Computer Crimes and Related Offenses

Have you been charged with a computer crime in Miami?

Advances in technology have changed many aspects of society; including the investigation, prosecution and defense of criminal offenses.  Computers have not only been a tool for use in the commission of many traditional crimes ranging from drug trafficking and money laundering, to tax evasion and other offenses, but the prevalence of computers in modern society has shaped an entire new class of crimes that can only be committed with a computer.

Let Attorney Petruzzi prepare a solid defense on your behalf – available 24/7.

Types of Computer Crimes

While almost any crime that can be committed without a computer can also be committed on a computer, certain crimes are more frequently seen in the commission of a computer crime than many others.  Typically, however, computer crimes involve using a computer to take or alter data, or to gain unlawful use of computers or services in the illegal transfer of funds or to alter the data or property of others.

Computer crimes may also be referred to as “cyber-crimes” by the FBI, and other State, and Federal law enforcement agencies.  In recent years, law enforcement has been hyper-vigilant about monitoring the internet for cyber-terrorism, drug trafficking, child pornography, wire fraud, computer intrusions, identity theft, human trafficking, prostitution, online sexual predators, piracy, damaging or destroying equipment or supplies that are used, or were intended to be used in a computer network, deliberately placing a virus into a computer or network owned by another, destroying, taking or damaging computer equipment that belongs to another, and accessing a computer or network of another without permission.

Some of the most common computer offenses include:

Associated Penalties for Computer Crimes in Florida

Computer crimes may have serious lifelong consequences upon conviction. Ranging from misdemeanors to felonies, possible penalties for computer crimes include:

  • Third degree felony: Imprisonment up to 5 years and/or fines up to $5,000
  • Second degree felony: Imprisonment up to 15 years and/or fines up to $10,000
  • First degree felony: Imprisonment up to 30 years and/or fines up to $10,000

In addition to time behind bars, a conviction for committing a computer crime can have permanent consequences, as a criminal record can follow you for life and affect even the most basic human rights.  A computer crime conviction, for instance, may have employment consequences as most employers run background checks before hiring.

In addition, under Federal and Florida law, one convicted of a Felony Computer Crime may no longer possess and/or purchase a firearm and may also no longer vote.  A computer crime conviction of any degree or level may impact an individual’s ability to keep or obtain a professional license (doctor, lawyer, teacher, law enforcement). Also, a conviction for a computer crime involving child pornography, sexual exploitation, or human sex-trafficking would require one to register as a sex offender anywhere they live in the United States.  Failure to register as a sex offender is also a crime which is punishable by imprisonment.

How are accusations for this type of crime handled?

State computer crimes are investigated and prosecuted by the local sheriff, local police departments, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Florida Highway Patrol, and the State Attorney’s Office.  Federal computer crimes are investigated and prosecuted by various agencies, including the FBI, IRS, DEA, ATF, CIA, Homeland Security, and the Department of Justice.

Highly Experienced Defending Those Facing Penalties for Computer Crimes

Attorney Petruzzi has been defending those charged with computer crimes from their first existence in the criminal code.  He has represented hundreds of clients charged with, or under investigation for, various computer-related crimes. If you or someone you know has been charged with a computer crime, it is important for one to hire an experienced attorney.  Attorney Petruzzi’s knowledge and expertise in this field of law is a vital asset to anyone charged with these crimes.

Get started with a free consultation by calling the Law Offices of Paul D.  Petruzzi in Miami, FL.

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