We live in a world where technology is at the core. Many Americans are heavily dependent on electronic devices to carry out their daily tasks, whether that be in work or school. People utilize computers, laptops, or tablets on a daily basis. However, many are aware of some of the consequences that surround this fact. Computer crimes are on the rise in the state of Florida. People aren’t aware that many of the electronic items that they are using have stored information that can be defined as “sensitive.”
Florida, including North Port county, is not exempt from offense against computer crimes. Many of those individuals who find themselves convicted of computer crimes are charged under valid rights as clearly defined by both public and private sector employers – making it a totally valid charge. However, it is also the case that an individual can be wrongfully charged for computer crimes that were committed by their employer instead. The consequences of being charged for a computer crime usually involves hefty fines as well as a prison sentence in the State of Florida.
If you are a citizen of North Port and are facing a computer criminal offense, The Law Place is here to help you. We have a skilled team of criminal defense lawyers who have a combined 75 years of experience in representing clients across North Port and the State of Florida in cases that are similar to yours. We can help you with whatever computer crimes you may be facing: intellectual property, computer network, or computer system cases – we have got your back. If you would like to know more information about how we can help or want to begin your legal process, we provide a free consultation when you call. We are open day and night to take your call, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. A criminal defense attorney will be waiting on the other end for your call, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Call us now at (941) 444-4444 for your free consultation and to begin your computer crime legal process in Florida.
Common Computer Crime Terms Defined Under the State of Florida
We recognize that some computer-related jargon might be difficult to wrap your head around. Listed below are some of the terms, as found in Florida Statute 815.03, in a simplified version to make them easier to understand:
- Computer – This can be defined as any device that’s function is to process data. This includes any computer network, computer system, or electronic device.
- Access – This is defined as when an individual who is working with a computer is instructing, communicating with, storing or retrieving data, or exploiting resources linked to said device.
- Computer network – This is the means of communication between computers, networks, or electronic devices.
- Data – Data is defined as the digital representation of facts, computer concepts, instructions, programs, and software.
- Electronic device – This is known as the tool that is used to communicate across different computer networks. These devices can also receive, store, and transmit different types of data used in a computer.
For a free legal consultation with a offense against computer users lawyer serving North Port, call 941-444-4444
Penalties for Offense Against Computer Users Charges in North Port, Florida
To understand more about the different penalties surrounding certain crimes, you can find them listed in Florida’s Computer Crimes Act. Through this, we can see that the following listed activities can add consequential charges to the defendants:
- If a person interrupts or stops the transmission of data to or from an authorized user.
- If you access a computer, computer system, computer network, or electronic device without confirmed authorization to do so.
- If you are responsible for wrecking, stealing, or injuring a computer or computer equipment and supplies that can be used for a computer or other electronic device.
- If you are responsible for the introduction of contaminants to a computer, computer system, computer network, or electronic device.
- If you have surveillance audio or visual input, output, or both of a computer or third-party information without clear authorization.
The above crimes that are listed can be classified as a third-degree felony. These crimes are punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment, as well as evoking a fine of $5,000. It is important to remember that 5 years of imprisonment is not the maximum sentencing for these crimes, and the punishment can vary depending on the type of crime committed.
However, in some cases, such charges can become second-degree felony charges if one or all of the following were committed as well as the actions previously listed:
- If you have equated more than $5,000 in property damages.
- If there is intent from the individual to defraud computer users or obtain property from relevant users or other associated third parties.
- If the individual has destroyed, disrupted, or subsequently affected means of communication, infrastructure, water supply, or government project in a negative way.
If you are being convicted of a second-degree felony, the punishment is 15 years imprisonment as well as $10,000 in monetary fines.
In the most severe of cases in computer charges, it can be upgraded even further to a first-degree felony. This is the most severe charge, and it carries severe consequences. It is not a situation that one wants to find themselves in. The following actions can result in a first-degree felony charge:
- If your actions endanger human life through the means of contaminating or denying access to a computer or computer system.
- If your actions are the cause of destroying, disrupting, contaminating, or denying access to medical equipment that is used to administer health care.
If you are involved in computer crimes in relation to medical clinics, private physicians, or hospitals, all are punishable first-degree felonies in Florida. The consequences are up to 30 years imprisonment and a fine of $15,000.
If you want to find out more information about the penalties for first, second, and third-degree felonies related to computer charges, you can look them up in Florida Statutes 775.082, 775.083, and 775.084.
What is important to remember with all of these acts is that they must be carried out willfully, knowingly, and without authorization to be considered offenses against computer users. If the individual is unaware that their actions were illegal, or they did not know that they didn’t have clear authorization or actual permission, these charges can become avoidable. However, in these cases, often, it is difficult to prove this kind of ignorance, meaning clear evidence is required.
North Port Offense Against Computer Users Lawyer Near Me 941-444-4444
Is It Illegal to Use a Computer Without Permission?
As stated in the above Florida Statutes, it is illegal to use a computer, computer system, computer network, or electronic device without valid permission. In every case, a person must have clear authorization to use the property.
In most cases, it is incredibly likely that if damage has occurred that it was for an intentional purpose. However, if you were to use a friend’s computer or electronic device for a mundane activity, such as checking your e-mail or your Facebook, this is not something that would be followed with criminal charges.
Although, if you are using a computer or hacking into the computer network of a government authority without clear permission, this is when the charges become much more serious and involve a criminal investigation. The reason being that in most cases, sensitive information has been stored in them.
In short, it is important to know that in any context, it is best not to use anyone’s computer or electronic device without their permission. Although the reasons behind it come with innocent connotations, computers store such sensitive information that it can simply become too messy to get tangled up in.
Defenses Against Computer Users Charges in North Port, Florida
Computer user charges are taken incredibly seriously in North Port, as well as throughout the entire State of Florida. In any such case, it is important that you have the correct kind of legal defense on your side. You need a criminal defense lawyer who is well educated in the laws surrounding a computer offense in the State of Florida, as laws surrounding computers are quite complex. Your criminal defense attorney will be able to provide you with clear guidance on how to navigate through this case as well as producing the best results possible for you. At The Law Place, our team has years of experience dealing with crimes that are similar to yours. Once you contact us, you will be paired with a criminal defense attorney. They will hear all the details surrounding your case and begin to tailor a strong defense suitable for the courtroom and beyond. There are two key areas of defense that your criminal defense lawyer can use in your case. They are listed below:
- Authorization – If you are using another person’s computer or electronic device, and they have granted clear authorization for you to use or own the computer or the computer network related to the crime, this can work in your defense. Your criminal defense lawyer has grounds to argue that the act was not unlawful. Equally, this initial point could be strengthened through evidence. Evidence can be in the form of modes of communication or documents. Evidence is crucial in these situations, as often, with cyber case crimes, the rights and authorization to a computer can be difficult to prove. Even if there was a verbal exchange between you and the other party, it is still important to tell your criminal defense attorney.
- Lack of knowledge – It is highly likely that you could be unaware of your participation in computer crimes, and this can be used as a defense line by your attorney. For example, you could be carrying out a task for your job at work or doing some sort of activity for a friend online, which could then result in an unlawful computer act. This is a period when ‘lack of knowledge’ could come into play. It is a simple argument, one that could be difficult to argue in court, but nonetheless, one that is still viable. A strong and experienced criminal defense lawyer, like those at The Law Place, will be able to collate the facts surrounding the case in a way that offers a great defense for you. It is also your attorney’s job to establish your role in the case. Through this knowledge, they get a clear understanding of what you assumed to be happening as the act was committed. This includes what you personally assumed you were achieving by offering your help or services in the first place. However, there is discomfort for you in this line of defense. It could involve having you testify in court against your employer or a friend. We urge you to think of the long-term effects. Talk now, and then you will not face more serious consequences of fines, imprisonment, or having a felony charge permanently on your criminal record.
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Contact The Law Place, North Port, Today
If you are being charged for a computer offense, it is important that you seek legal assistance immediately. It is a complex situation in an emotionally charged time, which means the sooner you get in touch, the sooner the process can begin for you. Contact The Law Place today for a free consultation and to get in touch with one of our skilled criminal defense lawyers. We can offer invaluable advice and guidance on how you can move forward with your case.
Contact us via telephone at (941) 444-4444. Day or night: we are ready to take your call!