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California Cybercrimes Lawyer

Work With A Skilled Cybercrimes Lawyer to Assist You In Minimizing The Consequences Of Your Arrest

You need a skilled cyber crimes lawyer if the government accuses you of any type of cyber crime, including cyberbullying, identity theft, sexting, stalking, or another internet crime. Although these types of crimes are often federal offenses, the state can bring charges too. The consequences of a conviction can be extremely harsh depending on the nature of your offense. Therefore, if you’re facing criminal charges in California, act now to protect your rights and mount a successful defense. Get a free consultation with an experienced cyber crimes lawyer from My Rights Law by calling (888) 702-8882 or filling out our secure contact form.

Cybercrimes in California

The expansion of the internet in recent decades has led to an explosion in the use of computers by individuals and businesses. This increase in computers and networking has led to a whole new world of potential crimes. Cyber crimes (also known as cybercrimes and computer crimes) are crimes committed using a computer or the internet. Because cyber crimes are relatively new, it is especially important to find an attorney with the training, skills, and knowledge to keep up in this expanding and fast-changing area of criminal law.

The following is a sampling of cyber crimes that may be charged in California, plus information on how a cyber crimes defense lawyer can help you protect your rights if you are charged with one of these complex crimes.

Internet Crimes (Cyber Fraud): Penal Code 530.5 PC

Cyber fraud, or internet fraud, involves using the internet to defraud victims[1]. There are many ways this computer crime can be accomplished, including:

  • Data breaches (a data leak where data is released from a secure location to an untrusted environment or when sensitive, protected, or confidential information is stolen or shared by an individual not authorized to do so)
  • Denial of service (a malicious interruption of an authorized user’s access to a system or network)
  • E-mail and business e-mail compromise (when legitimate e-mail accounts are targeted to request or conduct unauthorized transfers of funds or other illegal activity)
  • Malware (malicious software that damages or disables the target computer, typically with the intent of getting money from the victim)
  • Phishing (fraudulently attempting to get a user to divulge personal information such as passwords or credit card numbers, usually by sending the victim to a fake website under false pretenses )
  • Ransomware (a form of malware that prevents the victim, usually a large organization, from using their computers or accessing important data until a ransom is paid, often the ransom is requested in cryptocurrency, which is particularly hard to trace)
  • Spoofing (sending an e-mail that appears to be sent from a different source, typically in an attempt to defraud the recipient)

In California, these crimes may be charged under general fraud laws, or under the Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act. To learn more, speak with an internet crimes lawyer.

The Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act makes it a crime to access a computer or computer network without permission, if the accessor has the intent to defraud, cause harm, or commit a crime. Examples of this crime include hacking into an online retailer to steal customers’ credit card numbers or students hacking into school computers to adjust grades. This is a new and evolving law. If you are charged with a crime under the Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act, you will want a highly skilled attorney with technical know-how to defend you, such as the lawyers at My Rights Law.

PC Cyberbullying: Penal Code 653.2

Cyberbullying occurs when someone harasses, threatens, or bullies another person over the internet or using electronic communication[2]. Cyberbullying may involve computers, cell phones, game consoles, or other electronic devices. California does not have a law specific to cyberbullying, but cyberbullying may be charged under general harassment and stalking laws.

A crime related to cyberbullying is cyberstalking or internet stalking. Cyberstalking involves intimidating or harassing someone using electronic communication, such as the internet, text messages, or phone calls. As with cyberbullying, California does not have a specific law against cyberstalking, but cyberstalking may be charged under general stalking laws.

Identify Theft: Penal Code 530.5

Identity theft in California involves using another person’s “personal identifying information” illegally[3]. Personal identifying information includes a person’s name, address, telephone number, identification numbers of all kinds, driver’s license, bank account numbers, and credit card numbers[4]. Examples of identity theft include using another person’s information to open a credit account, take out a loan, make an insurance claim, or commit a crime.

Computers and the internet have created even more avenues for finding and taking the personal information of another person. In many cases, identity theft will be charged under the general law, even if computers or the internet are involved. However, deleting or misusing personal information found by breaking into a computer system can result in additional charges under the Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act a relatively new and very complex law. You do not want to navigate this highly technical area alone. If you are charged under the Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act, contact a lawyer right away to ensure you secure the best possible defense.

Sexting: Penal Code 288.2 PC

Sexting occurs when someone sends sexually explicit photos, videos, or messages via a cell phone. Sexting is not illegal when it is mutually consensual and both the sender and recipient are adults and not minors (that is, they are both over the age of 18)[5].

When sexting is not consensual, it can be considered cyberbullying or cyberstalking, especially if the sexting message, photo, or video was sent with the intent to annoy, threaten, bully, or harass the recipient. See above for more details on cyberstalking, which may be prosecuted in California under general stalking laws.

Sexting involving minors is illegal[6]. This is true whether the sexting involves an adult and a minor or two minors. Minors cannot legally consent to sexting, so consent is not a defense when minors are involved.

If the subject of a sexting photo or video is a minor (regardless of whether or not the receiver is a minor), the sender may be charged with distributing child pornography. It does not matter if the minor who is the subject of the photos or videos consented to the photos or videos, or even if they created them themselves—minors cannot legally consent to such an act. Receiving these photos or videos of a minor may result in charges to the receiver, such as possession of child pornography. Saving these photos or videos of a minor to a computer may result in additional charges.

If an explicit sexting message, photo, or video is sent to a minor, the sender may be charged with sending harmful material to seduce a minor. Once again, consent of the minor does not matter.

These are extremely serious offenses. If you are accused of anything related to sexting with a minor, contact an experienced attorney immediately.

Call My Rights Law’s Lawyers For Cybercrimes Today

Cyber crimes are crimes that involve computers or the internet. California has few laws specific to cyber crimes, so in many cases, cyber crimes will be charged under more general laws. Even if they are charged under general laws, cyber crimes typically involve highly technical and complex evidence. Having an attorney familiar with this growing area of criminal law is essential to protecting your rights and putting on your best defense.

If you are accused of a cyber crime, you do not have to sort through this difficult situation by yourself. Criminal defense attorneys know the laws and procedures and the best strategies and tactics for defending their clients.

Protect your rights—if you or someone you know has been accused of a cyber crime, contact a highly skilled lawyer immediately. My Rights Law has knowledge and experience defending clients against cyber crimes. To learn more, reach out to My Rights Law by calling (888) 702-8882 or contacting us through our secure form.

FOOTNOTES
[1] California Penal Code 530.5 PC.
[2] California Penal Code 653.2 PC.
[3] California Penal Code 530.5 PC.
[4] People V. Hagedorn (2005) 127 Cal.App.4th 734. Intent is not necessary.
[5] California Penal Code 288.2 PC.
[6] People v. Jensen (2003) 114 Cal.App.4th 224 and People v. Garelick (2008) 161.

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