Theft Of Trade Secrets in Colorado

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Statute for 18 – 4 – 408 – Theft Of Trade Secrets

StatuteHere is the charge you are facing:

18-4-408. Theft of trade secrets – penalty

(1) Any person who, with intent to deprive or withhold from the owner thereof the control of a trade secret, or with an intent to appropriate a trade secret to his own use or to the use of another, steals or discloses to an unauthorized person a trade secret, or, without authority, makes or causes to be made a copy of an article representing a trade secret, commits theft of a trade secret.

(2) As used in this section:

(a) “Article” means any object, material, device, or substance, or copy thereof, including any writing, record, recording, drawing, sample, specimen, prototype, model, photograph, microorganism, blueprint, or map.

(b) “Copy” means any facsimile, replica, photograph, or other reproduction of an article, and any note, drawing, or sketch made of or from an article.

(c) “Representing” means describing, depicting, containing, constituting, reflecting, or recording.

(d) “Trade secret” means the whole or any portion or phase of any scientific or technical information, design, process, procedure, formula, improvement, confidential business or financial information, listing of names, addresses, or telephone numbers, or other information relating to any business or profession which is secret and of value. To be a trade secret the owner thereof must have taken measures to prevent the secret from becoming available to persons other than those selected by the owner to have access thereto for limited purposes.

(3) (a) Theft of a trade secret is a class 1 misdemeanor. A second or subsequent offense under this section committed within five years after the date of a prior conviction is a class 5 felony.

(b) Notwithstanding section 16-5-401 (1) (a), C.R.S., any prosecution for violation of this section shall be commenced within three years after discovery of the offense.

Case Law

When you look at the Statute, you may have questions about definitions of certain words or how the Colorado Court will interpret certain phrases.  To answer these questions, Criminal Defense Attorney turn to "case law."  That is, lawyers look at previous cases to determine how these words and phrases should be defined and interpreted. The best way to locate caselaw for free is to go to google scholar and search for legal opinions involving your charges from Colorado courts. Remember to talk to your attorney about any issues in your case and how the lawyer believes that the issues should be handled.


Colorado Penalties for Theft Of Trade Secrets

Penalties

The charge of Theft Of Trade Secrets, is categorized as a:

F4 (Second or subsequent offense within 5 years)
M1

Click here to find out how much jail time is associated with this penalty.

How to Use This Information

After you have hired a Denver CO Criminal Defense Attorney, you will need to sit down with him to talk about the strengths and weaknesses of your case.  To begin this process, you should think about what the prosecutor will attempt to show in order to say that you are guilty. This involves analyzing the statute language above as well as the jury instructions (which is the set of instructions that the jury will use to understand the law). This will allow you to get a better idea of how you can attack the prosecutor’s case and build your own case. So to begin, you should understand that the prosecutor will need to prove certain things beyond a reasonable doubt for you to be found guilty.  These things are called “elements”.

The jury will be notified of the elements through a set of instructions called “Jury Instructions.” The Jury Instructions will be crafted by your attorney and the prosecutor. Your Denver CO Criminal Defense Attorney will mold the jury instructions to your case, adding facts that are specific to the case and omitting unnecessary parts of the instructions.

Please find the model jury instruction for Theft Of Trade Secrets below. These will be adapted by your Denver CO Attorney for your case.

The elements of the crime of theft of trade secrets are: 1. That the defendant, 2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged, 3. with intent to [deprive or withhold from the owner thereof the control of a trade secret] [appropriate a trade secret to his own use, or to the use of another], 4. [stole] [disclosed to an unauthorized person] [without authority, made, or caused to be made a copy of an article representing] a trade secret. 5. [without the affirmative defense in instruction number ______.] After considering all the evidence, if you decide the prosecution has proven each of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant guilty of theft of trade secrets. After considering all the evidence, if you decide the prosecution has failed to prove each of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant not guilty of theft of trade secrets. NOTES ON USE Delete inapplicable bracketed material. When this instruction is used, the applicable definitions of “trade secret” and ?with intent? must be given.

To begin the process of analyzing your case, think about your case from the perspective of the prosecutor.  Think about the facts that the prosecutor will have to prove to establish each element. Next, sit down with your Denver Colorado Criminal Defense Attorney and talk about some of the legal ways that you can use to counter the prosecutor’s evidence.  Talk to your attorney about whether he thinks any of the prosecutor’s evidence can be kept out of court.  For example, if you were illegally searched, your attorney may be able to keep the things that were found, as a result of that illegal search, out of court.  Additionally, talk to your attorney about whether you have any defenses to Theft Of Trade Secrets.

Important Notes:

Don’t Forget about Immigration:

If you are not a U.S. citizen, be sure to ask your attorney whether your charges will trigger deportation if you are found guilty or plea to the charge.

Good Luck!

If you have specific questions or would like to speak with an attorney about your legal criminal defense needs, please call Mountain Legal in Denver Colorado at 303-586-1731 or email us at nbaca@mtnlegal.com

Written by

Nathaniel has worked in criminal law on both sides of the aisle spending time working for the prosecution as well as the defense. Most recently Nathaniel has represented individuals in violent felonies and drug cases. Prior to this work, Nathaniel handled DWIs, Domestic Violence Cases, Property Crimes, and White Collar Crimes. On the prosecutorial side, Nathaniel has most notably worked in Bosnia helping to prosecute individuals who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Bosnian War from 1993-1995. In particular, Nathaniel helped in the prosecution of military leaders who arranged for the organized murders and rapes of innocent civilians in various towns in Bosnia. Nathaniel is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, Northwestern University, and Phillips Exeter Academy. Google Profile: Nathaniel Baca