With the rise in technology, clients sometimes question our Fort Worth TX criminal defense lawyer about internet crimes, such as computer hacking, child pornography, stalking or identify theft. Various federal and state laws address internet crimes, and the penalties depend on the jurisdiction and type of offense.
Computer Crime vs. Internet Crime
Internet crime include offenses that directly relates to the Internet, such as anything involving websites or email or using the Internet to try to scam or defraud someone. Computer crimes are broader as they relate to any offenses involving computers.
Examples of Offenses
- Solicitation of children – If someone who is 18 or older attempts to solicit a minor child who is 16 or younger via the Internet to engage in a sexual act, he or she has committed a crime. This applies even when an adult poses as a minor.
- Bullying, stalking or harassment – Most states have made it illegal to use the Internet in this manner. Some states have specific laws designed to protect minors from cyber-bullying.
- Various other laws – Other laws might include federal wire fraud or an attempt to swindle someone out of money or property via the Internet. Computer laws are regularly updated in order to protect the public.
The type of sanction depends on the offense and could include one or more of the following:
- Fines – Depending on the severity of the offense and the classification as a misdemeanor or a felony, fines could range from hundreds of dollars to upwards of six figures.
- Probation – Community supervision usually lasts at least 12 months. The person must remain law-abiding, report to the probation officer, keep a job, pay all related fees and abide by any other court-imposed sanctions.
- Incarceration – The person could receive a jail or prison term ranging from a few months to more than 20 years for the most serious offenses.
Contact Our Fort Worth TX Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you need answers about internet crimes, contact the Law Office of Bryan P. Hoeller, our Fort Worth TX criminal defense lawyer.