If you are facing allegations of an internet crime, it would be wise to prepare a defensive strategy even if charges have not been filed yet. A Nebraska internet crimes lawyer from our firm can help protect your rights and minimize the potential for negative consequences. Advice from an experienced criminal defense attorney can make a substantial difference in avoiding severe penalties.
Internet Crimes Can Involve Many Different Actions
Crimes involving the internet can be prosecuted under either state or federal law. Examples of internet crimes prosecuted in Nebraska include:
- Identity theft
- Child pornography (possession or distribution)
- Credit card fraud
- Computer hacking
- Internet solicitation
- Offering stolen merchandise for sale
- Cyberstalking or harassment
- Wire fraud
Internet crimes can be prosecuted in numerous ways, so some actions may have more severe penalties than others. The internet knows no geographic boundaries, so internet crimes in Nebraska are often prosecuted as federal offenses.
The U.S. Department of Justice enforces federal computer hacking laws, which prohibit practices involving unauthorized access to computer records for a fraudulent or harmful purpose.
Many hacking cases in Nebraska are charged under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, codified in 18 United States Code §1030. To be charged under this law, a person must knowingly or intentionally access certain information on a computer either without authorization or in a manner that exceeds his or her authorization.
Although the Act is interpreted broadly to include several different actions, some are more common than others. Activities frequently prosecuted as federal computer fraud or abuse include:
- Trafficking computer passwords
- Gaining unauthorized access to a protected computer, also known as computer trespassing
- Threatening harm to a computer
- Obtaining classified government information
- Unauthorized access with intent to defraud, also referred to as phishing
An internet crimes lawyer in Nebraska may be able to collect evidence to show that an individual either acted with authorization or that his or her access was not gained intentionally.
Proving All the Elements of an Offense
Prosecutors must prove that certain conditions existed to obtain a conviction for an internet crime, so the defense will often seek to demonstrate that one or more elements are lacking in their argument. For example, Nebraska Revised Statutes §28-639 defines identity theft as knowingly taking, buying, possessing, or using personal identifying information without the consent of its owner.
Prosecutors need to establish that anyone accused of this offense acted “knowingly” and “without the consent” of the person whose information is at issue. Therefore, a defense attorney can argue that the defendant believed they had permission to use another person’s identifying information and did not knowingly commit any fraud or theft thereof.
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Work with an Experienced Nebraska Internet Crimes Attorney Today
To defend against allegations of internet crimes, it is helpful to acquire and preserve evidence to refute the accusations. Evidence becomes less available as time passes, so prompt action can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.
If you are facing charges or accusations of online offenses involving federal or state laws, consider talking to a Nebraska internet crimes lawyer as soon as possible. A defense attorney from Berry Law who understands the complex nature of internet criminal prosecution can help protect your rights while working to achieve a positive resolution to your case. For a confidential consultation with one of our skilled legal advocates, call today.