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Federal, State, and local law enforcement have recently dramatically increased investigation efforts into a wide variety of high-tech crimes, including various internet and cyber crimes. Because the use of the internet often crosses state lines, these types of crimes can be prosecuted by federal or state law enforcement.
Therefore, the penalties for cyber crime convictions can be severe, and far-reaching. Due to the nature of the internet, innocent individuals can easily get caught up in computer crime task force investigations.
Internet and cyber crimes can include a wide variety of criminal offenses, including:
Contact an experienced attorney at the Skinner Law Firm today at (610) 436-1410 for a consultation on your cyber crime charges, and how to protect yourself against harsh repercussions. Attorney Michael J. Skinner represents persons charged with internet and cyber crimes throughout Chester County and Delaware County, PA.
Pennsylvania’s Consolidated Statutes describes various internet offenses and cyber crimes, and the potential punishments for committing these offenses:
This offense occurs when a person repeatedly communicates with another person through electronic mail or the internet with an intent to cause that person reasonable fear of bodily injury or emotional distress. A first violation of this offense is a misdemeanor of the first degree.
According to 204 Pa. Code § 303.2, penalties for criminal offenses depend on a combination of the gravity score of the offense, the prior record of the offender, whether a deadly weapon was used and any other aggravating or enhancing factors.
Suggested maximum sentencing penalties for the following offenses are:
There are possible statutory defenses to certain cyber crimes such as hacking, unlawful use of computers or e-mail or computer trespass.
One such defense to cyber crime is that the person who allegedly committed the crime was entitled by law or contract to engage in the conduct that leads to the offense.
Another defense is if the alleged offender reasonably believed they had permission of the authorized owner or would have had permission of the owner to engage in the conduct that leads to the offense.
Offenders charged with cyber crimes that require intent as an element to the crime may be able to use lack of intent as a defense. If the alleged offender did not have the required intent when they committed the offense, their charges could be dismissed or reduced to a less serious violation.
Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center – The Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center (DC3) aids the Department of Defense counterintelligence activities and Defense Criminal Investigative Organizations in criminal, counterintelligence, counter-terrorism and fraud investigations.
Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the United States Department of Justice provides information on how to report cyber, computer and intellectual property crimes. The website includes statistics, articles, press releases and annual reports on internet-related crimes. Learn more about the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace.
Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Forces - United States Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Forces and Working Groups website provides information on federal, state and local law enforcement efforts, including the local task force, Pennsylvania Electronic and Internet Crimes Task Force.
FBI Cyber Crime Investigations - Visit the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) website to learn more about federal cyber or internet crime investigations, including online scams, identity theft, and corporate computer system hacking.
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Online – Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, also cited as 18 Pa. Const. Stat., contains all of the state’s rules and regulations regarding internet offenses and cyber crimes in the state of Pennsylvania. This link goes directly to Title 18, which is entitled “Crimes and Offenses.”
West Chester Police Department – The West Chester Police Department is a Pennsylvania law enforcement agency dedicated to protecting and serving the community from criminal acts and enforcing the laws of Pennsylvania. The department is located at:WCPD
Contact the Skinner Law Firm today for a consultation about your internet or cybercrime charges in Chester County or Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Michael J. Skinner will listen to the facts surrounding your situation, and make every effort to identify any defenses or mitigating circumstances to reduce your charge or have it dismissed. Call (610) 436-1410 for a consultation about your case directly with a former prosecutor.