We live in a technological age. The consequence of this means that the rise in computer crimes across America is rapid. More Americans are becoming dependant on electronic devices such as computers, laptops, or tablets in order to carry out a variety of different tasks. However, what people seem to forget is that a lot of these electronic items include the storage of information that can be classified as sensitive.
Computer criminal charges are not unfamiliar in Bradenton. Many of those who are convicted of such crimes can be charged under both private or public sector employers. It is common that an individual may be wrongly charged for a computer crime that was actually committed by their employer. If you are in this position, without proper legal representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney, you suffer the consequences of fines and the possibility of imprisonment also.
If you are facing charges for computer crime offenses, The Law Place in Bradenton is here to help you. We have a team bursting with experience, sharing a collaborative repertoire of 75 years’ worth of experience representing clients in cases that are similar to yours. With our experience, we can help you with any such computer crime, whether that be in intellectual property, computer system, or computer network criminal cases.
If you would like to find out more information or take steps to begin your legal journey – we offer a free consultation. One of our knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers will be waiting on the line for your call. Our telephones are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – so do not hesitate to contact us at a time that is most suitable for you.
Call us now at (941) 444-4444 to begin the steps towards the fight against your computer crime case.
Definitions of Common Computer Crime Terms Under the State of Florida
Terms related to computers are difficult to understand at the best of times. We want to try and simplify them for you, just so they can make some sort of sense. Listed below are the legal definitions for computer crimes as laid out in Florida Statute 815.03.
- Computer – Any device that is programmed to process data. This includes any computer system, computer network, or electronic device.
- Access – Access is when an individual is instructing, communicating with, storing data or retrieving it, or exploiting resources on a computer.
- Computer network – A computer network is the means of communication between computers, networks, or electronic devices.
- Data – Data can be classified as a digital representation of facts, software, computer concepts, instructions, and programs.
- Electronic device – An electronic device is defined as the tool used to communicate across networks, including those devices that can store, receive, or transmit data.
Types of Computer Offenses in Bradenton, FL.
Florida Statute 815.06, also known as the ‘Florida Computer Crimes Act,’ clearly outlines the various offenses committed against those who use computers, computer networks, computer systems, and different electronic devices.
Not all computer-related offenses are carried out by online hackers. There are many other crimes surrounding the use of computers that people aren’t aware of. Listed below are the various computer offenses as specified under the Florida Computer Crimes Act:
If you are accused of a computer crime, it means that you must knowingly and without any kind of authorization have committed the following:
- Access any computer, computer system, network, or electronic device in the knowledge that this kind of access is unauthorized.
- The individual has destroyed, injured, or potentially damaged the equipment or supplies in question where the intent was to be used in a computer, computer system, network, or electronic device.
- The individual has destroyed, damaged, injured any item deemed as a computer, computer system, computer network, or electronic device.
- The individual causes the introduction of a contaminant into a computer, computer system, network, or electronic device.
- The individual in question has engaged in video or audio surveillance of another individual through accessing any feature or inherent component of a computer, computer system, network, or electronic device. This includes the access of data or information of a computer, computer system, network, or electronic device via third party storage.
If any individual has committed this crime, it is classified as a third-degree felony. Consequences include a fine of $5,000 as well as up to five years of imprisonment.
However, there are cases in which a computer crime can be recognized as a second-degree felony. Albeit still serious, this comes with minimalized consequences compared to a third-degree felony. Listed below are what an individual must commit in order to be penalized for a second-degree computer crimes felony:
- The individual must have damaged a computer, computer equipment or supplies, a computer system, or network with the damage or loss amounting to at least $5,000.
- The individual has committed the offense under the basis of executing a scheme to defraud or obtain property.
- The individual, through their actions, has interrupted or impaired a governmental operation or public communication, transportation, or supply of essentials such as water, gas, or another public service.
The consequences, if charged with a second-degree felony in Bradenton, are up to 15 years of imprisonment as well as a fine of $10,000.
A first-degree felony, the most serious of all, is not out of the question. This can be granted if any of the above actions listed were then to cause danger to another individual. This can also be the case if it were to create a disruption to a computer, a computer system, network, or electronic device that affected medical equipment or the care of a sick individual. This would leave a person facing up to 30 years of incarceration as well as a $10,000 fine.
Breakdown of Offenses Against Computer Users in Bradenton, Florida
If you are convicted of a computer criminal offense charge in Bradenton, or in the State of Florida generally, it can fall under different categories. Commonly, you may have been charged as a result of the following:
- You did not have clear authorization to access a computer or computer system and had knowledge of this.
- You were responsible for stopping the transmission of data both to and from a computer, computer system, computer network, or other electronic devices.
- You were responsible for the damage or stole equipment or supplies which were used in a computer, computer system, computer network, or other electronic devices.
- You were responsible for causing damage and/or stealing a computer, computer system, computer network, or another electronic device that was not originally in your possession.
- You were responsible for launching a contaminant or a virus onto a computer, computer system, computer network, or electronic device.
- You were responsible for spying on another person via the access of audio or video files on their computer, computer system, network, or electronic device.
Defenses to Offenses Against Computer Users in Bradenton, Florida
Any charges or convictions related to computer users are treated with the utmost seriousness in Bradenton, as well as throughout the entire State of Florida. Therefore, it is crucial that you have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side, one who is well-versed in the law surrounding computer offenses. As you can see, they are both intricate and complicated – so you need a criminal defense attorney who is going to provide you with positive case results. Here at The Law Place, our team is proficient in cases that are similar to yours, having an abundance of experience in fighting cases involving cybercrimes. Once you contact us, we can begin to tailor the best possible defense for you and your case, carrying it all the way to the courtroom. If you find yourself in a position of being charged with a computer crime offense, do not lose hope. There are two key defenses that your criminal defense lawyer can use to help you. They are:
- Authorization – If another individual has granted authorization for you to own the computer program or network related to the crime, then your criminal defense lawyer has the right to argue on the basis that it was not an unlawful act. Something which your attorney can use to maximize this point further in your case is if you provide clear evidence. This can be in the form of documents, communication, etc. This is crucial as in a lot of cybercrime cases, the rights to a computer and the grant to access are difficult to prove. Even if there was a verbal exchange or an agreement of some sort, it is important to be honest and give this information to your attorney so they can use it in your defense.
- Lack of Knowledge – If you are unaware of your participation in a computer crime, this can be used by your lawyer to help your defense. An example of this would be if you are carrying out work for your job or doing an activity on behalf of a friend online, which then led to an unlawful computer act – this is when the argument of ‘lack of knowledge’ can come to your defense. However, it is important to recognize that the argument of being unaware is difficult to argue in court. Therefore, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer helping you through this process, collating the facts correctly in order to build a strong defense case for you. A vital part of your defense case will be your attorney establishing your role in the act so that they can understand what you assumed was happening. This could be what you personally assumed you were hoping to achieve by offering your services or help. One component of this defense that could cause slight discomfort is that you might need to testify against your employer or friend in court. However, we realize how this has repercussions, and it is ultimately your decision. Would you rather face these repercussions or face the even greater consequences of imprisonment and monetary fines?
Contact The Law Place Today
If you have been charged with a computer crime, please seek legal advice today. We realize that it is an incredibly difficult and confusing time, and you might be unsure of what your next steps should be. The sooner you choose to get in touch with our law firm, the easier the process will hopefully feel as we can immediately begin to work on your case.
If you are looking for the best legal advice in Bradenton, then look no further than The Law Place. As mentioned previously, contact us today for your free consultation. This call is fully confidential and under a no-obligation basis. We will discuss the facts surrounding your case and offer honest advice on how we think you should move forward with a criminal defense lawyer, should you want to.
As a law firm, we will work hard to try to reduce your charges and bring you the outcome you deserve.
Contact us now, day or night, for a free consultation on (941) 444-4444, where one of our experienced attorneys will be waiting!