Criminal Lawyer Fairfax VA
Technology is a great boon to our society in this day and age. However, it is reasonable to state that any technology may be misused, and often is. One of the most commonly occurring technological crimes in recent years has been computer fraud or tampering, which is illicitly accessing a computer and using it for fraudulent activities. While such conduct is often ignored or downplayed, the ramifications can be quite serious and, in many states, can be punishable as a felony. It is imperative to understand the limits of such conduct or else one could encounter unforeseen consequences. If you have been charged, contact a Fairfax VA criminal lawyer immediately.
Spam as a Felony?
It may seem absurd in some situations that sending an email can, in theory, be punished at the same level of severity as embezzlement or identity theft. However, many states define computer fraud as accessing (or causing access to) a computer with the intent to defraud, and thus includes methods like computer viruses and spam emails or internet scams. The laws say that knowingly performing the action in question is what can trigger criminal culpability.
The crux of the issue for many defendants can be somewhat complex: there are varying degrees of culpability in such crimes, depending on the degree of action taken and on the intent displayed. For example, a person who hacked or otherwise accessed another person’s computer with the intent to use it in an e-mail scam, but never attempted to send the email, would likely be guilty of a lower class felony, while comparatively, a person who accessed another person’s computer and used it to deceive or deprive another of property worth over $50,000 would most likely be guilty of a much more serious felony charge.
After a Computer Fraud Charge
Defendants charged with computer fraud should be aware that it is a serious crime, carrying multiple years in jail as a possible sentence if convicted. However, one should also be aware that the law is seldom challenged in a serious manner; computer fraud is often handled as an in-house matter or between friends, rather than getting the courts involved. A knowledgeable criminal lawyer can sometimes make a prosecutor think twice about bringing charges, especially if there is some aspect of the alleged crime that may not be clear.
Something to keep in mind in addition to the standard sentencing guidelines is that some laws permit forfeiture of assets if one is convicted of computer fraud; this is not often discussed because of the relative infrequency of prosecutions under this statute, but it can and does happen, especially when the offense involved is a serious felony charge.
Seek Experienced Legal Assistance
If a person has been accused of computer fraud or similar crimes, the most important thing is to say nothing without a criminal lawyer present. Each skilled criminal lawyer Fairfax VA clients recommend at Dave Albo – Attorney is well versed in dealing with technological crimes and we will do the best we can to assist you with your case. Contact the office today to set up an initial consultation.