Computer Crimes

Few criminal charges are as complex as ones involving computer crimes in Miami. Many charges could involve the unlawful use of the computer. One popular type of crime involves someone who hacks another's computer and is able to unlawfully obtain personal information, to be used for identity theft. There are many other kinds of computer crimes. For example, our firm has represented many clients charged with using the computer to stalk others, procure sex, and/or create, possess and/or send unlawful pornography. Other crimes include those who unlawfully spam, create computer viruses and/or unlawfully download property like music, books and/or movies.

Computer crimes continually escalate each year. Law enforcement authorities spend extra resources on cyber fraud investigations and hacking in the public as well as private sectors.

Under various current Florida laws, computer crimes (also referred to as "cybercrimes") can be punished.

The Florida legislature created laws for the most frequently charged computer offenses to expressly preclude the offense being committed on a computer. The Florida Computer Crimes Act, for example, was created, in part, to ensure that serious penalties are available to those who commit computer crimes. Some offenses carry up to fifteen years of prison time and up to $10,000 in fines. Prosecutors, in recent times, have made these types of offenses a priority. As a result, they utilize tremendous resources to investigate and prosecute these cases. Often, they seek stiff penalties for unlawful conduct.

An individual may be charged with violating Florida's Computer Crimes Act if he or she intentionally, knowingly, and without permission introduces a computer contaminant, ruins data, programs, or supporting documentation on hard drives (internal or external), or discloses or collects data, programs, or supporting documentation that is deemed a trade secret or requires confidentiality.

Those convicted of these acts may be charged with a crime in the third or second degree. Such charges bear penalties which include imprisonment and heavy fines. Since the consequences can be severe, it is necessary to consider defense choices, such as being approved by the device owner or lacking willful participation or informed participation.

The accused could help clear their name by claiming a criminal defense for a computer or internet crime.

Computer-related crime opportunities occur by hacking, inserting false documents into a computer system, unauthorized use of computer resources, manipulating or deleting computerized information or files, and the theft of financial instruments, data, and other properties.

Florida's most frequently charged Computer Crimes Act violations include:

  • Unauthorized access to the account of another person that is treated as a felony.
  • Unauthorized deletions, copies of files or programs are treated as a criminal offense.
  • Unauthorized alteration or harm to electronic equipment that is charged as a misdemeanor until the harm reaches $200, and then charged as a criminal offense.

- Ransomware is an increasingly prevalent cybercrime targeting computer users and devices. This is the hijacking of a device or program which will not give a user access until the intruder is compensated. Companies, as well as individuals, have been victims of this type of attack.

Phishing is another growing cybercrime that can lead to unwitting disclosure of personal information by computer users. Phishing emails and websites are made to imitate legitimate emails and sites to secure passwords and other personally identifiable information that can be used in a variety of ways, including requesting credit cards and other acts of identity theft and fraud.

In order to prove these forms of computer crimes, prosecutors must show that a defendant has acted intentionally with malicious intent to damage or disable a computer device or user.

The general information provided above about computer crimesin Fort Lauderdale is meant for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for speaking directly with an attorney about the facts and circumstances of your case. Please call 954.500.0003 in Broward or 305.674.0003 in Miami to schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of Mark Eiglarsh.

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