How Can I Defend Against a Computer Crime Case?

person wearing ski mask on computer

The use of technology is becoming an increasingly popular way to commit crimes. A crime that is committed using the internet can be considered a computer crime, also known as a cybercrime. They are especially dangerous because of their anonymous nature. Cybercrimes are punishable by fines and even imprisonment. If you are being charged in a computer crime case, speak with a Bergen County, New Jersey criminal defense lawyer to discuss how to best defend your case.

What Are Computer Crimes?

Computer crimes encompass a wide variety of illegal activity. A computer crime could be considered anything unlawful that is committed with the use of the internet or technology. Cybercrimes occur when a person uses a computer as a tool to commit a crime, stores illegal content from a crime on their computer, or illegally targets another computer or network. Any technological device can be included in these definitions, such as a smartphone, tablet, etc. Examples of computer crimes include:

  • Hacking and accessing restricted information
  • Phishing and other scams
  • Identity theft
  • Credit card or debit card fraud
  • Cyberstalking and harassment
  • Spreading viruses or other malware
  • Child pornography

Any of the above or other cybercrimes can be prosecuted, resulting in a conviction with serious penalties.

What Are the Consequences for a Computer Crime Conviction?

New Jersey takes cybercrimes very seriously, as is seen by the penalties for the crime. Refer to the following list of consequences associated with each degree of crime.

  • Fourth-degree: Up to 18 months in prison and fines of up to $10,000
  • Third-degree: 3 to 5 years in prison and fines of up to $15,000
  • Second-degree: 5 to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $150,000
  • First-degree: 10 to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $200,000

Property damage or loss, prior criminal history, and other aggravating factors can cause your charges to increase to a higher degree. The outcome of your charges will depend on the specifics of your case.

How Can My Lawyer Defend Me During My Case?

Now that it has been established that the consequences of cybercrimes in New Jersey are quite severe, it is important to emphasize the need for a skilled attorney. If you are facing charges related to a computer crime, your lawyer will be your best line of defense. Not only are they familiar with legal proceedings and your rights, but they will have dealt with similar situations and understand how to evaluate your situation to determine what defensive tactics will work best. You and your attorney may decide to choose from any of the following options, or others when deciding how to defend your side.

  • Insufficient or circumstantial evidence
  • Law enforcement officers unlawfully searched or seized your possessions
  • Lack of intent
  • You had permission to access the information
  • Mistaken identity
  • Duress
  • Entrapment

Speak with a lawyer today to begin working on your case and developing your defensive strategy.

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