Computer Crimes The Right Attorney Makes All The Difference

Computer Crimes in Virginia

Virginia Beach criminal attorney

According to Virginia state law, it is illegal for individuals to knowingly trespass onto a computer network, use computers to invade another person’s privacy, or commit fraud. If you have been charged with a crime under The Computer Crimes Act, you should seek legal counsel immediately. At The Law Offices of Daniel J. Miller, we have extensive experience handling computer crimes cases; our Virginia Beach criminal attorney has 20+ years of experience defending the rights of clients in Virginia Beach and the surrounding areas.

What is The Virginia Computer Crimes Act?

The Virginia Computer Crimes Act is state legislation that lists various specific criminal offenses. Below are of the offenses included in the act.

  • PII Theft – Using a computer to trick someone into giving you, his or her personal identifying information is considered illegal under the Computer Crimes Act.
  • Spam – Sending unsolicited advertisements through email or other social platform to collect PPII.
  • Computer Fraud – This is the act of using a computer to steal or embezzle money or other property. This could be using the phishing scams or other by other means of false pretenses.
  • Harassment – Cyberbullying could also fit under this category. This includes the act of stalking, intimidating, or coercing a person through their computer.
  • Invasion of Privacy – Gaining access to a computer network to review confidential files or other information.

Penalties for Computer Crimes

Computer crimes charges are considered a wobbler; meaning you could be a charged with a felony or a misdemeanor depending on circumstances of your arrest.

Misdemeanor Computer Crimes Charges

  • If the value of property stolen or the services totaled less than $200, you could be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor.
  • Computer trespassing is considered a Class 3 misdemeanor unless damages are more than $2,500, than it could be bumped up to a Class 1.
  • You could be facing Class 1 misdemeanor charges if you are arrested under computer harassment charges.

Felony Computer Crimes Charges

  • If the property value of the assets stolen in your computer fraud case are more than $200, you could be charged with a Class 5 felony.
  • Computer trespassing with damages over $2,500 could be considered a Class 6 felony

Common Internet Crimes

  • Phishing – This crime occurs when a person illegally accesses a computer without consent and proceeds to spam other individuals. Spamming can occur by sending multiple emails and then resending multiple commercial email messages in order to deceive recipients. A conviction for phishing can result in a maximum federal prison sentence of five years.
  • Non-delivery of merchandise – This is a scheme typically linked to internet auction fraud, in which a seller on an online auction website accepts payment for an item but intentionally fails to ship it. If a perpetrator is caught, he/she faces a maximum federal prison sentence of 20 years.
  • Child pornography – Any criminal offense involving children, including child pornography, is subject to serious consequences. Any person who goes online and transmits visual depictions of sexual conduct involving minors can be charged with child pornography. According to federal law, transmitting child pornography carries a prison sentence between five and 20 years.
  • Identity theft – This crime occurs when a person uses someone else’s personally identifying information (i.e. name, SSN, credit card number, etc.) without their permission in order to commit fraud or other crimes. While misdemeanor identity theft can result in a prison sentence of one year, felony sentences can result in several years of prison time or more.
  • Criminal copyright infringement – This means infringing a copyright for financial gain or distributing a work that is prepared for commercial distribution on an online network. If caught, the infringer pays the actual dollar amount of damages and profits. In more serious cases, it can result in prison time.
  • Drug trafficking – The internet can also be used for delivering, distributing, or dispensing illegal narcotics. Using the internet to violate the federal drug trafficking law can result in a minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison, depending on the amount of drugs involved in the crime.

Trusted Virginia Beach Criminal Attorney

Criminal charges can be frightening. Let our skilled Virginia Beach criminal lawyer help guide you through every step of the process. The criminal justices system is complicated and when you are underrepresented, it’s easy to have your rights violated. Our legal team is dedicated to thoroughly reviewing your case and creating successful legal solutions.

Please contact our offices today to speak to an attorney about your case in a consultation. Call (757) 517-2942!

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Case Results

A Track Record of Success
  • Protective Order Domestic Violence

    Our client's estranged wife had filed a protective order to prohibit him from having contact with her to gain exclusive use and possession of the home. We were successful in showing that she had motive to fabricate and that had consulted with an attorney regarding getting our client out of her house days before filing the request for a protective order.

  • Pre Litigation Defense – Rape Sex Crimes

    Our client was the respondent of a protective order wherein the petitioner alleged that she was raped. She sought a two-year protective order and was seeking to have detectives assist in securing warrants against him. We suspect that the admissions made on cross-examination by the alleged victim at the hearing will prevent the Commonwealth from bringing any charges.

  • Protective Order Family Law

    Our client's estranged wife had filed a protective order to prohibit him from having contact with her to gain exclusive use and possession of the home. We were successful in showing that she had motive to fabricate and that had consulted with an attorney regarding getting our client out of her house days before filing the request for a protective order.

  • Driving Under the Influence 4th Offense– Bond Hearing DUI

    Our client was charged with fourth offense driving under the influence. Based upon his age and pre-existing health conditions, we were able to show that jail was an unsafe place. Our client was released on house arrest conditioned upon his wearing SCRAM bracelet which tracks his location and ensures that he does not consume alcohol.

  • Violation of Protective Order – Appeal Domestic Violence

    Our client was under a protective order to have no hostile contact with his family. The Commonwealth alleged that based upon several text exchanges that he had threatened his teenage children. Without the assistance of counsel, he received 90 days of active incarceration in lower Court. On appeal we were able to reduce his confinement to 24 hours – time served.

  • Breaking and Entering with Intent to Commit Misdemeanor Felony Defense

    Our client was charged with breaking and entering with intent to commit a misdemeanor, but the Commonwealth agreed to dismiss the charge at the preliminary hearing stage against our client who suffered severe and debilitating mental illness.

  • Third Offense Petty Larceny Felony Defense

    Our client was charged with felony third offense petty larceny, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in the Virginia State Penitentiary. We were successful in negotiating a reduction to a misdemeanor petty larceny charge with no active jail time.

  • Possession of Marijuana- Appeal Drug Crimes

    Our client plead not guilty to a second offense possession of marijuana charge. We successfully argued that the Commonwealth had failed to prove constructive possession. The case was dismissed.

  • Driving Under the Influence DUI

    Our client was charged with driving under the influence after officers answered a call for service in a church parking lot. Eyewitnesses were able to testify as to the time of operation and identify the driver. Officers testified that they smelled alcohol coming from our client, that he was unsteady on his feet, and that he had not done well on his field sobriety tests. Video evidence secured from the church and bodycam footage did not support the testimony. The DUI charge was reduced to reckless driving.

  • Domestic Violence Domestic Violence

    Our client was alleged to have assaulted the girlfriend of her child’s father during an exchange of the child at a police precinct. Phone video evidence and inconsistencies in the Prosecutor’s witness testimony led to a dismissal of the charge.

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