The online world gives us more ways to connect and broadens our horizons more every day. Unfortunately, the internet age also opens new avenues for crime to take place. Crimes like identity theft, once requiring someone to sift through hard copies of personal documents to get the information they sought, are now easier than ever—and easier to be charged with. Being accused of an internet crime can result in serious charges carrying serious penalties.
According to California Penal Code Sections 442.55 through 442.57, a hate crime charge can be leveled against you if you are accused of harassing someone on the basis of certain personality traits, whether factual or perceived, such as race, gender, disability status, or religious affiliation. The same is true if the alleged harassment occurs online, and the penalties may include fines, community service work, and jail time. If you are facing accusations of having committed a hate crime online, contact an attorney who knows how to navigate criminal law as it pertains to the internet. The expert staff at Okabe and Haushalter are internet crime lawyers who offer their services to anyone charged with an internet hate crime in the Bay Area.
Under the California Penal Code, phishing is not itself a criminal charge, but the acts that phishing is comprised of are. For example, identity theft and fraud are criminal charges that may break both California state and federal laws, leading to severe penalties for those who are accused of these crimes if they are convicted in court. Some of these penalties include lengthy prison terms and hundreds of thousands of dollars in restitution fines. Penalties depend on the number of alleged victims of the phishing scheme and the amount of money defrauded during the act of phishing.
The internet gives us a convenient way to keep up-to-date with friends thanks to social media. However, social media can also be used for darker purposes such as stalking. California Penal Code 646.9 defines stalking as the willful, malicious and repeated following or harassing of another individual with the intent to put that individual in fear for their or their family’s lives of safety. In some cases, people convicted of stalking may be subject to mandatory lifelong sex offender registration. While stalking once involved tailing someone in person or repeated phone calls and parcels sent via snail mail, internet stalking via email and social media has become more prevalent, and the criminal charges related to stalking still apply in the online world.
Have you been charged with an online crime in the East Bay? Contact the leading Brentwood internet crime lawyers at Okabe and Haushalter. We will work tirelessly to defend you in court and keep you informed of progress along the way. When you are charged with an internet crime, you need a defense team with a record of proven results. We will evaluate your case free of charge, so call today for a consultation with one of our skilled internet crime attorneys.