If you have been accused of participating in computer crime, it is vital to have a qualified defense lawyer by your side. When facing a severe criminal charge, you need a tough and seasoned defense attorney to protect your rights. Naum Estevez is a criminal attorney experienced in cyber-crime defense, and his law office is ready to assist you. Our team of qualified experts can explain to you what activities are considered computer crimes, how to prevent them and how to defend yourself in court.
Keep in mind that these crimes can be charged at the federal level, which means, in case of a conviction, you may face many years in prison. Since these crimes can be charged in different ways (even as felonies), it is vital to take your lawsuit seriously.
WHAT ACTIVITIES ARE CONSIDERED COMPUTER CRIMES?
Computer crime laws vary from state to state, but generally speaking, the law prohibits an individual from performing specific acts without authorization. Such actions include improperly accessing a computer or network, modifying, damaging, copying, or using someone else’s data without their approval or introducing a virus into a computer system. Stealing information service from a provider, using encryption in aid of crime and similar is also prohibited by the law.
Phishing and hacking are two most common computer crimes. Phishing is a crime in which data is stolen. Usually, phishing is used to steal one’s credit card details, passwords or identity. Hacking involves breaking into one’s network or system without authorization. Typically, this is done to steal information or take down a competitor’s website.
SOCIAL NETWORK CRIMES, CYBERCRIME AND INTERNET SEX CRIMES
Unfortunately, bullying, and sexual harassment are crimes that are present in society for a long time. However, the Internet and social media sites have introduced a whole new arena for this kind of perpetrators.
Cyberbullying is a crime that involves aggressive harassment that occurs online or by using electronic technology. Cyberbullying includes sending unwanted and abusive text messages, photographs, allegations and similar. Creating fake profiles intended to hurt the victim is also considered bullying.
The most heinous of cyberbullying are hate crimes, and these crimes carry their own distinct penalties in most states in the US. For example, hate crimes include additional jail time and sometimes even mandatory prison time. In case you are connected to another felony, you will face mandatory jail time for a hate crime, even if it occurred via the Internet and seemed harmless. Hate crimes are considered a form of civilian terrorism, and depending on the particular circumstances of your case, may even peak the interest of the FBI.
Cybercrime violations can involve serious legal penalties, but a qualified attorney can help you avoid them by preparing a solid defense. Standard computer crime defense includes authorization, lack of knowledge and coercion.
Authorization can be used as a defense if you are able to prove somehow that you were actually authorized to access someone else’s personal information.
Cyber-crimes require that the defendant knew what he was doing and that he has the intention to, for example, engage the victim in fraud. If the defendant didn’t know that a specific form was fake and similar, he could use this to defend himself. To ensure our team builds the best possible defense in your case, it is essential to tell us every little detail. Although some information may seem unimportant to you, it may be a key to having your charges dropped.
If the defendant was forced to commit a computer crime under threat of harm, he could use coercion to defend himself.
PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL AND LEGAL ASSISTANCE
You probably don’t know that many computer databases and internet devices have tracking mechanisms that record all cyber activity. If you were wrongfully accused, this might be the key to proving your innocence in a case. Computer databases typically have “time stamps” that record when a person logged into an account, from which location a transaction occurred, who authorized it and similar.
This type of information is vital to obtain when facing cybercrime charges. However, they can only be obtained with the assistance of a trained IT professional and a lawyer. This is another reason why you must hire a quality law firm to represent you. Our team cooperates with IT experts that are ready to help us whenever the case requires technically advanced assistance.
DEFENSE AGAINST COMPUTER CRIME CHARGES
The state of Virginia and the federal government have many tools and resources at their disposal to aggressively prosecute all suspected of committing computer crimes. Computer crimes are usually convicted as third-degree felonies. Third-degree felonies carry a 5-year prison sentence and a $5,000 fine. If the crimes carried out a plan of fraud or theft, disrupted public services, caused more than $5,000 in damage, the charges will be increased. In that case, penalties include up to 15 years imprisonment and $10,000 in fines.
Although computers and the internet are only new tools to commit old crimes such as identity theft, embezzlement and similar, only an experienced defense attorney who has dealt with these crimes before can be relied on to explain your situation and possible outcomes of the case. The criminal defense attorneys at the law office of Naum Estevez has the proper knowledge and experience to analyze your case, evaluate the gathered evidence, and predict the best course of action. If you’ve been accused of this crime, don’t hesitate to contact us or schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.