December 1, 2022
The advent of the internet has brought a new type of criminal offence—cybercrimes. Though the government was somewhat slow to recognize the spread of this type of crime, repeated incidents and disasters have heightened awareness and law enforcement agencies are now cracking down on cyber crimes aggressively.
The FBI in particular is working hard to stay ahead of this trend and keep people safe by prosecuting cyber crimes aggressively. Since, as a modern-age American citizen, you probably devote hours of your day to using the internet, it’s important to understand the types of computer behaviors that may be considered cyber crimes if you want to avoid being charged with this type of offense. Below, we’ve listed some of the most common.
- This type of cybercrime involves copying and distributing music, movies, software, or other types of intellectual property without the appropriate permission. If you frequent sites that allow the illegal downloading of these types of properties, you could be charged with piracy or copyright infringement. In the US, people who are charged with piracy can face severe penalties, including up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines.
- Tax-Refund Fraud. Tax-refund fraud has become increasingly common over the last few years. This type of crime occurs when someone uses someone else’s information to fill out a tax refund in your name and collects a refund check from the IRS. Every year, the IRS sends out millions of fraudulent refunds, costing taxpayers billions of dollars.
- Cyberstalking involves the use of the internet or other electronic communications to harass or threaten someone. Examples of behaviors that could qualify as cyberstalking include making violent threats, spreading lies about a person on social media, or repeatedly sending them unwanted sexual images. Law enforcement officials take cyberstalking very seriously. In Colorado, cyberstalking could be interpreted as sexual harassment, and victims may be able to press criminal charges against their online stalkers and harassers. Without even leaving your house, you could be charged with the serious criminal offense of cyberstalking.
- Purchasing medications without a prescription. Dealers may try to sell prescription medications using foreign currencies and anonymous web providers on the internet, though oftentimes, these medications are expired or incorrect. If you try to purchase medications from foreign countries on the internet without a prescription, you could be charged with a cyber crime.
- Child pornography. Under federal law, child pornography is considered illegal contraband. Child pornography is defined as any visual depiction of a minor involved in sexually explicit conduct. It is illegal to possess, distribute, or produce any type of child pornography. The penalties for this type of crime are tough, with first-time offenders facing hefty fines and up to 30 years in prison.
These are only a handful of the most common types of cyber crimes, which can range from illegal online gambling to stock market manipulation. If you have been charged with this type of crime, you are looking at some serious repercussions, including huge fines and years of prison time.
Even if you feel like your offense was something minor, it’s important to enlist the aid of an aggressive Denver criminal attorney with experience handling cyber crime cases. The law is trying to make an example of cyber crime offenders – don’t let yourself become one of them. Contact a knowledgeable cyber crimes lawyer today to learn more about your rights and start building a strong defense.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been designated a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and has been awarded both the Avvo Client’s Choice Award and Avvo Top Attorney designation, evidencing his reputation for his exemplary criminal and DUI defense work and high moral standards.