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Computers and smartphones have become nearly essential components of our daily lives. California state laws have incorporated provisions to protect the confidential online data of individuals and organizations. Any person who unlawfully accesses a computer, computer system or network, or uses a component of the internet to commit fraud, may be charged with a crime. Investigations in this new area of the law will frequently involve the FBI and federal prosecutors as well as law enforcement agencies at the state and local levels.
If you are under investigation or have been arrested for an internet crime in California, including identity theft or internet fraud, The Law Offices of Jacqueline Goodman is prepared to build a strong defense on your behalf. We are steadfast in protecting the rights, freedom and future of our clients, and will always fight tirelessly to help you avoid the serious consequences of a criminal conviction.
Cybercrime is not a single criminal offense but a blanket term that encompasses several different crimes involving the use of the internet or computers. This includes:
You may be surprised to find that law enforcement has a warrant to search your computer for evidence in an internet crime investigation.
They may look through records such as:
Whether you believe there may be incriminating evidence or not, it is crucial that you consult an Orange County internet crime lawyer as soon as possible. If we find that you have been searched unlawfully or your rights have otherwise been infringed upon, we can reduce the charges against you or have your case dismissed entirely.
In 2011, the Attorney General of California established a special “eCrime Unit” designed to investigate and prosecute cybercrime. State law prohibits all forms of cybercrime, including internet fraud, phishing, identity theft, credit card fraud, unlawful computer access, and using a computer to commit or solicit other crimes. Many of these crimes are also considered federal crimes, and federal prosecutors often have jurisdiction over cases involving extensive fraud or large-scale criminal operations.
Most cybercrimes are “wobblers,” meaning they can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Prosecutors determine how to charge a crime based on several factors, including the extent of the fraud (i.e., whether the defendant used the unlawful information or only possessed it with fraudulent intent), the criminal history of the defendant, the specific victims involved in the crime, and whether the defendant acted with malice or oppression. A criminal conviction can result in substantial fines, a county jail or state prison sentence, forfeiture of equipment used to commit the crime, and restitution to victims.
A conviction for internet fraud/phishing under the state’s identity theft laws can result in imprisonment for one year, 16 months, two years, or three years. The penalties for credit card fraud depend on whether the offense is charged as grand theft or petty theft.
Yes, federal law prohibits possessing, using, or transferring another person’s identifying information with the intent to commit a state felony or federal crime or in connection with such a crime.
Jacqueline Goodman, has over 20 years of experience in criminal defense in Orange County, and an impressive background defending internet crime charges. Our firm conducts a full investigation into your case to find the most effective strategy for your defense.
If you are under investigation for identity theft, internet fraud or another internet crime, do not hesitate to reach out to us today. Call (714) 733-1737 to schedule your free consultation. Flexible payment options are available.
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