State v. Nascimento

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 07-21-2016
  • Case #: S063197
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Balmer, C.J. for the Court; Kistler, J.; Walters, J.; Landau, J.; Baldwin, J.; & Brewer, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 164.377(4), a defendant may be convicted of a computer crime if the defendant used the computer in question "without authorization." The phrase "without authorization" refers to the "use" or "access" of the computer, not use of the computer for a particular purpose.

Defendant appealed a conviction of computer crime under ORS 164.377(4). She argued that because her employer authorized her to use the computer in question, she did not use the computer “without authorization,” as required to convict a defendant under subsection (4) of the statute. The State argued that because Defendant used the computer to print lottery tickets without paying for them, she used the computer “without authorization,” even though her employer had authorized her to use it to print lottery tickets to sell. The Supreme Court held that because the Defendant had been authorized to use the computer to print lottery tickets, she had not used the computer “without authorization,” despite the fact that she was not authorized to use the computer to print lottery tickets for herself. The Court held that “the phrase ‘without authorization’ applies to the ‘use’ or ‘access’ of the computer.” The phrase “without authorization” does not apply to instances where the individual uses a computer for an unauthorized purpose, but only to instances where the individual is not authorized to use the computer at all. Reversed.

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