There are many computer crimes that fall under federal jurisdiction. The Wiretap Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and several statutes set the stage for these types of charges to be levied in some circumstances.
Computer charges usually come after considerable investigation into the matters. In some cases, attempts to cover up the criminal activity is gong to lead to some very pointed evidence against the person who is being investigated. If you are being investigated, think you are being investigated, or are currently facing charges, here are some points you should know:
Determining the charge
The exact charges you will face depend on the circumstances of the case. Phishing accusations would be handled much differently than hacking accusations. In every case, it is imperative that you take the time to review what you are being accused of so that you can determine what defense strategy you are going to use.
The prosecution’s case
Federal prosecutors aren’t usually going to charge you with a crime like these unless they have considerable evidence. This is one reason why it is so important to start working on your defense right away. You need time to comb through the case against you and determine how you are going to respond to the accusations.
Your defense should be planned. You shouldn’t try to go up against a federal prosecutor with a defense that you throw together on a whim. Instead, you need to take the time and expend the energy to get ready for the battle.
More than the actual charge matters
In federal cases, the amount of monetary loss that a crime causes can increase the penalty that you face. There isn’t an increase in the base level of the charge if there is a monetary loss of $5,000 or less. Starting at more than $5,000, there is a two-level increase. The increase goes up by two additional levels for a maximum of 30 additional levels for crimes that lead to a monetary loss of more than $400,000,000.
There is also an increase in the base level of a charge for multiple victims. The increase starts if there are 10 victims, which comes with a two-level increase. The maximum increase is six levels, which occurs when there are 250 or more victims.
Other points can also bump up the base level, so make sure you know what is impacting your case. The base level of the charge is part of what determines the possible penalty you will face. The higher the base level, the harsher the penalties.