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CAN I REALLY BE CHARGED WITH A CYBER CRIME IN NEW JERSEY?
The Internet has changed many things about our way of life.
This is evident in areas such as the way we interact with one another and how we do business.
What you may not know is that it has also impacted the ways in which we can be charged with crimes. Law enforcement task forces on both the state and federal level investigate and prosecute those who use the Internet for the purpose of committing crimes.
WHAT KIND OF INTERNET ACTIVITY IS CONSIDERED A CRIME?
At Peyrouton Law, we represent clients who have been charged with Internet sex crimes throughout New Jersey. If you are searching for a Cyber Crime Lawyer near you, please read our reviews.
We have experience defending our clients and have fought for those accused of:
Possessing or distributing child pornography
Online solicitation of a minor
Sex crimes involving the use of social media platforms.
SEX CRIMES ON THE INTERNET
Sex crimes committed on the Internet have nothing to do with physical sexual contact with another person. But make no mistake about it, they can be just as serious as any other sex crime. The penalty for being charged with and convicted of an Internet sex crime can be an extended jail sentence and life-long registration as a sex offender.
WHITE COLLAR CRIMES ON THE INTERNET
When most people think of Internet crimes, they think of those involving pornography. However, there is no shortage of other crimes that are committed on a daily basis via the Internet. Other criminal accusations that you may face based on your computer and Internet use include:
Email/Social Media Account Intrusions
Suspicious Network Traffic
As part of a wide-ranging effort to stop Internet-based crimes, the New Jersey State Police has tasked a group of computer analysts, police detectives and task forces from other state and federal agencies to investigate criminal activity on the Internet. Some of the crimes this group investigates include:
Luring, enticing child by various means, attempts; crime of second degree; subsequent offense, mandatory imprisonment – 2C:13-6
Luring, enticing an adult, certain circumstances, third-degree crime – 2C:13-7
Bias intimidation – 2C:16-1.
Theft by deception -2C:20-4.
Theft of services – 2C:20-8.
WHAT ARE PENALTIES I COULD FACE FOR COMPUTER CRIMES?
If you access any computer database, system, network, program, software or any such equipment for which you do not have authorized access, you can be charged with a third-degree crime.
If you alter or damage any equipment such as that mentioned above, or if you deny or disrupt computer services (including any form of Internet access) that would otherwise be available to another computer user, you can be punished for a second degree crime.
There are also instances in which you could be charged with a first-degree crime. Specifically, you could be charged with a first-degree crime if your conduct is deemed:
(1) substantial interruption or impairment of public communication; transportation; water, gas or power supply; or any other public service. The term “substantial interruption or impairment” shall mean such interruption or impairment that:
(a) affects 10 or more structures or habitations;
(b) lasts for 2 or more hours;
(c) creates a risk of death or significant bodily injury to any person;
(d) damages or loss in excess of $250,000; or
(2) significant bodily injury to any person.
Every prison sentence for a first-degree crime that is committed in violation of this section shall include a minimum term of one-third to one-half of the sentence imposed. During this term, the defendant shall not be eligible for parole.
The Internet has become a huge part of modern life. It has produced many benefits and a number of our daily tasks have been made easier as a result of Internet access. However, it has also opened avenues of criminal activity.
These are the most common cybercrimes in New Jersey:
Child Pornography – Though child pornography existed as early as print was invented the world wide web has made “kiddy porn” easily available for possession and distribution.
Possession of child pornography is classified as a fourth-degree felony in New Jersey, punishable by a prison sentence of 18 months and a fine of up to $10,000.
Distribution of child pornography is a second-degree felony. It carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a fine up to $150,000.
Online Solicitation of Minors – It is very easy for predators to pretend to be teenagers online in order to convince real teenagers to meet up and commit either consensual or nonconsensual sexual contact.
A successful law enforcement tactic is for undercover police officers to pose as minors on the Internet. In this manner, they play along with the suspect and “bait” adult predators into engaging in online chats. If you are using the Internet to entice or lure a minor, you will be charged with a second-degree felony in New Jersey.
Identity Theft – When you don’t take proper security precautions, your personal information is vulnerable to being stolen by hackers.
Stolen information could be used to commit forgery in the form of making purchases in your name, creating false credit cards or simply stealing money from your bank account.
- Identity theft where a victim loses less than $500 is a fourth-degree felony.
- Identity theft where a victim loses $500 or more is a third-degree felony, which is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine up to $15,000.
Common Scams – “Phishing” is a method of fraud that uses e-mails which appear legitimate and are for the purpose of getting personal and/or financial information from an unsuspecting recipient. Any degree of involvement in these types of scams can result in “identity theft” charges.
Cyberbullying – Regretfully, social media and other online forums are central to modern interactions. The invention of online connectivity has brought about the ugliness of cyberbullying. Cyberbullying involves threats of violence and other forms of verbal abuse made from one online user to another. Cyber harassment in New Jersey is a fourth-degree felony.
If you have been charged with any Internet-based crime and need a criminal lawyer near you, call us at Peyrouton Law for first-rate legal representation at a flexible rate.
Call 201-766-4800 today for a FREE consultation.
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