What Happens if a Court Finds You Guilty of a Cybercrime?
A cybercrime is any crime that involves using a computer or networked device to commit a criminal act or committing a crime that explicitly targets a network. There are various cybercrimes, ranging from cyberbullying to identity theft crimes. Regardless of which crime prosecutors charge you with, penalties may be severe, even for first-time offenders. If you face a cybercrime charge in Orlando, you must speak to the skilled criminal defense attorneys at The Umansky Law Firm. They can guide you through criminal proceedings, defend you in court, and explain your rights.
Types of Computer Crime Cases
All internet crimes fall into one of two categories: crimes against another person’s intellectual property or crimes against computer users. For example, illegally downloading music is an intellectual property crime, while credit card fraud is a crime against other computer users. Other cybercrime offenses include:
- Bank fraud
- Data theft
- Sex-related crimes
- Identity theft
- Digital copyright infringement
These crimes are serious offenses, and Florida state prosecutors are aggressive in their defense. That is why you must have an Orlando criminal defense lawyer on your side. They might be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to lower the charge.
What Penalties Am I Facing for a Cybercrime Conviction?
The penalties you may face for a cybercrime conviction vary depending on the alleged crime. For example, prosecutors generally charge cyber intellectual property offenses as a third-degree felony unless the defendant committed the act with the intent to take property. In that case, the prosecution may charge the act as a second-degree felony.
Cybercrime charges against another computer user may also start at the third-degree felony level. If computer damage is estimated to be more than $5,000, a prosecutor may elevate the charge to a second-degree felony. Furthermore, if the alleged computer crime was against a government agency, then the crime might start at the second-degree felony level.
For offenses that endanger a human’s life or disrupts medical care, the penalties might start at the first-degree felony level. It’s important to note that the prosecution may elevate any charge to a harsher penalty if the circumstances warrant it.
Penalties for felony offenses in Florida are:
- First-degree felony: Up to 30 years in prison, 30 years of probation, or a fine up to $10,000.
- Second-degree felony: Up to 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation, or a fine up to $10,000.
- Third-degree felony: Up to five years in prison, five years of probation, or a fine of up to $5,000.
Possible Defenses to a Cybercrime Accusation
The best way to protect yourself from a cybercrime conviction in Florida is to hire the criminal defense attorneys at The Umansky Law Firm. They can thoroughly review the charges and defend you against them.
In most cases, there are two primary defenses to cybercrime. The first involves authorization. If another party gives you authority to access or own a computer network, you may claim you did not participate in any illegal activity. The rights to a network and its access are difficult to prove, so documents and communications are vital to proving your innocence.
The lack of knowing participation in the alleged crime may also work as a defense. If you were doing work for a friend, family member, or colleague that led to illegal activity, you might argue you were unaware of the full scope of work. Similar to proving access or ownership, this defense is also complex to prove in court, especially since courts rarely allow ignorance as a defense. Testimony about your participation and what you assumed you would accomplish by helping them is critical.
Contact an Orlando Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you face cybercrime charges in Orlando, contact the cybercrime defense attorneys at The Umansky Law Firm. With more than 100 years of combined legal experience defending people throughout Central Florida, you can be confident that our defense attorneys will do everything possible to reach a favorable outcome. Call our office or complete our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation.