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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 25 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.
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.
If you are looking for a professional office, he is your man. His staff is friendly but professional.Y. Cathcart
Fantastic staff and Mr. Miller represented me well!J. Madison
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