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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

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Federal Cybercrimes

By Spodek Law Group | February 15, 2023
(Last Updated On: February 21, 2023)

Understanding Federal Cybercrimes

Cybercrime is a broad term that refers to criminal activities that are committed using computers or the internet. Although many states have laws that regulate cybercrime, most cybercrime offenses are prosecuted at the federal level since the internet crosses state and international borders and uses interstate wiring structures for transmission. The term “cybercrime” is often associated with computer hacking, which is just one of several types of computer crimes.

While state authorities are responsible for prosecuting many computer hacking cases, some situations warrant federal charges, such as when fraud is involved, and the crime affects interstate commerce. In such cases, federal law enforcement authorities can seize property they believe was used in or purchased with proceeds from the alleged fraud. Most cybercrimes are serious offenses that carry severe penalties if convicted at the federal level. Suffice it to say that if you are accused of breaking federal cybercrime laws, you should take the charges seriously and hire a competent lawyer with specific experience in federal cybercrime charges.

What is Cybercrime?

Cybercrime is a blanket term that refers to criminal activities conducted online, including but not limited to, hacking, phishing, internet fraud, identity theft, and cyberstalking. Some cybercrimes aim to cause damage or disrupt services, while others are motivated by financial gain. Cybercriminals often target large organizations to steal sensitive data or extort money, but individuals can also be victims of cybercrime. The federal government investigates and prosecutes a wide range of cybercriminal activity.

Types of Cybercrime

Internet fraud and theft can take many forms, including hacking into computers via viruses and malware to mine personal financial information or access bank accounts and credit cards. Phishing and “spoof” websites are also prevalent, where alarming emails that appear to be official are sent to recipients to convince them to give up their personal or financial information. Internet scams, including fake business opportunities, Ponzi schemes, and other tricks to con people into giving money, are also common.

Online drug crimes are also a type of cybercrime, such as creating or selling synthetic or counterfeit drugs online, “doctor shopping” using the internet to obtain multiple prescriptions for controlled substances, and selling prescription drugs online without a license. Cyberattacks typically involve distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks by flooding an organization’s servers with requests until the system shuts down. They may also include hacking into a system to cause mayhem, such as taking over the website, shutting down services, or injecting viruses.

Most federal computer hacking offenses are prosecuted under 18 U.S.C. § 1030, covering a wide variety of illegal computer crimes. This statute makes it a federal offense to access a protected computer without consent with the intent to cause harm or commit a fraud crime.

Child pornography and other internet sex crimes are considered one of the most severe types of cybercrimes because they frequently involve the exploitation of children. Examples of sexual cybercrime include creating, selling, distributing, or possessing child pornography via computers, using the internet for prostitution and sex trafficking, soliciting minors for sex via the internet, and exposing minors to lewd sexual images online. Child pornography is considered a serious federal crime that victimizes children and typically results in severe legal punishments if convicted.

Potential Penalties for a Cybercrime Conviction

The penalties for federal cybercrime offenses vary depending on the severity of the crime and any aggravating or mitigating factors. However, if convicted at the federal level, you can expect to face fines or prison time. Lower-level crimes, including crimes of intent without actually carrying out the offense, may result in a federal misdemeanor conviction resulting in up to a year in prison.

However, most cybercrimes are considered felonies punishable by anywhere from 5-20 years in prison per offense. Penalties for child pornography and sex trafficking cybercrimes can reach between 15-30 years per count. If someone dies as a result of your alleged cybercrime, you could be facing life imprisonment. Therefore, if you are facing federal cybercrime charges, you must take the charges seriously and consult with an experienced federal criminal lawyer as soon as possible.

What to Do If You Are Being Investigated for Cybercrimes?

Federal cybercrime cases are complex, and the stakes are high. You could be facing serious prison time if convicted. Federal prosecutors are becoming more aggressive in seeking out, investigating, and prosecuting cybercrimes since they are considered one of the biggest threats to public safety at this time. Cybercrimes and other related internet crimes are aggressively prosecuted, and a conviction can be life-altering. If you find out you’re being investigated on possible cybercrime charges, or if an indictment is imminent, your best chance at a favorable outcome is to hire an experienced cybercrime defense attorney.

A competent cybercrime defense attorney will investigate the allegations against you to determine their merit and examine the evidence to see if it was legally obtained and admissible in court. They can work with experts to contest the prosecution’s case and negotiate with prosecutors for a reduced charge or sentence. The primary factors in cybercrimes are that you knowingly and intentionally committed the crime. A good attorney can employ many strategies early to reduce your risks. Perhaps they can argue that you unintentionally accessed a computer without consent, or the computer access didn’t go to the level of hacking. Maybe they can argue that your computer was accessed by another person who committed the cybercrime, or you are the victim of a false allegation and wrongful arrest.

Why You Need a Federal Criminal Lawyer

If you are facing federal cybercrime charges, you need to hire a competent lawyer with specific experience in federal cybercrime charges. The federal prosecutor has the burden of proof to obtain a conviction, meaning they must prove all the elements of the crime beyond any reasonable doubt. The consequences of a cybercrime conviction can be severe, and hiring an experienced attorney is critical to the outcome of your case.

Spodek Law Group is a criminal defense law firm with extensive experience in representing individuals facing federal cybercrime charges. Our attorneys understand the intricacies of cybercrime investigations and the laws that apply to these cases. We have the resources to mount a robust defense on your behalf and can help you navigate the complex federal criminal justice system.

In conclusion, cybercrime is a broad term that refers to criminal activities committed using computers or the internet. Federal authorities aggressively investigate and prosecute cybercrimes and other related internet crimes, and a conviction can have life-altering consequences. Cybercrimes can result in serious prison time, fines, or both. The penalties for cybercrime offenses vary depending on the severity of the crime and any aggravating or mitigating factors. If you are facing federal cybercrime charges, it is essential to hire a competent federal criminal lawyer with experience in cybercrime defense.

At Spodek Law Group, our attorneys have a proven track record of successfully defending individuals facing federal cybercrime charges. We understand the nuances of cybercrime investigations and can help you navigate the complex federal criminal justice system. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.

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