Our Approach to Federal Cybercrime Cases in DC
“I enjoy representing people in cybercrime cases because I enjoy learning about new technology, I like looking at the details and the specifics of technologies which have evolved. It is very interesting to me how technology intersects with the law, and how issues which are being litigated now are shaping the law for years to come. I also enjoy working with clients in these cases. The issues that come up in these cases are very interesting and I like helping clients work through them.”
– DC Federal Cybercrime Lawyer David Benowitz
First Things First: Get an Attorney Early!
It is crucial for a person to contact an attorney as soon as they know or suspect they are under investigation, because even though there is a lot of technology involved, law enforcement agents are always looking to interrogate people and intimidate them into giving statements or confessing.
Even though the technology is complicated, a simple incriminating statement goes a long way in the government’s case. It is important to contact an attorney because the attorney will be the buffer between you and the government. You should also keep silent and not speak to law enforcement agents if you have any inclination that you are under investigation.
Speaking to a Lawyer Before Law Enforcement
There aren’t really any circumstances where an attorney would advise a client to answer questions from law enforcement without an attorney present. This is not necessarily limited to cybercrime cases. Remaining silent when being questioned or investigated by law enforcement officers can never hurt you. In fact, it will almost always benefit you to avoid speaking with law enforcement officers unless you have your attorney present and by your side.
There are only limited situations where a client should speak with law enforcement without an attorney present, so it really is in a client’s best interests to remain silent when their attorney is not present and to look to their attorney for guidance when he or she is present.
Challenges in Cybercrime Cases
There are a whole host of challenges which come up in cybercrime cases. They include understanding the technology, getting access to it if it has been seized by law enforcement, making sure experts have adequate access to it, understanding the right questions to ask experts when they are looking at the technology, and learning that technology from the expert.
You also have a range of issues such as substance abuse, or any number of other issues, with which clients may need help to deal with in relation to their case. That means there are a lot of challenges in these cases, but they’re interactive challenges.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
A common mistake attorneys make is not diving into the details of the technology involved early enough. That has to be done very early on because it really drives how a DC federal cybercrime lawyer will look at and litigate the case. Once he or she understands the technology, he or she can come up with different and creative strategies for litigating the case that wouldn’t have been so apparent had the lawyer not conducted thorough research.
David Benowitz on Why Clients Choose Him
“I would like to think that clients work with me because I am extremely hardworking, I stay abreast of technology, I am interested in technology, and I am very interested in the particular situation of my clients. I am pretty much available 24 hours a day. For example, I recently took a phone call on a case at 1:00 AM and got some very important news. That client’s family tried to apologize to me, but I assured them it was great because I want them to be able to call me or have their family call me at any time if they know something. I think that is why clients work with me and why they should work with me.
I also think the attitude that I bring to these cases is both aggressive and pragmatic. You have to know on which issues you should be aggressive and on which issues you may want to act more conservatively. That judgment is something that you get with experience.”