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What Defenses Can Be Used in a Computer Crimes Case?

Cybercrimes have seen a spike in recent years as technology advances and criminals recognize the advantages of committing crimes over the internet. Depending on the type of crime you commit you could face hefty fines, imprisonment, probation, and more. The severity of the penalties is why it is important to evaluate the best defenses possible for your computer crimes case. Speak with a Ramapo criminal defense attorney to discuss potential defense strategies today.

What Computer Crimes Can You Be Convicted Of?

Computer crimes are a serious problem across the world. You may only picture a hacker typing quickly in a dark room, but there is a wide array of computer crimes that you can be charged with and convicted of. The CFAA (Computer Fraud and Abuse Act) lists those crimes, including the following.

  • Accessing restricted information
  • Credit card fraud
  • Wire fraud
  • Cyberstalking or harassment
  • Child pornography
  • Phishing scams
  • Identity theft
  • Extortion

The above and many more are illegal actions and can be prosecuted. Depending on the crime you may face misdemeanor or felony charges. The specific penalties will vary depending on the crime, the extent of damage done, monetary loss, your prior criminal record, and more.

What Are My Potential Defenses?

While computer crimes are taken seriously and the penalties can be severe, there are certain defense strategies that can be used to reduce your charges, or even get them dismissed. The first thing you should do once you are arrested for a computer crime is to retain the services of an attorney. Your lawyer will be equipped with an in-depth understanding of the law and be able to assess your situation to determine what your best defense options are. Consider the options below when formulating your defense.

  • Lack of intent: Even skilled typers can slip up. If you did commit the crime, for example, you deployed a virus, but you did not mean to and did it accidentally this could help your defense.
  • Mistaken identity: Maybe you did not commit the crime and are actually innocent. If so, you may have been misidentified as the culprit and your charges could be dismissed.
  • Violation of rights: United States citizens have the right to avoid unlawful search and seizure of their property. If your computer was seized by law enforcement without a proper warrant, any evidence that they were able to obtain from your device could be deemed inadmissible.
  • Entrapment: If a law enforcement officer or other government official coerced you into committing the crime for whatever reason it could benefit your case. You will have to offer undeniable proof as this is a big accusation.
  • Authorized access: If you did have the authority to access the restricted information or held a reasonable belief that you were allowed to it could help reduce your charges.
  • Lack of evidence: Remember that the prosecution must prove to the court that you committed the crime. You do not have to prove your innocence they have to prove your guilt. If the prosecution does not have the evidence required to convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime you could be found not guilty.
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