A cybercrime, generally speaking, is unlawful conduct carried out through the use of a computer or a digital device. There are myriad examples of cybercrime, ranging from illegal sales of drugs, firearms, and securities; software piracy or intellectual property theft; or even online pornography and child luring.
In addition, cybercrime also includes any internet-based fraud, examples of which include credit card fraud, fraud in connection with using another person’s identification, mail fraud, wire fraud, and securities fraud. These days, even money laundering can be done over computers, which is considered a cybercrime.
If you have been accused of cybercrime, you could face serious penalties that warrant attention from a Virginia federal cybercrime lawyer. A federal cybercrime attorney in Virginia can review the facts and circumstances surrounding your case and help prepare an aggressive defense.
For information on how an attorney can help you, call today.
There are between 25 and 30 different statutes that fall under the cybercrime umbrella. They can include:
These laws cover internet activity in Virginia and even include some activity that does not take place in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In some cases, you can be charged in Virginia even if you never set foot in the Commonwealth before.
However if you are charged, the Fourth Circuit (where your case will be tried) is generally tough on crime. Prosecutors are vigilant about prosecuting cybercrimes to the greatest extent of the law in Virginia, both in the Eastern and Western Districts. You will want a Virginia federal cybercrime lawyer by your side.
When it comes to cybercrime charges, most lawyers may not know the ins and outs of the technology involved in the crime. Therefore, a federal cybercrime lawyer in Virginia may need to use expert witnesses who are specially trained in forensic computer science.
Cybercrime is all about computers, the data on computers, and how the data is interpreted. The technology behind computers is what the government will use to prove the cybercrime and will go well beyond any typical evidence.
Since cybercrime is such a broad term, it is almost impossible to itemize the sentence that a person might receive. In a case where fraud is alleged to have occurred over the Internet, either a victim or government will probably have lost a particular amount of money.
In those cases, the government uses a sliding scale in their sentencing guidelines to try to calculate the sentencing recommendation. The greater the amount of money lost by the victims or the government, the higher you will be on the sliding scale. Generally, the higher you are on the scale, the greater the sentence for fraud or financial-based crimes that involve the Internet.
In other cases, there may be a mandatory minimum, such as in certain child pornography cases. Sentencing often depends on the number of times a person has been convicted or the nature of the offense.
For example, if the sale of drugs or prescription drugs is at issue, then the amount of drugs that were involved in the alleged crime weighs heavily on the sentencing guideline. A smaller amount of drugs is treated less harshly than a larger amount. If you send a friend a small bag of drugs in the mail it will be treated very differently than if you ship a very large box of drugs.
These are some factors that will affect sentencing, but as a general rule, it is always safe to say the penalty a person receives will depend on the crimes you are charged with and ultimately convicted. If you are confused by the charges you may face, a federal cybercrime attorney in Virginia can help.
These days, child pornography has become a common charge. Prior to the internet becoming prevalent in society, the crime of child pornography was pretty low because it was a crime that relied on hard evidence. People who engaged in child pornography had videos or pictures or some other hard evidence that could be presented in court.
Nowadays, it is extremely easy for people to access child pornography over the internet. Thus, the investigative tactics that used to be used to check for possession and distribution of child pornography have been modernized.
There are also typical cybercrime scenarios like wire fraud, credit card fraud, and mail fraud all of which can now be committed over the internet.
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