Computer crimes, or cybercrimes, have become ever more common in this digital age. Federal and state law enforcement agencies have established computer crime units to identify and investigate persons engaged in illegal activities. Federally, the FBI is the lead agency investigating cyber attacks and intrusions.
The National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force (NCIJTF) was established in 2008 and works closely with 30 other law enforcement, intelligence, and DOJ representatives. This agency, working in collaboration with its partners, is focused on identifying those engaged in computer crimes and putting them behind bars. If you have been contacted by a federal or state investigatory agency, you are in a dangerous legal position. You must exercise your right to remain silent and immediately seek the help of a computer crime defense lawyer who can help you navigate the system and who will initiate the actions that could lead to a more positive outcome.
Types of computer crimes
Some of the most common types of computer crimes include:
- Phishing: This crime involves the use of fake email messages to attempt to harvest private information.
- Identity theft: The use of another party’s identity for financial gain, including debit or credit card fraud.
- Hacking: The act of exploiting weaknesses in security on a website or network to gain access to personal or business information.
- Intellectual property infringements: The sale of counterfeit goods, content theft, patent infringement, piracy, or other action that causes damage to the legal owners.
- Cyberstalking: Online harassment of another individual, posting of threatening or abusive messages, and cyberbullying.
- Malware or spyware: Illegally accessing a network or website, placing spyware or malware to gain access to private information, or as an act to disrupt an organization and seek financial gain.
- Cyber extortion: Under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, it is a criminal act to threaten to damage another party’s computer system to extort money.
Charged with a computer crime?
If you are facing charges related to any computer crime, you need legal representation immediately. Many cybercrime investigations have been ongoing for months or even years. The volume of evidence gathered against you may be significant. Your rights as a defendant must be zealously protected. Whether you were involved in an illegal act or had no knowledge of the act, you are facing a very stressful legal situation that may lead to severe consequences if you are convicted. Your computer crime defense lawyer must initiate immediate action to defend you.
Defenses for computer crime cases
Every case has a unique set of circumstances and evidence. The first step in defending against charges related to a computer offense is a full review and evaluation of the evidence that led to your arrest. This allows your attorney to discover any weaknesses in the case against you or identify any violations of rights. Some of the options that may be present to defend against charges of cybercrime include:
- You are wrongfully accused.
- Other parties had access and may be responsible.
- Questioning the validity of data presented by prosecution witnesses.
- Illegal search and seizure or other rights violations.
- Challenging the conclusions of state or federal computer experts.
The Hickey & Chung LLP Difference
At Hickey & Chung, we have access to some of the most talented and professional computer experts. These cases are typically based on facts gathered by computer experts who will present what they have found in court. Our professional resources are often able to challenge the conclusions of the prosecution witnesses by presenting alternative facts. It is imperative that your defense is managed by a law firm that has the resources and experience to develop a strong case for your defense and the negotiating skills to pursue a favorable outcome, whether a case dismissal, reduced charged, reduced sentence, plea deal, or another alternative. Contact us today for assistance.