Computer-related crimes are on the rise throughout the country. According to FBI crime statistics, the State of Florida logged more than 17,000 criminal complaints against computer criminals in 2017 alone.
The amount of people in Fort Myers being charged with these crimes is increasing as well. However, many defendants were acting through the legal scope of their employment in the private or public sectors. Prosecutors will often charge individuals for crimes that companies are responsible for, leaving employees on the hook for thousands in fines and even years of jail time.
If you have been charged with an offense against computer users, contact The Law Place to consult a qualified Florida criminal defense attorney today. We have over 75 years of combined experience representing clients all over Florida. Every case is unique, and our team will work together to ensure you have the best possible legal strategy for your defense’s individual needs. The Law Place offers a free consultation in Fort Myers with one of our attorneys to discuss your legal options and our fee structure.
The Law Place criminal defense attorneys are here for you during your time of need.
Contact us now at (941) 444-4444.
What Is an Offense Against Computer Users?
According to Florida Statute 815.06, knowingly accessing a computer or system, or knowingly denying access to a computer or system, without the authorized owner or user’s permission constitutes a crime against computer users. These are major offenses that are taken seriously by relevant Florida state and federal authorities and carry severe consequences for being caught.
As per this legal statute, the following actions can be construed as offenses against computer users (the term computer users also includes computer systems, networks, and other electronic devices):
- Disrupting the transmission of data to or from an authorized computer user.
- Knowingly accessing a computer without authorization or beyond established authorization.
- Destroying, damaging, or stealing equipment or supplies used in a computer.
- Destroying, damaging, or stealing a computer.
- Contaminating the system of a computer.
- Surveilling the audio or video input or output of a computer user or information stored by a third-party.
The above-mentioned offenses are all considered felonies in the third degree.
Your charges can be upgraded to a felony in the second degree if you:
- Caused more than $5,000 in property damage to the computer or computer systems.
- Committed the offense with the intention to defraud computer users or obtain property from relevant computer users.
- Your actions negatively affected or destroyed public communications, public transportation or infrastructure, the water supply, or interrupted/ undermined a government opportunity or project.
In especially extreme cases, offenders can be charged with a felony in the first degree if they:
- Endangered a human life by accessing or denying access to a computer or system.
- Disrupted or denied access to medical equipment used to administer medical care to another person.
In short, if you access a computer, system, or network with the knowledge that you are not supposed to be, you can be charged with a felony crime against computer users in the first, second, or third degree.
For a free legal consultation with a offense against computer users lawyer serving Fort Myers, call 941-444-4444
Legal Definitions for Offenses Against Computer Users
Florida Statute 815.03 lays out the legal definitions for terms used in charges for offenses against computer users. These may differ from your common understanding of the words, so it is important to know what the government means when using them.
- Computer – A programmed, automatic device that processes data.
- Access – To approach, instruct, communicate with, store data in, retrieve data from, or make use of resources available on any computer, computer system, computer network, or electronic device.
- Computer contaminant – Any computer instructions meant to modify, destroy, damage, record, or relay information within a computer or systems without the information’s owner’s express authorization.
- Computer network – A medium of communication between computers or other electronic devices.
- Data – A digital representation of facts, knowledge, concepts, computer software, programs, or instructions.
- Electronic device – A tool used to communicate across a computer network with other devices to transmit, receive, or store data.
Fort Myers Offense Against Computer Users Lawyer Near Me 941-444-4444
What Are the Penalties for Offenses Against Computer Users in Fort Myers?
As mentioned in the section above, charges for offenses against computer users are felonies in either the first, second, or third degrees. There are especially strict penalties for offenders caught committing these crimes in an attempt to set a legal precedent and deter future crimes from occurring. These penalties are listed in Florida Statutes 775.082, 775.083, and 775.084.
Third Degree Felony
- Up to 5 years in prison.
- Up to $5,000 in fines.
Second Degree Felony
- Up to 15 years in prison.
- Up to $10,000 in fines.
First Degree Felony
- Up to 30 years in prison.
- Up to $15,000 in fines.
It is very important to understand that a crime against computer users can carry terrible consequences. If you have been charged with an offense of this nature in Fort Myers, FL., contact The Law Place immediately to schedule a free consultation with one of our qualified criminal defense attorneys.
You must begin strategizing the defense for your case as soon as possible to protect your rights against false imprisonment. Not doing so can result in the loss of your freedom and livelihood for years, possibly even decades.
What Can a Fort Myers, Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer Do for Me?
A qualified Florida criminal defense attorney from The Law Place can approach the defense for your case in several ways. Specifically, we will try to argue that:
- You were acting within the legal purview of your employment.
- You were participating in security operations with the legal authorization of the government or relevant company.
- You were following a search warrant as authorized by the courts.
Also, if you did not knowingly breach the security of computer systems without authorization, we may be able to have the charges against you reduced. Offenses against computer users must be committed with intent, which has to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt by the state or federal prosecution.
Don’t hesitate to contact The Law Place immediately to start preparing the defenses against your charges. We’re here to help in any way we can and have the experience necessary to do so.
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Contact The Law Place Criminal Defense Lawyers in Fort Myers, Florida Today!
Have you been charged with a felony against computer users in Fort Myers, FL? Were you acting under the direction of your employment or unaware that you were committing a crime?
Contact The Law Place immediately to discuss your legal options. Our team of lawyers has experience handling cases just like yours and can start preparing your defense immediately. The consequences of committing offenses against computer users are especially severe. You will need a lawyer to help you through the complex legal battle ahead. We offer an excellent attorney-client relationship that will make you confident in our ability to protect your rights.
Don’t leave your case in the hands of lawyers who don’t understand the ins and outs of Florida computer crime laws.
Contact us now at (941) 444-4444.