Review of State and Federal Cybercrime Charges and Defenses
The state of California is a primary source of all types of white-collar cybercrimes, which are commonly known as “internet crimes.” State and federal prosecutors are generally aggressive in their pursuit of suspects committing internet crimes, and many have special units assigned to investigate and prosecute cybercrime cases.
Internet crime is an inclusive term describing offenses, such as white collar and sexual related crimes. Most are prosecuted under California law, but the more severe and sophisticated cases are typically charged as a federal crime. For more information, our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers review the various laws below.
Common Types of Internet Crimes
Crimes involving the use of a computer and the internet vary widely. These different types of cybercrimes include the following:
- identity theft stealing personal information for financial gain;
- phishing to gain access to business accounts;
- online sexual predators soliciting minors for sex;
- hacking to get access to a computer network to commit fraud;
- fraudulent schemes over the internet to defraud someone;
- child pornography possession, sale, and distribution;
- unlawful contact with a minor for lewd purposes.
California State and Federal Internet Crime Laws
As stated, there is a wide range of state and federal laws that fall under the umbrella of an internet crime, including:
18 U.S.C. 2251 – sexual exploitation of children,
18 U.S.C. 2252 – federal child pornography,
18 U.S.C. 1028 – federal identity theft,
18 U.S.C. 1029 – credit card fraud,
18 U.S.C. 1030 – computer hacking,
18 U.S.C. 1951 – blackmail and extortion,
Penal Code 502 PC – unauthorized computer access,
Penal Code 530.5 PC – identity theft,
Penal Code 532 – theft by false pretense,
Penal Code 503 PC – embezzlement,
Penal Code 311 PC – child pornography,
Penal Code 288.2 PC – sending harmful matter to seduce a minor,
Penal Code 288.4 PC – arrange a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes,
Penal Code 647(j)(4) PC – revenge porn.
Will I Go to Jail If You're Charged with an Internet Crime?
More and more, people are being charged with these internet white-collar crimes in Los Angeles, California, and they're facing prison time.
They're facing federal prison time often, and if the state takes the case, the state can send them to state prison or local county jail. The reason for this is typically the sophistication level.
In other words, people are doing things costing companies and the government thousands, even millions of dollars. The federal and state governments are sick of it and will send these people to prison.
They're going to be long prison sentences depending on how sophisticated the scheme was, how much money was lost, how many victims there were.
Defending Internet Crimes in California
So, suppose you or a loved one is charged with an internet fraud case. In that case, a white-collar crime where the company is bilked out of thousands of dollars. The defendant is not committing a violent offense but costing somebody thousands or millions of dollars. The defendant sits in a position of trust; you need the best criminal defense attorney.
The first thing you have to think about is pre-filing, and that means they haven't filed the case, but you know that you're being investigated by either the state or federal government for some internet case.
First of all, you have to get off the internet. Don't use your computer anymore. Come and sit down with me, and we will design a plan because you can get your plan together and get your road map together, even before the case is filed.
This way, you don't do anything to hurt yourself, and you take some positive, proactive steps to get the result you must have.
Keeping You Out of Custody
Once we're passed the pre-filing stage, and there's a charge, now we have to look at:
- how are we going to handle bail?
- how are we going to keep you out of custody?
- what types of moves can we make so that you don't go into custody while the case is pending?
You don't want to go into custody now with the Coronavirus, with cases taking a long time because they're all getting continued because of the virus. You want to be able to stay out of custody. So, we have to look at bail. How are we going to argue bail?
The two main things the judges are looking at in these cases are whether you are a danger to the community and a flight risk. We should probably easily show that you're not a flight risk, and then we have to address the threat to the community issue.
It's not just doing some violent act to the community; they're talking about going on the internet and committing more fraud and costing more people money. So, that's what we have to address.
Designing an Effective Defense Strategy
Once we have addressed the pre-filing stage and the bail issue, now we have to handle the case. We're going to be in one of the Los Angeles courts. There are 40 courts in LA county.
I know them all. I've tried cases in all of them. I know the thousand plus prosecutors that staff the LA courts. I know the prosecution's power structure. You have to know politically how the District Attorney's office works:
- when it comes to internet crimes;
- when it comes to fraud crimes;
- when it comes to costing the government money, and
- when it comes to costing the company's money.
Also, we've got to know how to maneuver an internet fraud case through the criminal court system. Do it the right way. Please stay away from prosecutors who will be unfair and get the prosecutors to give us a deserved break.
We also have to design a plan, a plan just for you. We need your story. We have you come in, and we sit down and go everything under the cloak of the attorney-client privilege in my office. We're going to get your side to use it to help develop the plan because the police and prosecutors often don't get your side.
They only have their side of the story, so it's up to me, as your defense attorney, to get your side of the story, tell your side of the story, the positive, beneficial things for you.
Plea Bargain vs. Jury Trial
The next thing we're going to do is look at whether your case should go to a jury trial or should your case be negotiated. If we're going to do a jury trial and we're going to set the defense up. We're going to get our defense story together of how we want to show the jury what the case is all about.
If it's a situation where you know that you're guilty and they've got the evidence, then we're going to put together a mitigation package for you that includes:
- character letters,
- your side of the story as it relates to the offense, and
- we're going to figure out what we can do to make the victim whole.
Do we need to pay the money back? Restitution is sometimes significant in these internet cases. So, no matter what type of internet case, I've just designed a nice layout for you.
The last thing we're going to do is look at who you are and what your case is all about to put a real twist on the defense in this internet case so that you end up with the best result.
You don't end up in prison; you don't end up in jail, and you can get on the road to a successful defense, getting out of the system as fast as possible and not looking back.
I stand at the ready. I'm the best. Ron Hedding. Pick up the phone. Take the first step so you can turn the tide in your criminal case. Hedding Law Firm is located in Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. Contact us for a free consultation at (213) 542-0940.