Internet crimes can take many forms

Internet crimes can take many forms

Committing crimes involving the Internet is a relatively new phenomenon and can encompass a broad range of both misdemeanor and felony charges. Penalties can range from a slap on the wrist to severe fines and prison time if convicted. Internet crimes may include things such as:

  • Cyberstalking
  • Downloading, sharing or distributing child pornography
  • Identity theft and fraud
  • Phishing and spam
  • Blackmail and extortion
  • Hacking
  • Illegal betting activities
  • Cyberbullying
  • Copyright infringement

As the use of the Internet and related technology continues to grow and evolve at an exponential rate, law enforcement’s efforts are attempting to keep pace as well. It’s a challenge to stay abreast of the latest trends, software, malware, hardware and related criminal activities that can put a strain on even the deepest pocketed of law enforcement agencies.

While Internet crimes can lead to some serious consequences, some strategies can be employed to defend against these types of charges. Normally, any defense is going to center around gathering electronic evidence that will either support a claim of innocence or guilt. That means a smart defense attorney will engage a top-notch cyber security expert or trained IT professional as part of a defense strategy.

Actual strategies may involve claiming that a person was authorized to access information that is the basis for a criminal charge. Or, they may be able to argue that a person was coerced into committing a cyber crime, under the threat of harm to themselves or a loved one. Perhaps the most common defense of all is that a crime was committed due to a lack of knowledge, this may include inadvertently downloading certain files, dealing with someone who has used a fake identity or accessing data that a person did not know were copyrighted.

A particular defense strategy will depend on the circumstances of a case, but the best bet for a person charged with an Internet crime is to retain a lawyer immediately so that they can move quickly to protect their rights.

Decker & Jones serves clients in Denver, Golden and communities throughout Jefferson County, Colorado.