Computer Misuse Act offence

What is the Computer Misuse Act? The Computer Misuse Act 1990 is there to stop people accessing programs, apps, controls, and information on computers they don’t have permission to use.

The Computer Misuse Act is a complicated law because it’s very wide-ranging in what it tries to stop people from doing.

Two different people might have done two very different things and they can be charged under the same Computer Misuse Act. The Act has been used to bring prosecutions for accessing someone else’s computer (even when the attempt has failed), for unauthorised use of databases containing personal information, the spreading of computer viruses, and much more.

Many people charged with Computer Misuse Act offences have a deep level of knowledge on how computers and databases work. Others inadvertently use home or office computers in such a way that breaches the Act.

If you’re arrested under the Computer Misuse Act, you will need to start work with a specialist solicitor straight away – a professional who has proven experience in handling complex computer misuse cases.

If you are currently being questioned over or you have been arrested for a breach of the Act, call specialist Computer Misuse Act solicitors, Ashmans Solicitors, on 03330096275 (or our emergency 24hr number 03330096275).

Examples of the Computer Misuse Act

Below, we list some cases that recently went to court under the Computer Misuse Act and the sentences passed by the judges:

• a police officer accessing confidential information over 7 years to sell to a personal injury claim solicitor (five year sentence)
• 37-year old found in possession of 500 BT and Sky usernames and passwords (2 years, 4 month sentence)
• writing and deploying Distributed Denial of Service attacks later used against 181 IP addresses (two year sentence in a young offenders’ institute)
• teaching assistant hacked into school’s email system and sent the following message from a pupil’s email account – “There will be a bomb in school Monday” (15 month sentence).

Specialist Computer Misuse Act solicitors – building your defence

You need to act straight away if you have been questioned, you suspect you may be questioned later, or you have been already arrested. The penalties for Computer Misuse Act breaches are severe.

Because of the complexities involved in Computer Misuse Act prosecutions, there might be a long time between being questioned and your case reaching court. The quality of the legal team you engage with at the beginning of the process will have a direct bearing on how long this process lasts and even whether it reaches trial or not.

Ashmans Solicitors’ team of experienced legal professionals will start to build your defence case straight away after instruction from you.

We will use our combined technical proficiency and understanding of the Computer Misuse Act to assemble all of the evidence, witnesses, forensics, and data needed to best represent you.

Where necessary, we will draft in barristers and other expert witnesses (including medical and psychology specialists where needed) to test that the prosecution’s evidence is both legally and technically correct.


Need our help now over a charge related to cybercrime? Call 03330 096 275 (or our emergency 24hr number 03330 096 275) to talk in confidence with one of the UK’s leading cybercrime defence solicitors, Ashmans Solicitors.

You can also use our free online enquiry form or email us at We’ll get back to you very quickly.

We communicate in plain English with all clients. Depending on your circumstances, Legal Aid may be available.