As technology continues to grow exponentially, computer crimes are becoming more common. Here are several of the most common computer crimes and what you should do if you are charged.
Computer hacking is one of the most widely publicized computer crimes. However, very little attention is given to its actual definition. A hacking crime occurs when someone intentionally and wrongfully gains access to the private personal data belonging to someone else via computer. In California, if you are convicted of hacking, you could be sentenced up to 10 years in prison.
Identity theft is another computer crime that gets a lot of notoriety. It is similar to hacking in how personal data is accessed. However, if the information is not accessed through a computer, it is usually charged as fraud. However, with identity theft, the personal data is obtained with the knowledge and purpose to commit fraud with someone else’s identifying information.
The definition of data theft under California law is illegally obtaining computer data from a computer system, a computer network, or a physical computer itself. Data theft is a California wobbler crime and can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the situation. Often, data theft is committed against companies or businesses and the crime is charged as a felony.
Computers and the Internet are used to communicate with people all over the world. Harassment is a common computer crime charged more often in cases of cyberbullying and cyberstalking. In fact, if you are charged with computer harassment, you could face up to one year in jail if it is charged as a misdemeanor and up to five years if it is charged as a felony.
Phishing is a lesser known computer crime that carries a stiff sentence if convicted. These scams involve posing as a legitimate entity or company to obtain important personal information, including credit card information or usernames and passwords. Some phishing scams obtain this information through the sending or installation of malware or a virus on another person’s computer. If convicted, you face between 3-15 years in prison. Also, you could be ordered to pay up to a $250,000 fine.
Contact a Sacramento Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If you are charged with a computer crime, prosecutors must prove knowledge and intent to commit the crime. There are many defense tactics that may protect your rights under the law. Contact Sacramento criminal defense lawyer Jennifer Mouzis today for more information by calling 916-822-8702.