Internet and Web-Based Crimes

Boca Raton Criminal Defense Attorney

Twenty years ago, most people didn’t worry about internet security or computer-related crime. This area of law is like technology itself– in a constant state of flux–so it is flawed, ambiguous, and difficult to interpret.

Given precedent in the State of Florida, you could be charged with a crime if you engaged in any of the following behavior:

  • You hacked into a secure wi-fi signal or otherwise stole a non-public internet connection for which you did not pay
  • You accessed and used confidential files belonging to another user for unlawful personal gain
  • You crashed, disrupted, destroyed, damaged or sabotaged a PC, Mac, desktop, laptop, internet connection, e-mail, network, system, or program belonging to another person, business, or company
  • You deliberately created and spread viruses, engaged in a phishing scheme, or otherwise unlawfully accessed another user’s confidential information online
  • You used a computer in the process of abusing or exploiting a minor, for example, to solicit a child for sex, or to create/distribute child pornography
  • You set up a social network page or website in someone else’s name, claiming to be him/her
  • You created a web page or social network site for the purpose of bullying someone online
  • You used the internet to copy, distribute, or otherwise steal someone’s intellectual property, such as videos of TV shows and movies, copyrighted photos, and music

Internet Crimes Explained
Internet crime has become so widespread that the FBI now has teams of investigators, attorneys, and prosecutors who exclusively pursue charges against alleged offenders. It is incredibly easy to become involved in illegal activity online if you aren’t paying attention or if you simply aren’t fully informed on current internet law.

If you are targeted for an investigation associated with any kind of computer crime, you should take the charges seriously. They could include:

Creating, Publishing, or Distributing Child Pornography
It is illegal to create, download, upload, or otherwise publish or distribute material depicting nudity or sex acts with a minor from any computer– including your home desktop, your work laptop, and machines at the library. In order to make a solid case against you, the authorities must prove you were in possession of obscene or prohibited material at some point, and that the material was legally seized.

Soliciting a Minor
You’ve probably seen the numerous TV exposés where investigative reporters or law enforcement agents pose online as minors in an effort to catch “predators” in chat rooms and on social sites. As a defense attorney, Charles Mead will thoroughly examine how authorities investigated you, determining if the charges against you are exaggerated, bogus, a misunderstanding, or the result of illegal entrapment.

Fraud
Internet fraud happens when a user engages in misleading behavior online for monetary gain. This includes phishing, identity theft, setting up bogus charities, businesses, or investments, or stealing private financial information.

Gambling Online
Internet casinos and online gambling became popular with young adults in the late 1990s. Unfortunately, many of users didn’t take online gambling seriously until they learned they were tens of thousands of dollars in debt in real life from an online addiction.

Today, some online gaming and gambling sites are legit, while others are run by scammers and people in organized crime. Since online gambling and gaming are hard for federal officials to track, a legit site could experience problems from overzealous law enforcement.

Prescription Drugs Sold Online
Regardless of what the online “pharmaceutical companies” say when they spam your inbox, it is illegal for you to purchase prescription drugs from another country (such as Canada) at a discount online. These companies intentionally mislead cash-strapped Americans who need costly medicines into illegally purchasing drugs online.

Cyber Crimes and the FBI
Most internet crimes are federal offenses, therefore, you should take them very seriously. The consequences could include fines, prison time, and a criminal record.

Boca Raton attorney Charles Mead has two decades of experience defending those accused of illegal activity. If you are facing  criminal charges, please call Mr. Mead today for a no-cost initial consultation  at (561) 362-6677 in Boca Raton, (561) 366-9565 in West Palm Beach, or (954) 493-7474 in Fort Lauderdale. Phone calls and messages are returned promptly.

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