Common Defense Strategies for Internet Crimes
The nation is in an ongoing fight against rising internet crimes and cybercrimes each year. As a result, the United States government has instituted several strict federal laws prohibiting the illegal use of the internet, networks, and hardware such as phones, computers, and other technology.
The criminal consequences of being charged, indicted, or ultimately convicted of internet crimes can be severe, with some punishments requiring steep fines or even jail time. Plus, the social and economic repercussions can wreak havoc on your life. That’s why you need a solid internet crime defense strategy if you are facing charges. Fortunately, there are several common internet crime defense strategies you and your legal representative can pursue to get you out of this potential trouble.
What Is an Internet Crime?
Internet crimes encompass many legal charges resulting in anything from a minor fine to federal convictions and even life sentences. They refer to illegal acts conducted over the internet. At the same time, cybercrimes cover a much larger expanse of issues involving using computer use, local area networks (LANs), or targeting the hardware itself. Some examples of internet and cybercrimes that can lead to investigations and potential prosecution include:
- Identity theft
- Money laundering
- Password trafficking
- Information theft
- Cyberstalking, harassment, and bullying
- Child pornography
- Solicitation of minors
Although some of these types of internet crimes carry more lenient consequences, any kind of criminal charge can negatively impact your reputation. That’s why it’s crucial to stay aware of instances of cybercrimes so you don’t get inadvertently wrapped up in illegal activities.
Cyber Crime Is Happening All the Time
Statistics show that cybercrimes are rising, with nearly 90% of worldwide organizations reporting data breaches in 2020 alone. It’s estimated that about 86% of internet crimes are financially motivated, so it makes sense that organizations, individuals, and their private information are often targeted. Several global corporations have come into the crosshairs of hackers and other internet criminals over the years. The following are some of the most famous corporate data breaches and the number of account holders that were affected by each:
- Marriott-Starwood Hotels – 500 million guests
- MGM Hotels – 142 million guests
- Under Armour’s “My Fitness Pal” App – 150 million users
- Equifax – 148 million consumers
- Uber – 57 million riders and drivers
- Yahoo – 3 billion
In these types of data breaches, private or protected information is often targeted in order to steal money, identities, or defraud companies. Examples of the information internet criminals are looking for include:
- Full names
- Physical addresses
- Email addresses
- Billing information
- Bank account numbers
- Routing numbers
- Credit card numbers
Obtaining any of the above information illegally through the internet, along with the cybercrimes mentioned earlier, can all culminate in a criminal charge. However, you have several choices when it comes to a defense strategy for a cybercrime charge.
5 Common Defense Strategies for Internet Crimes
After being accused of an internet crime or receiving charges for cybercrimes, it can seem like your options are limited. Luckily, that is not always the case. Several unique defense strategies for internet crimes can aid in proving your innocence or lack of involvement. Below, explore the five primary defense strategies for cybercrimes:
1. You Are Wrongfully Accused
Wrongful convictions can have severe repercussions socially, financially, and otherwise. If you are wrongfully accused of an internet crime, you have a right to defend yourself during litigation and uphold your reputation. Or, you can secure an experienced defense lawyer to help walk you through each step of the process to prove your innocence. From collecting evidence and strategizing to actually arguing your case, your attorney can offer assistance until the desired outcome is reached.
2. You Are an Unknowing Participant
It’s estimated that nearly 95% of cyber breaches are caused by human error, so it should come as no surprise that many people unknowingly participate in internet crimes. If you get caught up in illegal activities online unwittingly, your defense attorney can argue for you.
3. You Are the Victim of Entrapment
Sometimes, individuals or organizations are backed into corners by entities with greater positions of power. Thus, these innocent people are trapped in challenging situations that require them to act illegally, otherwise known as entrapment. If you’ve been forced or coerced to take part in illegal online behavior, your best bet is an entrapment defense strategy.
4. You Are the Victim of Mistaken Identity
In unique cases, individuals can fall victim to mistaken identity. What that means is that you’re being charged with an internet crime you didn’t commit due to clerical errors or mistakes in personally identifying information. With the correct documentation to back up your identity, it’s a straightforward process to utilize the mistaken identity defense strategy for cybercrimes.
5. Evidence Against You Has Been Illegally Obtained
Your last line of defense against internet crime charges is after evidence against you is obtained illegally. If police or investigators execute an unlawful search of your computers or additional personal belongings, it’s a bad sign for the prosecution. In these cases, your defense attorney can argue that the illegally obtained evidence is inadmissible in court, which can help potentially dismiss the charges brought against you.
What to Do When You’ve Been Accused of an Internet Crime
After being accused of an internet crime, you might feel like you’re alone in this scary situation. However, you simply need to select a high-quality defense attorney to help you handle the charges. Your lawyer can be a valuable asset as you craft a solid defense strategy to argue your case or make a criminal appeal. Whether you’re wrongfully accused or you’re the victim in the situation, an intelligent attorney can help you see all the options, mitigating the adverse effects this charge may have on your life.
Restore Your Reputation With Excellent Representation
The ripple effect an internet crime conviction can have on your life socially and financially can easily make anyone feel overwhelmed when faced with this situation. Thankfully, you don’t have to navigate this uncertain and challenging time by yourself. The knowledgeable internet crime defense attorneys at CJB Law are here to walk you through every step of the process.
Contact us today to start fighting against an internet crimes conviction with a solid defense strategy from one of our experienced attorneys in the Twin Cities. Our team will assess your unique circumstances to determine the best course of action when it comes to your defense strategy for an internet crime charge. Then, we’ll fight tooth and nail to ensure that your reputation is restored after successful litigation or dispute resolution.