Revised to December 1, 2007
Note: The various types of computer crime are defined in § 53a-251. The degree of the offense is determined by the value of the property damaged or services stolen or interfered with. See § 53a-252 (first degree: exceeds $10,000), § 53a-253 (second degree: exceeds $5,000), § 53a-254 (third degree: exceeds $1,000), § 53a-255 (fourth degree: exceeds $500), and § 53a-256 (fifth degree: does not exceed $500). In addition, the value of the property or services is irrelevant if the defendant recklessly created a risk of serious physical injury, in which case it is third degree (e.g., interfering with the computer system of a medical or emergency organization).
The defendant is charged [in count __] with destruction of computer equipment in the (first / second / third/ fourth / fifth) degree. The statute defining this crime reads in pertinent part as follows:
a person is guilty of the computer crime of destruction of computer equipment when (he/she), without authorization, (intentionally / recklessly) (tampers with / takes / transfers / conceals / alters / damages / destroys) any equipment used in a computer system or (intentionally / recklessly) causes any of the foregoing to occur.
[<Insert if appropriate:> For the purposes of this statute, "person" means a natural person, corporation, limited liability company, trust, partnership, incorporated or unincorporated association and any other legal or governmental entity, including any state or municipal entity or public official. <Describe the status of the defendant as a person.>]
For you to find the defendant guilty of this charge, the state must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
Element 1 - Destroyed computer
The first element is that the defendant (destroyed / tampered with / took) any equipment used in a computer system. "Computer system" means a computer, its software, related equipment, communications facilities, if any, and includes computer networks.
Element 2 - Without
The second element is that the defendant was not authorized to (destroy / tamper with / take) the equipment.
Element 3 - Intent /
The third element is that the defendant acted <insert as appropriate:>
with the specific intent to <insert allegations>. A person acts "intentionally" with respect to a result when (his/her) conscious objective is to cause such result. <See Intent: Specific, Instruction 2.3-1.>
recklessly. A person acts "recklessly" with respect to a result or circumstances when (he/she) is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that such result will occur or that such circumstances exist. <See Recklessness, Instruction 2.3-4.>
Element 4 - Value of property
or services / Risk of serious physical injury
[<If the state is alleging a dollar amount of damages:>
The fourth element is that the damage to or the value of the property or computer services <insert according to degree charged:>
First degree: exceeds $10,000.
Second degree: exceeds $5,000.
Third degree: exceeds $1,000.
Fourth degree: exceeds $500.
Fifth degree: is $500 or less.
The value of property or computer services is either 1) the market value of the property or computer services at the time of the crime; or 2) if the property or computer services are unrecoverable, damaged or destroyed as a result of the crime, the cost of reproducing or replacing the property or computer services at the time of the crime. When the value of the property or computer services or damage to the property or the services cannot be satisfactorily ascertained, the value shall be deemed to be two hundred fifty dollars. The value of private personal data shall be deemed to be one thousand five hundred dollars.1
[<If there are multiple items and their values can be aggregated:> In making this determination, you may add or aggregate the value of the property involved. You can only aggregate amounts if the thefts were committed pursuant to one scheme or course of conduct, whether from the same or several persons.2]
[<If the state is alleging reckless conduct:>3
The fourth element is that the defendant engaged in conduct that created a risk of serious physical injury to another person. A person acts "recklessly" with respect to a result described by a statute defining an offense when (he/she) is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that such result will occur. A person acts "recklessly" with respect to a result or circumstances when (he/she) is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that such result will occur or that such circumstances exist. <See Recklessness, Instruction 2.3-4.>
"Serious physical injury" is something more serious than mere physical injury, which is defined as "impairment of physical condition or pain." It is more than a minor or superficial injury. It is defined by statute as "physical injury which creates a substantial risk of death, or which causes serious disfigurement, serious impairment of health or serious loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ."]
In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant destroyed computer equipment, 2) (he/she) was not authorized to do so, 3) (he/she) acted (intentionally / recklessly) and 4) <insert the value of the damages or the allegations of recklessness>.
If you unanimously find that the state
has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of
interruption of computer services in the (first / second / third/ fourth /
fifth) degree, then you shall find the defendant guilty. On the other hand, if
you unanimously find that the state has failed to prove beyond a reasonable
doubt any of the elements, you shall then find the defendant not guilty.
1 General Statutes § 53a-259.
2 General Statutes § 53a-258.
Reckless conduct that creates a risk of serious physical injury to another
person is computer crime in the third degree. General Statutes § 53a-254.