Criminal Defense Lawyers Defending Individuals Agaist Any Type Of Crime Over The Internet
In California, terms such as internet fraud and cyber crime can refer to any use of the internet to commit a crime.
Although popular cyber crimes have been associated with an image of a computer hacker, there are a wide variety of crimes which can fall within the cyber crime category.
With ample access to the internet, there are a wide variety of criminal offenses in Los Angeles that are now committed over the internet.
The easy and inexpensive access has led to vast changes in California law to fight against those individuals who engage in illegal activity over the internet.
Even though cyber crime laws have changed, every individual still has the constitutional right to be free from an unreasonable search and seizure by law enforcement authorities.
This is why as soon as you are arrested for a cyber crime, you must contact an experienced Los Angeles internet crimes attorney.
The internet crime lawyers at Eisner and Gorin LLP are knowledgeable in internet and cyber crimes area and will be able to explain to you what you are facing and will fight for you to have the charges dropped or reduced.
One of our Los Angeles cyber crime attorneys will provide you with a free immediate response.
Most Common Internet and Cyber Crime Offenses
A lawyer from our office can provide you with more information, but most common kinds of cyber crimes fall into five categories and are as follows:
- Internet Fraud – Fraudulent schemes or scams carried out through email or the internet (Penal Code 484)
- Phishing or Identity Theft – Using email or the internet to obtain sensitive information like social security numbers or credit card information (Penal Code 530.5)
- Hacking – Internet hacking is another common form of California internet fraud or cyber crime, which involves accessing a computer, computer data, or a computer network without permission, often with some unlawful purpose. (Penal Code 502)
- Child Pornography – Accessing or distributing illegal sexual materiel using the internet (Penal Code 311.11). See related information: Revenge Porn Law in California.
- Unlawful Contact with a Minor – Luring a child for a sexual encounter (Penal Code 288)
Internet fraud in California
Under criminal law, fraud consists of deceiving someone in order to get them to give up something of value like money. This can be done in person, over the phone, or through the mail (mail fraud is a federal offense).
Since nowadays most people use internet to communicate through e-mail or website facilitated messaging system, then fraud can be perpetuated through internet medium.
Internet fraud may occur in different ways:
- Non-Delivery Merchandise Fraud - Buyers are asked to pay for merchandise by wire transfer to a foreign bank account but the internet retailer does not send the merchandise.
- Advance Fee Fraud - Posting of internet classified ads offering great deals on expensive items, which require shipment. The buyer is asked to pay a fee for shipment of the item and/or for the item itself in advance; however, the seller never delivers the item and never contacts the buyers again.
- Prize Sweepstakes and Lottery Scams - This is where someone sends an email telling the recipient that they have won a large prize and will receive it after paying certain taxes and fees; after the recipient pays the fee, they find out there is no prize.
- Work At Home Scams - This is where fake companies offer attractive jobs that can be done at home but require applicants to pay a registration fee before work begins; it turns out that the company and/or the job simply does not exist.
Have you been accused of any type of internet fraud case? Contact a Los Angeles cyber crime lawyer at our law firm to learn how we can help you.
Phishing Schemes in California
California has its own unique form of fraud also known as “phishing,” which is the practice of tricking an e-mail or internet user into giving out personal or confidential information (such as your credit card number) that can then be used for illegal purposes:
- California Identity Theft Law - You may be accused of phishing if you ask someone to provide personal information over e-mail defined under California Penal Code Section 530.5.
- Credit Card Fraud Law - Another popular form of phishing involves using email or the internet to collect other people's credit card numbers, which then is used for an illegal purpose like purchasing goods with stolen credit card numbers. This kind of phishing can result in charges of credit card fraud under Penal Code Section 484(e).
- California Anti-Phishing Act - This law makes it illegal to use email, a webpage, or the internet to try to induce another person to provide certain information (including social security numbers, credit card numbers, passwords, etc.) by pretending to be a business without that business's permission.
Internet Sex Crimes Against Children
Child Pornography is defined under California Penal Code 311. It is a sex crime offense to employ or use a minor for the purposes of producing or distributing materials depicting minors engaged in sexual activity.
Also, it is a felony offense to possess “child” pornography even if one minor sends or receives a sexually explicit text image or video of themselves to another minor, known as “sexting.”
Nowadays, this is a very common occurrence among children or teenagers.
Because to be convicted under this statute, the prosecution must prove that you produced, possessed, or distributed pornographic materials and that you knew or should have known that the persons depicted were minors under the age of 18; an unsuspecting minor may be charged for such crime due to a minor's inability to understand what they were doing is wrong and dangerous.
If you are under criminal investigation for possession of internet child pornography, call an experienced Los Angeles internet sex crimes defense lawyer at our law firm immediately for a free consultation.
See our blog: Common California Internet Sex Crimes.
Generally, child pornography production and distribution offenses are “wobblers,” meaning they can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony crime:
- Punishment can range from a fine between $2000 and $50,000 to a four year sentence in state prison
- Possession of child pornography is a felony carrying up to 3 years in state prison and/or a fine of $2500
- The most devastating consequence that a conviction can bring is a lifetime obligation to register as a sex offender in accordance with California Penal Code Section 290
Unlawful Contact with a Minor
Under California Penal Code Sections 288.3 and 288.4, a crime is committed when an adult contacts or attempts to contact a child “motivated by an unnatural or abnormal sexual interest in children.”
However, since the increasing popularity of internet use among teenagers and even younger children, a person may be charged with such offense if such unlawful contact was made with a minor through internet.
Under criminal investigation for a cyber sex crime accusation? Contact a internet sex crime defense lawyer at our office for a free case evaluation.
Contact of Minor With Intent To Commit Sexual Offense
Penalties under California Penal Code 288.3 are extremely severe. If you believe you may be under a criminal investigation for an internet sexual related offense, call one of our Los Angeles internet crime lawyers immediately.
If you contact or attempt to contact or communicate with a minor, while you know or should that the person is a minor, with the intent to commit the offenses described below; you can be charged as if you actually committed the offense itself:
- Kidnapping (PC 207)
- Aggravated kidnapping (PC 209)
- Rape (PC 261)
- Rape with a foreign object in consort with violence or punishment (PC 264.1)
- Child endangerment (PC 273a)
- Unlawful sodomy (PC 286)
- Lewd conduct with a minor (PC 288 and PC 288a)
- Forcible acts of sexual penetration (PC 289)
- Child pornography distribution (PC 311.1 and PC 311.2)
- Employing a minor to engage in or simulate sexual acts (PC 311.4)
- Possession of child pornography (PC 311.11)Penal Code 288.4
Arranging a Meeting With a Minor For Lewd Purposes
Pursuant to California Penal Code 288.4, if you arrange or attempt to arrange a meeting with a minor for the purpose of engaging in lewd conduct with that minor, you may be charged with a misdemeanor and could face a fine of $5000 and/or up to one year in county jail.
If you actually go to the arranged meeting place on or about the arranged time, you face a felony charge and can be sentenced to serve up to four years in state prison.
In California, if you are convicted of violating Penal Code Sections 288.3 or 288.4, most likely you will face life-time sex offender registration under Penal Code Section 290.
Moreover, if you are charged with committing lewd or lascivious acts on a minor, you will not be only facing possible jail time, but also negative impact for the rest of your life: your family and friends turning away from you, inability to secure employment and/or housing, etc.
Many times, however, for whatever reason the accuser may lie by wanting to harm the accused's reputation.
Call a cyber crime criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles at our law firm for more information
Contact a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are currently under criminal investigation, or already arrested for any type of cyber crime, you need to immediately consult with an experienced Los Angeles internet crimes lawyer at our office to review all the specific details of your case in order for us to determine an effective defense strategy.
Our Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys will immediately go to work to protect your legal rights and guide you through every step of the criminal process.
Typically, internet crimes are technical in nature and will often involve evidence obtain from your computer.
Therefore, you need a criminal attorney with experience defending these type of cases. Early intervention in your case by a seasoned lawyer can have a dramatic impact on the outcome.
Our criminal defense law firm has a long history of discovering errors by police and Constitutional rights violations that may be sufficient grounds to challenge your criminal charges or even a case dismissal.
We are available 24/7 for a free immediate response. Contact our law firm at 310-328-3776 to learn how we can help you.