Federal Defense Lawyer Explains Hacking Crimes

In today’s day and age, computers play an integral role in every day life. As a result, the federal government has many laws in place aimed at preventing computer crimes. Cyber crimes such as hacking, unlawfully accessing stored communications, interfering with communications, and related offenses can all result in very serious criminal charge.

When you face federal charges, you face an uphill battle to avoid conviction. The federal government has ample resources to investigate computer crimes and imposes strict penalties upon those who are found guilty of any cyber offense.

Not all federal defense attorneys are able to successfully defend you in federal court, especially when it comes to charges related to highly technical offenses such as hacking, unlawfully accessing stored communications, access device fraud, SPAM, or related crimes. And, the consequences of conviction are life-changing.

You need to be proactive in finding a criminal lawyer who understands laws on cyber crimes, who has the technical knowledge necessary to defend you, and who cares about fighting for your rights as you navigate the criminal justice system. If you live in California, Arizona, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, or surrounding areas, LV Criminal Defense is here and ready to help you.

We have represented some of the world’s most notorious hackers, and we have an in-depth knowledge of all federal laws related to computer crimes. We can put our knowledge to work to help you respond to accusations and put together a strong defense strategy.

To find out more about how our firm can fight for you, give us a call today.

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Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.


Federal Laws on Hacking and Cyber Crimes

There are many different types of misconduct related to computers and the Internet that can result in federal charges. In fact, the federal government has passed numerous laws specifically punishing defendants who engage in different types of cyber crimes. These laws include:

  • The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act: You can be charged under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for offenses such as unlawfully accessing a computer to obtain information; trespassing in government computers; damaging computers or information; trafficking in passwords; threatening to damage a computer or information; obtaining national security information; or attempting or conspiring to do any of these acts.
  • The Wiretap Act: Under the wiretap act, you can face federal criminal charges for intercepting communications; disclosing intercepted communications; and making use of intercepted communications.
  • Identity theft statutes: You could be charged with identity theft under 18 U.S. Code section 1028 or with aggravated identity theft under 18 U.S. Code section 1028A.
  • The CAN-SPAM Act: You could face charges for involvement with certain types of communications under 18 U.S. Code section 1037 if the communications are considered to be spam.
  • Wire fraud: Under 18 U.S. Code section 1343, you could be charged with a federal wire fraud offense for using communications devices – including computers and the Internet – to engage in unlawful misconduct including fraudulent behavior that is designed to enrich you.
  • Interfering with communications: You could be charged with communication interference under 18 U.S. Code section 1362.
  • Access device fraud: This statute is found in 18 U.S. Code section 1029 and imposes harsh penalties for access device fraud.

Each of these individual statutes sets forth specific elements of a crime that prosecutors must prove in order to secure a conviction against you for wrongdoing. For example, 18 U.S. Code section 1037 punishes fraud and related activity in connection with emails.

Under this statute, you could be convicted if you access protected computers without authorization and intentionally initiate the transfer of multiple commercial emails in a way that affects interstate or foreign commerce.

You could also be charged if you access a protected computer to send or relay multiple email messages with the intent to deceive or mislead recipients; if you falsify header information on multiple commercial email messages; if you falsely represent yourself to be the legitimate successor for five or more IP addresses and intentionally initiate multiple emails from those addresses; or if you register and use materially false information for five or more email accounts or online user accounts or domain names and initiate the transmission of multiple commercial emails.

Penalties for Hacking or Cyber Crime

Penalties for federal computer crimes will vary depending upon the specific nature of the offense that you have been accused of. You will generally face felony charges for most hacking crimes and other similar offenses committed using computers. You could be sentenced to a lengthy period of imprisonment, and you could owe substantial fines as part of your penalties if convicted.

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In addition to criminal actions taken against you, you could also be subject to civil actions. While being faced with a civil claim doesn’t result in a risk of jail time, the burden of proof is lower so it is more likely you could be found liable and made to pay substantial sums.

There is also the possibility of civil or criminal asset forfeiture, which means you could have money or property taken from you even before conviction if it is suspected that the money or property was used in a cyber crime or obtained from the proceeds of cyber offenses.

Resources on Computer Crimes

Federal Trade Commission – The CAN-SPAM Act

Cybercrime – FBI

Cybercrime Support Network (CSN)

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Getting Help from a Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been accused of a cyber crime, you need to take proactive steps to find a federal defense lawyer who understands federal laws on computer offenses and who has both the technical and legal knowledge necessary to help you fight charges. LV Criminal Defense is here and ready to provide the help that you need. We’ve represented many defendants accused of cyber crimes and can put our extensive legal knowledge to work on your case if you live in California, Arizona, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, or surrounding areas.

To find out more about how our firm can help you to develop a defenses strategy in response to serious charges related to hacking or cyber crime, give us a call today.