Computer & Internet
Cyber Crime Defense Attorneys
Computers have gained a prominent place in today’s world with increased prevalence and accessibility that marked the bloom of the technological era. Generally speaking, the internet laws are relatively new to the legal world and the charges alleging internet crimes have increased considerably during the recent years. The computer and internet laws are enacted in California to punish cybercrimes in California.
Any crime that is committed through, by, or using the computer or internet is a crime in California under the penal code section 502.
California Computer and Internet Law
Those criminal activities that make use of the information technology for illegal interception of data, illegal access and electronic fraud are considered under the California internet law. Computer or internet crime represents a broad arena of crimes ranging from harassment to identity theft and fraud. The California computer/internet law:
- Strictly prohibits the exploitation of children, pornography, stalking, gambling, hacking, online solicitation, credit and debit card fraud, computer sabotage and related crimes.
- Prohibits the sexual exploitation of children through online channels and is completely against knowingly making, storing, exchanging or distributing any content showing sexual conduct by a child (“minor”).
- You may be charged with ‘stalking’ in California if you repeatedly threaten someone through electronic methods.
- The penal code section 502 clearly prohibits the unauthorized access, interference or tampering of a lawfully created data from an internet source or computer.
Internet crimes like “hacking” are often treated under the federal level rather than state levels, potentially indicating the complexity of such cases.
Common Crimes Under California Cyber Law
The computer and internet crimes have become a critical issue with the exponential increase of computers and technology in every field of business and transaction. With the evolution of new technologies, different types of cybercrimes have been reported including the following:
Pornography of Children
Child pornography is strictly prohibited in California under the computer and internet law, according to which, “any act of knowingly making, copying, distributing, possessing a content that shows the sexual conduct by a child is clearly illegal and is also defined under the penal code section 311.1.
Cyber Fraud and Identity Theft
Under the California penal code section 530.5, fraudulently acquiring or obtaining the personal information of another person for illegal activities are considered as theft crimes in California. The cyber fraud or Identity theft includes vast areas of crimes like:
Attempting to obtain personal information such as passwords, usernames, credit card data through misleading and fraudulent methods.
Activities of fraudulent nature in which emails or websites try to acquire an illegitimate advantage by projecting themselves as legitimate website or a company.
Bank Account or Credit Card Fraud:
Making unauthorized purchases using another person’s bank account or credit card information.
Unlawful tactics through which a person gain access to secured websites or computer programs is termed hacking as it illegally alters, damages or tampers a protected data.
Hacking is defined under the California penal code section 502 and is liable to strict punishments if charged with such a crime. Sending unwanted or threatening emails to the victim thereby making a situation of fear in them is treated as cyber stalking under the penal code section 646.9 as is also applicable to social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook. Illegal sharing or downloading of copyrighted material is also prohibited under the computer and internet law of California.
Facts San Diego Prosecutor Must Prove
According to the nature of the crime, the prosecutor’s office must prove certain factors to convict you under the California computer or internet law. It can be briefed as:
- For a child pornography charge, the prosecutor must prove that the: Defendant knowingly produced, copied or distributed the pornographic content.
- Crimes against child – The defendant willfully touched the child’s body with the intention of sexual gratification or desires.
- Fraud/ Identity theft – The defendant willfully acquired the identifying information of another person and willfully used the information for illegal activities.
- If the charge is cyber stalking, the defendant willfully harassed or threatened another person without any legitimate reason to justify it.
Sentencing and Penalties Under California Computer/Internet Law
Cybercrimes are usually considered as federal charge due to the complexity of cybercrimes. The penalties can be very stringent and often demands an expert California lawyer from the San Diego law firm of The Hullinger Firm, PC to find the best strategies that will work positively to defend the case successfully.
The extent of the alleged cybercrime is the crucial factor that decides the level of penalties for California computer crime. The penalties involved in the cybercrimes include:
- Charged as a felony or misdemeanor.
- If a misdemeanor charge, a maximum imprisonment of up to 1 year in the county jail and a fine of up to $5,000.
- Felony conviction could result in a maximum fine of up to $10,000 and 3 years of state prison imprisonment.
- Fines for court costs, restitution and damages incurred by the cybercrime victims.
Charged with a Computer Crime?
If your constitutional rights are violated by the law enforcement officials or police, you need an experienced attorney who really understands your case and effectively mold the defense elements to safeguard your position.
If you or your loved one is charged with a computer or internet crime in California, you have to contact an experienced California criminal defense lawyer who can make a DIFFERENCE in your cyber case.
You deserve a vigorous and strong defense. Speak with an expert criminal defense attorney of the San Diego law firm of The Hullinger Firm, PC TODAY!
Why Our Firm?
On all criminal cases we offer a Free initial consultation. This is your chance to gain candid advice on potential outcomes and implications of your criminal charge. You will meet with our attorneys, go over the facts of your case, relevant law and San Diego procedures. You will leave with a checklist of items we feel will take your case to a successful outcome.