Brooklyn, NY asked in Criminal Law and Identity Theft for New York

Q: What happens if I was given an HR password and used it to log into the account and saw information about myself?

Someone at work has given me the password to HR gmail account. They told me to look in it for something related to my company trying to terminate me. I looked but cleared my browser history. I mistakenly kept the password in a draft message in my email gmail account. What criminally can I be charged with?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Aubrey Claudius Galloway
Aubrey Claudius Galloway
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Scarsdale, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Although you "could be charged" by the police for a violation or low-level misdemeanor (like criminal mischief), the DA will probably decline to prosecute and even if they do, nothing will likely come of it. You lacked the "Mens Rea" (or guilty mind) for a more serious criminal offense or to make any stick. Remember the prosecution's standard of proof is 'beyond a reasonable doubt'.

NOTE that you ARE open to potential civil liability AND/OR termination for cause from your place of work. Recall, the burden for a plaintiff to make a prima facie case is only "a preponderance of the evidence" (50%). If you are concerned about potential civil/criminal liability you may contact me.



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