Just about everyone today has a laptop, tablet, smartphone, or other electronic device that allows them to easily access the internet. From the smallest child to the elderly, many of our daily activities are conducted online. As a result, it is only natural that internet crimes are increasing, as well. While some of these require a significant amount of technological skills, such as hacking or improperly accessing restricted sites, crimes such as credit card fraud, online harassment, and identity theft can be committed by anyone with a keyboard. If you are accused of these types of activities, you need a strong criminal defense attorney to help you avoid potential state and federal charges.
According to reports from the Symantec Corporation, which manufacturers the computer security software program Norton Antivirus, cyber crimes continue to be on the rise throughout the country, impacting more than 143 million people each year. In its annual global survey of registered computer users, they found that the following five types of computer crimes were among the most common:
- Malware, which is secretly installed software designed to damage a computer or network, often with the motive of offering a paid ‘fix’;
- Data breaches, in which private information is accessed, often with the intent of committing theft of services, property, money, or the person’s identity;
- Compromised passwords, which can allow access to financial accounts and services;
- Unauthorized email or social media access, which is often used for the purpose of obtaining sensitive information;
- Debit or credit card fraud, which involves making online purchases or withdrawals using another person’s account.
All of these are serious criminal matters which require a strong legal defense. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the crime, you could be facing both state and possibly federal charges.The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has a specialized cyber crime unit that focuses exclusively on investigating these cases and bringing alleged perpetrators to trial. If convicted on these types of charges, you could be facing a potentially lengthy federal mandatory minimum jail sentence.
Computer Crimes in New Jersey
In addition to the crimes listed above, other types of computer-related offenses that could result in serious criminal charges include:
- Online harassment and stalking;
- Hate speech and discrimination;
- Making terroristic threats against schools or other institutions;
- Sale or solicitation of illicit products or services;
- Illegal activities such as trafficking in drugs, stolen property, or child pornography via the internet.
As these types of crimes have become more common in our area, the state of New Jersey has taken a strong stand against them. Those accused will find themselves facing rigorous prosecution while a conviction could leave them facing heavy fines and a state prison sentence.
In addition to other criminal penalties, the state Computer Crime Prevention Fund assesses a financial penalty of up to $2,000 against offenders, which must be paid as part of their sentence.
Our New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney is Here to Help
If you are facing computer-related criminal charges, the Law Office Of Jordan B. Rickards provides the aggressive legal representation you need. Actions we can take on your behalf include:
- Reviewing the circumstances surrounding your arrest;
- Negotiating with law enforcement officials and prosecutors to get your charges dropped or dismissed;
- Reviewing the case against you and gathering evidence on your behalf;
- Appearing at hearings and arguing your case in state or federal court;
- Appealing the verdict or arguing for a reduced sentence in the event of a conviction.
To discuss your specific case and how we can help, reach out and contact our Milltown computer crime attorney today to request a consultation.