WHY ALMOST ANYONE CAN BE ACCUSED OF A COMPUTER CRIME
The internet benefits everyone. It makes banking, shopping, and staying in touch with distant friends and loved ones more convenient than ever. But our society pays a price for that convenience – computer crimes – and many of the victims are children.
Computer crimes – cybercrimes – include criminal activities such as identity theft, distribution of child pornography images, and “revenge” porn as well as hacking, computer trespass, and website vandalism. Both federal and state laws have been established to deal with cybercrimes.
How are cybercrimes handled in Pennsylvania? This state has strict laws against stalking or harassment on the internet. Stalking is repeated conduct that causes substantial emotional distress or places someone in reasonable fear of bodily injury.
Cyber-stalking is a first-degree misdemeanor in Pennsylvania and may be penalized upon conviction with up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
WHAT IS CYBER-HARASSMENT? WHAT IS CYBER-BULLYING?
Harassment may include specific instances of using lewd and obscene language, making or implying threats, making anonymous contact, making contact at late hours, or other repeated, unwanted communications.
Cyber-harassment in Pennsylvania is a third-degree misdemeanor punishable upon conviction with up to twelve months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.
Pennsylvania also has a specific law that addresses the “cyber-harassment of a child.” The law applies to disparaging online comments directed at a minor and to online threats to inflict harm on a child.
Additionally, Pennsylvania has adopted a separate cyber-bullying statute which applies specifically to school settings and outlaws the use of computers to:
- interfere with a student’s education
- create a threatening environment
- disrupt the orderly operation of a school
WHAT ARE PENNSYLVANIA’S CHILD PORNOGRAPHY LAWS?
Photographing, filming, or videotaping child pornography is a second-degree felony in this state, whether or not the activity being depicted is real or simulated. A conviction can send the offender to prison for up to ten years.
Distributing, viewing, and possessing child pornography is a third degree-felony in Pennsylvania, punishable with up to five years in prison for a first conviction. Subsequent offenses are second-degree felonies that may be penalized with up to ten years in prison.
If you’re being investigated or charged for any of these crimes in Lemoyne, Harrisburg, or nearby jurisdictions, put your case in the hands of the right criminal defense attorney – Lemoyne cybercrimes attorney R. Davis Younts – as quickly as possible.
WHEN ARE CYBERCRIMES CONSIDERED FEDERAL CRIMES?
The federal statute that covers computer-related criminal activity – the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act – deals quite harshly with the most serious cybercrimes.
When a substantial amount of money is stolen or embezzled online across state lines, or when child pornography is distributed online across state lines, a defendant may face felony charges and may expect to serve a lengthy federal prison sentence if convicted.
A conviction under federal law for manufacturing child pornography, for example, may be penalized with fifteen to thirty years in federal prison. An offender who is convicted of distributing or receiving child pornography may be sent to federal prison for five to twenty years.
HOW ARE “WHITE COLLAR” CYBERCRIMES HANDLED?
Along with harassment, stalking, bullying, and child pornography – and as you already know – a variety of financial crimes are also committed using computers, smartphones, and the internet.
“White collar” cybercrimes include fraud of almost all kinds, embezzlement, identity theft, and intellectual property theft. The details of each case will determine the exact charge and whether the case will be handled in the federal courts or in the Pennsylvania state courts.
If you are accused of any criminal activity involving computers and the internet, you cannot be represented by the wrong criminal defense attorney. If the case goes before a jury, it will probably be your defense lawyer’s task to explain to the court the technology related to the case.
WHO CAN PROVIDE THE HELP A CYBERCRIME DEFENDANT WILL NEED?
In Cumberland and Dauphin County, if you are accused of any computer-related crime, you must be defended by a lawyer with considerable experience handling cases involving computers. Lemoyne cybercrimes attorney R. Davis Younts has been practicing law in this state since 2002.
Attorney R. Davis Younts has been a prosecutor, JAG (Judge Advocate General), and a number one-ranked Senior Defense Counsel in the U.S. Air Force. Most importantly, he knows how to win the justice you need and how to bring your cybercrime case to its best possible outcome.
If you are charged with a cybercrime in this state, you should speak to a good defense attorney sooner rather than later. If you know that you are under investigation regarding a cybercrime, contact criminal defense lawyer R. Davis Younts at once.
You can reach the law offices of R. Davis Younts by calling (833) 739-5291 or (717) 612-4840. His offices are located in Lemoyne at 26 North Ninth Street. If you are charged with any crime in Pennsylvania, having a good defense attorney’s help is your right.