Cyber or internet crimes involve any sort of criminal activity that took place over the internet. Since internet crimes cross state lines, they can be prosecuted in state or federal court. They can include anything from online harassment and online stalking to the very serious charge of child pornography. If you are facing criminal charges for a cybercrime in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, do not hesitate to retain an aggressive defense attorney as quickly as possible.
Philadelphia cybercrime defense lawyer Lloyd Long is available to help you fight your internet crimes case. The sooner you have a knowledgeable legal advocate at your side, the sooner they can investigate your case and procure the evidence necessary to help your case. For a free legal consultation, call the Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 666-0381 seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
Types of Internet Crimes in PA
Internet crimes, or cybercrimes, are criminal actions that are perpetrated using computers or the internet, usually both. Internet crimes typically involve the theft of personal information or some form of business trade secrets. However, there are many other crimes which can be committed using the internet.
Under Pennsylvania’s Consolidated Statues, there are various types of internet crimes and cyber-related offenses that can lead to misdemeanor or felony charges. Examples of cybercrimes that Lloyd Long defends against
- Online Harassment – A defendant is guilty of online harassment if they engage in conduct to purposely harass an individual through email or other methods on the internet. Online harassment is a misdemeanor of the third degree.
- Online Stalking – Online stalking occurs when an individual repeatedly contacts another person through the internet to raise a fear of bodily injury or emotional distress. The first violation of online stalking is a misdemeanor of the first degree.
- Computer Theft – Computer theft happens when an individual accesses data from a computer or computer network without permission. It also occurs when an individual makes copies of data on any computer system to take the data from the lawful owner. Computer theft is a felony of the third degree.
- Computer Trespass – A person is guilty of computer trespass if they intentionally and without permission use a computer to remove data, cause a malfunction of the computer, change or erase data, alter a financial instrument, or physically damage the property of another. Computer trespass is a felony of
- Online Child Pornography – An individual can be convicted of online child pornography if they intentionally view or knowingly possess any computer depiction of a child under the age of 18 years old participating in a sexual act. A first offense of online child pornography is a felony of the third degree.
- Unlawful Use of Computers and Email – This offense happens when an individual exceeds the permitted use of a computer or computer network, with the intent to either disrupt the normal life of a person or defraud that person. It can also be charged if the individual intentionally, and without authorization, destroys data associated with a computer, or intentionally and knowingly publishes confidential information associated with a computer. These offenses are felonies of the third degree.
PA Cybercrime Penalties
According to 204 Pa. Code § 303.2, the consequences for any criminal offense in Pennsylvania will be determined by looking at the offender’s prior record, if a deadly weapon was used, the gravity score associated with the crime, and other aggravating factors. There are varying penalties for the internet and computer crimes
- For misdemeanors of the third degree, like online harassment, a person can suffer a penalty of up to one year of imprisonment and/or
finesnot more than $2,500.
- For misdemeanor offenses of the first degree, like online stalking, you can incur a penalty of up to five years imprisonment and/or fines not exceeding $10,000 if convicted.
- Felonies of the third degree include computer trespass, unlawful use of computers and email, possession of child pornography, and computer theft. These offenses carry a penalty of up to seven years imprisonment and/or fines not exceeding $15,000.
It is important to remember that most of the penalties listed above are for first offenses. If you are repeatedly convicted of any of the crimes above, you will suffer stiffer penalties for each violation.
Defenses to Internet Crimes in PA
Pennsylvania law allows some statutory defenses to internet crimes. Here are a few of those defenses:
- Consent – The person accused of the internet crime was granted consent to operate in the manner they did.
- Lack of Intent – The defendant did not have the required intent when they committed the crime. This may lower an offense to a lesser charge.
Philadelphia Computer Crime Defense Lawyer Fighting Felony and Misdemeanor Charges
Philadelphia internet crime defense lawyer Lloyd Long has over a decade of experience dealing with misdemeanor and felony internet crime cases in state and federal court. The Law Offices of Lloyd Long has served numerous defendants across the Philadelphia region, and our knowledgeable staff