Without question, computers play an ever increasing and extremely important role in American society.
From banking and financial transactions to medical records and ecommerce, computers are deeply entrenched into our daily lives and we’ve become dependent on their security and integrity.
And with so much sensitive information being sent and received by computers, the threat of security breaches are constantly imminent.
Although computers have been involved far more commonly in crimes of the modern era, law enforcement and prosecuting agencies still haven’t all gotten up to speed on their knowledge and education of computer forensics in a way that they can adequately investigate or prosecute cyber crimes.
On occasion, law enforcement has been known to demonstrate a lack of understanding towards computer science by often rushing to judgment against the defendant. Along with that, they have also been known to make attempts at undermining the rights of defendants along with the foundations of the criminal justice system by executing entrapment sting operations.
In recent years, authorities have become more aggressive in their pursuit of landing convictions for Internet and computer related crimes. They have also brought more sophisticated tools and equipment while incorporating trained computer experts into task force operations.
As a result, many unsuspecting offenders end up getting caught in their traps.
Different types of Computer, Internet and Cyber Crimes include:
- Credit Card Fraud
- Identity Theft
- Possession or distribution of illegal pornography
- Solicitation of minors
- Transmission of materials harmful to minors
- Cyber stalking
- Cyber bullying
- Illegal file sharing or downloading copyrighted materials such as movies and music
What kind of penalties can I expect if I am convicted of a computer, Internet, or cyber crime?
Generally, Florida law allows for the prosecution of computer crimes, often resulting in a third-degree felony. Punishment is delivered with a prison sentence of up to five (5) years and fines of up to $5,000 or both.
Any offense against intellectual property, including the illegal downloading of music and movies is typically punishable as a third-degree felony. If the defendant also intended to commit fraud or theft, the charges may be increased to a second-degree felony.
A second-degree felony and increased penalties may be imposed if:
- The crime resulted in over $5,000 in loss or damages.
- The crime was part of a scheme to commit theft or fraud
- The crime disrupted public services.
- The crime interrupted government operations.
Second-degree felonies for computer crimes in Florida typically result in a term of imprisonment for up to fifteen (15) years and fines of up to $10,000, or both.
If the crime that was committed also endangered human life in any way, a first-degree felony charge may be imposed. First-degree felony charges for computer crimes in Florida carry a prison sentence of up to thirty (30) years and a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
Why should I choose Fernandez Law Group to represent me if I am charged with a computer, Internet, or cyber crime?
At the Fernandez Law Group, we have more than 43 years experience handling many different types of criminal cases. Since the mid 1990’s when computers started to become more prevalent, we began seeing more and more clients who were hit with some type of computer, Internet or cyber related charges and offenses.
Our attorneys understand all of the different factors that make up a cyber crime investigation and the resulting prosecution that comes with it. We provide you with a team of experienced criminal defense attorneys to aggressively represent and provide you with the best possible defense. Not only that, our team of attorneys includes a former prosecutor who has over 20 years experience working on that side of the courtroom.
Because of that insight we are able to better communicate with the prosecution on your behalf, often reducing charges, bail amounts, and sentencing before a trial date is even discussed. Our training and experience give our team the insight into how computer technology relates to cyber law. And our attorneys have made sure to stay up to date as Florida makes changes to their laws in order to incorporate these new computer and technology based crimes.
These are very complex cases and we work with industry experts in order to properly gather and analyze the facts. We have a solid understanding of these types of crimes and know how to manage and interpret the evidence, which is often sophisticated and technical in nature.
Our attorneys are ready to fight aggressively on your behalf and help you get the best possible outcome and with our FREE consultation, you can begin getting the advice and guidance you need right away.
If you have been charged with a a computer related crime in Florida, you should contact an experienced computer, Internet, or cyber crime defense attorney immediately. We have successfully handled many types of these cases including illegal pornography, hacking, solicitation of minors, transmission of materials harmful to minors, cyber stalking, cyber bullying and more.
Take advantage of our FREE consultation so you can begin understanding the severity of the charges you are facing. Learn what penalties may be applied along with some defense strategies and potential outcomes. You’ll be confident in your decision to call us once you speak with us.
Call us today at 813-489-3222 for a FREE consultation and find out what we can do to begin helping you with your defense immediately before you spend a dime!
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