Section 308H Crimes Act | Unauthorised Access to Restricted Data


With recent advances in technology, there has been an increased focus on cybercrime and computer offences.

One of these offences is the offence of “unauthorised access to restricted data,” which is contained in s 308H of the Crimes Act.

This section states that you may be charged with a criminal offence if you cause unauthorised access to modification of restricted data in a computer.

To be found guilty of this offence, the prosecution must also prove that you knew the access or modification was unauthorised, yet you deliberately caused or allowed that modification.

This offence is known as a summary offence, which means that it will be heard in the Local Court in front of a magistrate.

The maximum penalty for this offence is 2 years imprisonment, however our expert lawyers can assist you in avoiding these harsh maximum penalties by presenting your case in a positive light and casting doubt on the prosecution case.

The Legislation

Section 308H of the Crimes Act deals with the offence of “unauthorised access to restricted data” and reads as follows:

308H Unauthorised access to or modification of restricted data held in computer (summary offence)

(1) A person:

(a) who causes any unauthorised access to or modification of restricted data held in a computer, and

(b) who knows that the access or modification is unauthorised, and

(c) who intends to cause that access or modification,

is guilty of an offence. Maximum penalty: Imprisonment for 2 years.

(2) An offence against this section is a summary offence.

(3) In this section:“restricted data”means data held in a computer, being data to which access is restricted by an access control system associated with a function of the computer.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers®?

Being accused of allowing unauthorised access to restricted data can be damaging to your reputation and future career prospects.

However, with the right legal team on your side, you can give yourself the best defence against the charges.

The expert defence team at Sydney Criminal Lawyers® specialises in criminal law, and our lawyers are well-equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to secure an outstanding result in your “unauthorised access to restricted data” case.

Unlike other law firms who may encourage you to go to court, we always push to have the charges dropped at an early stage, sparing you the time and expense of a defended hearing.

Should your matter proceed to court, our lawyers will fight hard to protect your rights by raising all possible defences – for example, where you did not have the intention to allow access or modification of the restricted data, or where you were threatened or coerced into allowing access or modification of the data.

If you simply wish to plead guilty, our lawyers will work hard to secure the best possible result by preparing sentencing submissions which present your case in the most positive light.

Call us now on (02) 9261 8881 and book your FREE first appointment with our criminal law specialists.