The use of technology has expanded around the world over the past 20 years. Under criminal law, cybercrime refers to all illegal activity that takes place over the internet or with the aid of technology. The FBI is the federal agency responsible for identifying and investigating cybercrimes on a federal level, but law enforcement officials are now dealing with this type of crime on a local level as cyberbullying, cyberstalking, and harassment are infiltrating crimes against common citizens.
New Jersey is one of many states that have developed laws against computer related offenses. Illegal access to another person’s computer or network is now classified as a computer crime with levels ranging from fourth-degree offenses to first-degree offenses that are punishable by fines and prison. Any illegal actions that involve the internet or the aid of a computer can result in serious legal consequences.
Most Common Types of Cybercrimes
There are many types of cybercrimes in existence, but the easiest way to identify the most common types is to separate them into federal and local levels.
Federal Cybercrimes: Federal level cybercrimes are those that affect national security and entities. Computer hackers, sale of private information on the black market, spying, and terrorist threats are cybercrimes on the federal level. Other types of federal cybercrimes include:
- Disabling hospital, 911, fire, or law enforcement systems.
- Hacking into competitor websites to uncover trade secrets.
- Security fraud.
- Theft of personal information to be sold on the black market.
- Spy activity that poses a risk to our national security.
- Stealing money from banking institutions through wire transfers or other methods.
- Identity theft.
- Hacking into and stealing research on medical and scientific discoveries for personal or corporate gain.
- Introducing computer viruses or malware.
- Unauthorized intrusion.
- Solicitation or distribution of pornographic materials.
Local Cybercrimes: Cybercrimes on this level refer to crimes that local law enforcement officials will enforce which can also lead to federal involvement. Local cybercrimes include:
- Using the internet to lure underage children into criminal activity or for personal gain.
- Using of social media to harass, intimidate, or threaten.
- Unauthorized access to another’s computer, system, or network.
- Modifying or damaging programs or data.
- Using a computer to defraud.
- Using encryption in a crime.
- Falsification of email source information.
- Stealing information service from a provider.
- Introducing a virus or malware to a computer system.
- Phishing scams.
- Invasion of privacy.
Cybercrimes on the federal and local level carry stiff penalties that can include hefty fines and jail time. Minor offenders can receive penalties that involve probation, incarceration in a juvenile detention facility, community service, and expulsion from school. If you are charged with a cybercrime, it is imperative to seek the counsel and representation of an experienced defense lawyer.
South Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyers at Agre & St. John Represent Those Charged with Cybercrimes
If you are facing a cybercrime charge, speak to one of our defense lawyers today. Our skilled South Jersey criminal defense lawyers at Agre & St. John will fight to protect your rights and provide you legal counsel. Contact us online or call us at 856-428-7797 to schedule a confidential consultation. Located in Haddonfield, New Jersey, we also serve clients in Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Salem County, and throughout the South Jersey area.