Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Internet Crimes

Posted on: March 2, 2009 at 7:59 a.m.

Los Angeles Internet crimes attorneys have had their hands full for the last decade as the Internet continues to develop new functions and thus new laws. Internet crimes in Los Angeles are often prosecuted harshly because the entertainment industry is very protective and powerful, and because there are numerous high-profile individuals who do their best to protect their name.

The term "Internet Crime" is a sort of catchall phrase that can represent so many crimes. In its most basic meaning, a Los Angeles Internet crime is any crime committed while using the Internet. Some of the most frequently seen Internet crimes in Los Angeles include phishing, credit card fraud, illegal downloading, child pornography, illegal pornography, and illegal distribution of viruses or spam. Phishing, for those who may not know, is a type of fraud where an individual or group poses as an otherwise trustworthy entity such as a bank and asks for personal information such as bank account numbers, credit card numbers, social security information or account passwords.

With such information, they can then access a persons bank accounts or credit cards, or proceed to commit identity theft. Phishing scams are so common that I myself was approached twice in the last month with e-mails claiming to be from banks that I no longer have accounts with that needed to "update" my account information for security purposes. Credit card fraud is nearly interchangeable with online auction fraud. In these cases, the victim tries to purchase something online with their credit or debit card that is never delivered to them. Bank and credit card account numbers are often the information that is being sought after.

Illegal downloading is downloading information from the Internet (usually music, movies or television shows) that would generally incur a fee of some sort from websites that have basically pirated their merchandise. Child pornography is illegal in Los Angeles and the United States, as is viewing or displaying it online. Other forms of illegal pornography are somewhat vague by definition and are more often subject to local or state laws. For the illegal distribution of spam and viruses, since by nature they are often intended to corrupt or otherwise bring harm to the computer they enter, they have also been deemed illegal and are offenses punishable by law. Los Angeles Internet crimes attorneys, such as those at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, are quite knowledgeable about Internet laws in Los Angeles and how they differ from non-Internet crimes.

Punishment for Internet crimes varies widely depending on the facts of each case. Depending on the scale of the damage done, imprisonment, large monetary fines & restitution, community service, probation or parole may be handed down by a judge as punishment. As in most cases, a first-time offender will likely be given a less severe punishment while the opposite is true for repeat offenders. One important note here is that if the defendant committed a sex crime while using the Internet that involved a minor, he or she may be subjected to greater charges with correspondingly greater punishments. The complexity of Los Angeles Internet crimes requires the skilled hand of an attorney experienced in fighting Internet-related criminal charges. If you or someone you know has been charged with committing an Internet crime, call the Los Angeles Internet crimes attorneys at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP immediately to begin preparing your defense.

Tagged as: internet crimes defense

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