An accusation of a computer crime might not seem as serious as that of a violent crime or various other charges, but computer crimes are very serious. In most cases, committing a computer crime is a violation of federal law and for some could even violate international law.
If you are suspected of a computer crime, you will be exposed to rigorous and intrusive investigation by various law enforcement agencies, including the FBI. If convicted, you could face prison time, steep fines, and long-term penalties that affect your employment. An accusation of a computer crime, hacking, or any type of criminal activity on the Internet MUST be taken serious.
What Constitutes a Computer Crime?
Computer crimes come in all shapes and sizes. In some cases, crimes committed using a computer or online could result in multiple charges. Computer crimes include:
- Identity theft using a computer
- Denial-of-service attacks
- Some instances of spamming
- Deliberate circumvention of security systems
- Unauthorized access to or modification of programs (hacking)
- Intellectual property theft, including software piracy
- Industrial espionage through access to or theft of computer materials
- Creating or spreading viruses or worms
- Salami slicing (stealing money repeatedly in extremely small quantities via computer)
- Making and digitally distributing child pornography
Unfortunately, there are instances in which individuals are accused of computer crimes that were unknowingly committed. Criminal computer activity is extremely complex and a person can break the law without even realizing it. This is especially common for those working in the data industry. A simple push of the wrong button could result in actions that appear to be criminal.
The Internet has expanded our reach throughout the world and it is easier than ever before to communicate with people at the drop of a hat. Despite the benefits, this opportunity has created a great deal of risk, too. Every time you open an email attachment or strike up a discussion, you are at risk. Often, computer crime charges result from misunderstanding or ignorance. If your actions have led to accusations of criminal behavior, you need the assistance of a computer crimes attorney.
Proving a law has been broken unintentionally is an important part of a solid defense strategy. If you have been accused of a computer crime, but had no intention of breaking the law, you need the support of an attorney that understands the complexities of computer crime laws. Contact David Lindsey, Denver criminal law attorney to schedule a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your situation.