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The internet, once a mysterious wonder understood and utilized by relatively few people, has now become a regular part of everyday life for people of all sorts. Rich or poor, urban or rural—people now use the internet more than ever. It’s on our phones and our tablets, at our jobs and in our homes. Now more than ever, internet crimes are becoming more prominent, and if you are charged with an online crime, you will want to seek out an attorney who knows how to handle your case. If you need an internet crime lawyer in Santa Monica, the expert team at Okabe and Haushalter can help.
Although some portions of the California Penal Code cover computer-specific crimes, in some instances internet crimes may be prosecuted under other sections of the law. The federal law also covers certain internet crimes, meaning a person accused of these crimes could face federal charges as well as state charges.
Example 1: Luring a minor
A person accused of using a chatroom to lure a person under the age of 14 to their location for an in-person meeting could be charged under the laws outlining contributing to the delinquency of a minor in Section 272(b). This particular crime could be charged as a misdemeanor or an infraction; if the accused party is a repeat offender, however, the charges could be even more serious.
Example 2: Identity theft
A person accused of using the internet to create a web page used to obtain personal data from other persons with the intention of using that data to defraud them of funds could be charged under Section 530.5, and the penalties faced depend on whether the crime is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony and the amount of money defrauded as a result of the alleged identity theft.
Example 3: Using the internet to hack a computer
A person accused of hacking a computer could face both state and federal charges under California Penal Code Section 502 and under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, respectively. Depending on the nature of the alleged crime (i.e., whether the hacked machine was a personal computer or government computer, whether the machine was hacked for the purposes of defrauding an individual or institution) these charges could be either misdemeanors or felonies, with fines ranging from 1,000 dollars to 250,000 dollars and terms of incarceration from one to ten years behind bars.
Internet crimes can be serious charges, and a criminal defense attorney can help you fight those charges. If you are dealing with online-related criminal charges in the Los Angeles area, speak to an internet crime lawyer in Santa Monica at Okabe and Haushalter. Our attorneys specialize in criminal law pertaining to internet crimes, and we can get you negotiate the legal system and stand up for you in court. We offer cost-free case assessments over the phone and online, so contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in the courtroom.