There’s been a dramatic and rapid increase in investigations involving various internet and cybercrimes from federal, state and local enforcement. Because these white-collar crimes will involve the use of computers or the internet, which can cross state lines, they can be pursued by state or federal law enforcement.
When you’re facing a charge like computer fraud, identity theft, or computer hacking, you face severe cybercrimes penalties if convicted. Because of the nature of cybercrimes and what these crimes can do to the lives of innocent people, the penalties are often harsh and can include hefty fines, lengthy prison sentences, and a ruined reputation. With the help of a Lemoyne criminal defense attorney, you can fight these internet crimes.
What Are the Common Cybercrimes in Pennsylvania?
White-collar crimes like cybercrimes don’t involve the use of violence or physical force but the use of deceit, violation of trust and concealment. In many states, a person is prohibited from performing certain actions without authorization. These actions include:
- Disclosing, damaging, copying, modifying, using, or taking programs or data
- Introducing a virus into a computer system
- Accessing a computer, network, or system improperly
- Using encryption to aid a crime
- Online child pornography
- Online stalking and harassment
When faced with such charges, you need the help of an experienced Lemoyne cybercrimes lawyer for aggressive representation.
What Are the Possible Penalties and Sentences for Cybercrimes in Pennsylvania?
The penalties of cybercrimes will depend on the nature of the charges. Issues such as the gravity of the offense, prior criminal offense, use of a deadly weapon, and other aggravating factors will affect the consequences.
Online harassment is a misdemeanor of the third degree. This involves engaging in conduct that harasses or annoys another person via e-mail or the internet. The penalty is up to one year in jail and fines of up to $2,500.
Online stalking is a misdemeanor of the first degree if it’s the first violation. It occurs when someone repeatedly communicates with another through the internet or e-mail to the extent of causing the recipient emotional distress of reasonable fear of bodily harm. The penalty is up to five years imprisonment and fines of up to $10,000.
Computer trespass is a third-degree felony in Pennsylvania. It occurs when a person unknowingly or knowingly gains access to a computer, data, or network and changes or deletes data without authorization. A conviction carries up to seven years in prison and fines of up to $15,000.
Computer theft is a third-degree felony and carries up to seven years imprisonment and fines of up to $15,000.
Unlawful use of a computer or e-mail is a felony of the third degree. It involves accessing or exceeding the permissible use of a computer, program, network, system, database, website, or any computer-related thing to disrupt normal function or defraud them. The punishment is seven years’ imprisonment and fines up to $15,000.
Online child pornography is a third degree felony involving possessing or intentionally viewing a computer with a child under 18 engaging in sexual acts. A first offense will attract up to seven years in prison and fines of up to $15,000.
The charges can also escalate for subsequent convictions. Similarly, online stalking or harassment towards family members may be considered domestic offenses and can affect your child custody rights or ability to work in certain jobs.
Online sex-related offenses may also make you a registered sex offender, which the public could see. The harshness and extent of repercussions you could face should prompt you to seek help immediately. Regardless of the cybercrime you’re currently fighting, you shouldn’t make the mistake of proceeding without the legal guidance of an experienced and skilled cybercrime defense lawyer in Lemoyne, PA.
What Are the Penalties Under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act?
The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) is a federal law that criminalizes actions that victimize computer systems. The penalties would range from one year for a simple cyberspace trespass to life imprisonment if life were lost.
- Obtaining National Security information attracts 10 – 20 years in jail
- Trafficking passwords attracts 1 – 10 years
- Extortion involving computers attracts 5 – 10 years
- Accessing a computer to defraud attracts 5 – 10 years
How Can I Defend Myself Against Cybercrimes?
There are several defenses you and your Lemoyne cybercrimes attorney can explore. They include:
- Having authorization or showing proof that you believed you had permission
- Coercion by someone else to commit the crime
- Lack of knowledge in the case of some internet crimes
- Lack of intent to commit the crime could also be used as a defense in offenses requiring intent
- Entitled by law to engage in the conduct that led to the offense
What Does an Attorney Do?
If you have been charged or arrested – or you suspect you may be under investigation for cybercrime in Pennsylvania, you should make an urgent call to a skilled and experienced Lemoyne cybercrimes lawyer who understands what cybercrime laws say and how to fight any charges brought against cybercrime defendants.
You need a criminal defense attorney in Lemoyne who understands both federal and state laws and can quickly investigate the matter on your behalf. Attorney R. Davis Younts is an aggressive criminal defense lawyer in Lemoyne, PA, and will be with you every step of the way.
Protect Your Freedom and Reputation with The Help of a Skilled Attorney
Computer crimes continue to create havoc. While the law keeps changing and developing, a cybercrime conviction can affect your life in significant ways. You need an attorney who can explain your legal options and defend you.
Our legal team helps people in Lemoyne and surrounding areas beat cybercrime and computer crimes. We’ll use our extensive experience and skill to fight for you too. Get in touch with us today to protect your rights and earn a favorable outcome.