When someone commits a crime on the internet with intent, there can be serious consequences. You could be ordered to spend time in jail or pay fines to the state or county where you live. The judge could order that you serve a period of probation instead of going to jail based on the type of crime committed and your background, which is why it’s important to consult with an attorney who understands internet crimes.
It is considered a crime if you access any kind of data or computer storage without the owner’s permission. You could also be charged with a crime if you access computer software without the owner’s permission. You can be charged with a crime if you damage or alter any kind of computer data. If you deny or disrupt computer service, then you could be charged with a crime depending on the circumstances. If you’re a business owner and limit internet access for another person, then the court would need to look at whether or not the person owed a bill or committed an act that resulted in the service being disconnected.
Accessing computer data to commit a scam is considered a crime. It’s also considered a crime if you access a computer in order to obtain property by false pretenses. You can be charged with a crime if you use the internet to steal another person’s identity, which would be considered a crime that involves a victim. Most of the time, you would need to pay a designated amount to the victim in this situation and could also be ordered to spend time in jail.
Internet crimes are often considered third-degree or second-degree in nature depending on the circumstances. If a federal government website is involved, then you could be charged with a felony or a federal crime. If there are goods and services involved, then the crime committed is often listed as a second-degree. Any monetary amount that exceeds $5,000 would be placed in the same category. On top of paying back the original amount of money stolen or the value of goods and services taken, you would likely be ordered to pay an additional fine that is determined by the court.
There are situations that constitute a first-degree charge. If you commit an internet crime that inhibits a large area of the public, then you could be charged with a first-degree crime and be ordered to spend a significant amount of time in jail. At least 10 or more businesses or homes would need to be impacted, and the interruption would need to last for at least two hours. If you commit an internet crime that creates a risk of injury or death to another person, then you could be charged with a first-degree crime. Any damages that are $250,000 or more would be listed under this category as well. A minimum term in jail and the minimum fine are usually ordered by the court in this situation, which means that you need to hire legal counsel as soon as possible to try to stay out of jail for the maximum length of time that could be ordered. If you don’t have a criminal background and can demonstrate that you did not intentionally commit the crime, then you might be able to stay out of jail. However, there will probably still be consequences associated with your actions, such as paying fines or probation.