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Protecting Yourself if Accused of A Cybercrime

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Today, the world is more digitally connected than ever before. The internet has revolutionized the way we communicate, shop, and live. It influences nearly all aspects of people’s lives. With the increasing interconnectedness of our world, however, comes a corresponding increase in criminal activity. While internet crimes were once relatively rare, they are now becoming increasingly prevalent.

In the past, convictions for cybercrimes were relatively rare. Offenses were difficult to detect and the subculture of the cyberworld wasn’t well understood. Plus, it takes a great deal of time and investment for law enforcement agencies to catch up on equipment and training for ever-evolving technologies and the societal changes that go along with that.
Law enforcement agencies have stepped up their efforts to tackle these crimes. They are using all the resources at their disposal.  Electronic surveillance, undercover operations, and stricter Federal and state laws enacted are aiding zealous prosecutors in fighting cybercrime. Law enforcement agencies have become increasingly emboldened with their use of “stings” targeting internet crime, particularly those involving sexual offenses against minors. They are devoting substantial resources to these cases.

All internet crimes fall into one of two categories: crimes against one’s intellectual property and crimes against computer users. Examples of the former include illegal music downloading or theft of design patents.  Crimes against computer users include but are not limited to identity theft, credit card fraud, hacking, phishing, Solicitation of a minor, and child pornography.

Each offense warrants a specified minimum sentence that the judge may apply at his or her discretion. If you have been accused of committing cybercrime, it is important to take the accusation seriously. Cybercrime is a serious offense and the penalties are severe A sharp criminal defense lawyer may be able to successfully negotiate to have your sentence lowered. The sooner you get an attorney involved, the better your chances are of having your charges reduced or eliminated.

There are several basic defenses an accused person can argue if they have formed a strategic and compelling case from an aggressive lawyer. These defenses include:

  1. Mistaken Identity: The defendant may be wrongfully accused or may not have committed the crime in question. It is crucial to establish reasonable doubt by demonstrating a lack of evidence to support the accusation.
  2. Unlawful Search and Seizure: If the authorities obtained evidence through an unlawful search and seizure, it may be deemed inadmissible in court. This defense requires careful examination of the circumstances under which the evidence was obtained.
  3. Miranda Rights Violation: When a suspect is in police custody, they are typically read their rights, including the right to remain silent and the right to have an attorney present. If these rights were not followed, any statements obtained during the interrogation may be deemed inadmissible.
  4. Misunderstanding: The charges could be based on a misunderstanding or miscommunication. The defense may argue that the accused person did not intentionally commit any cybercrime.
  5. Permission to Access Information: The accused may have obtained access to the information through valid means, such as authorization or permission. This defense requires establishing sufficient evidence that the defendant had a legitimate right to access the information.
  6. Victim of Entrapment: In some cases, the accused may be a victim of entrapment, where authorities induce or encourage someone to commit a cybercrime. The defense must prove that the accused was not predisposed to commit the crime and was coerced or manipulated by law enforcement.

It is important to note that these defenses are not exhaustive and may vary depending on the specific facts and circumstances of the case. It is essential to consult with a knowledgeable attorney who can assess the strength of your defense and develop a strategic approach to protect your interests.

Lackey & Miller, LLC can quickly ascertain potential weaknesses in a prosecutor’s case, and in some instances, we can work proactively to convince the government to file lesser charges or perhaps dismiss them altogether.

Derek Miller

Written By Derek Miller


Derek Miller is a seasoned criminal attorney who served thirteen years as a Deputy Attorney General with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, Division of Criminal Justice, before co-founding Lackey & Miller, LLC.

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