There are two main types of computer crimes.  The first is when computers are used to facilitate more traditional crimes and illegal activity, such as fraud, revenge porn, or other white collar crimes.  The second form of computer crimes, often known as hacking, is where offenders target their victim's computer systems for the purpose of copying, interrupting, destroying, or altering the systems, often resulting in a data breach.

What are the Consequences of Computer Crimes? 

  • Imprisonment
  • Fines
  • Probation
  • An offense on your permanent criminal record
  • Other consequences of a felony conviction

What are the Factors that Determine the Punishment for Computer Crimes? 

  • The potential or actual value of the loss caused by the offense
  • The level of sophistication and planning involved in the offense
  • Whether the offense was committed for financial gain or commercial benefit
  • Whether the defendant acted with malicious intent
  • The extent to which the victim's privacy was violated
  • Whether the offense targeted a computer used by the government
  • Whether the offense was intended to threaten the public health and safety

Victims of Computer Crimes

If you are a victim of a computer crime you should call the police.  If there is sufficient evidence, the police will forward your case to the District Attorney's office to prosecute the person who committed the crime against you.  If the crime involves your finances, you should also immediately contact your bank and credit card companies and inform them of the problem.  You may even wish to freeze or close the accounts.  If you are having trouble recovering your assets, a lawyer may be able to help you.

What Can You Do if You are Accused of Computer Crimes?

If you are accused of a computer crime you should speak to a criminal lawyer immediately to learn more about your rights, your defenses, and the complicated legal system.