As computers and the Internet become more accessible, more people become capable of committing a cyber crime. A cyber crime is one that is committed on the Internet, and several states are cracking down on these offenses. People often commit these acts online because their identity can be hid and they may feel anonymous.
However, if a person is convicted of a cyber crime, he or she could face serious charges. Cyber crimes can include a variety of offenses, such as Internet fraud, identity theft or illegal downloading. The Internet also is a place where sexual offenses can be committed, including child pornography and solicitation of a minor. No matter the offense, the charge should be taken seriously.
San Antonio Internet Crime Attorney
If you are under investigation for any type of high-tech computer crime, contact the experienced cyber crime defense attorneys at Goldstein & Orr in San Antonio. When the evidence in a criminal case is based on computer data and online investigation methods, your attorneys should be prepared to confront the unique issues involved.
The attorneys at Goldstein & Orr have been representing clients in criminal cases in the San Antonio area and throughout Texas for more than 40 years. They will handle your case with the utmost importance and work to get you the best possible result. If you have been charged with any Internet or computer crime, don’t hesitate to call (210) 226-1463 for a free telephone consultation.
Information Center for Texas Cyber Crimes
- Types of Computer Crimes
- Computer and Telecommunication Crimes in Texas
- Illegally Downloading Music
- Keeping Tabs on Cutting-Edge Developments
- Resources for Computer Crimes
Types of Computer Crimes
Some computer crimes occur solely on the Internet, while other common criminal charges take on unique characteristics when computer communications are involved. Our criminal defense attorneys defend clients against a wide range of financial crimes, sexual offenses and other Internet and computer crimes, including:
- Computer intrusions
- Major cyber fraud
- Possession or distribution of child pornography
- Identity theft
- Computer fraud
- Phishing scams
- Fraudulent investment schemes
- Copyright and trademark infringement (including software piracy)
- Gambling violations
- Online solicitation of a minor
If you have been charged with a computer crime, we will explore all of your defense options. Because online communications are often partially anonymous and open to misinterpretation, a big part of many computer-based cases is presenting mitigating evidence demonstrating you are not culpable or did not commit the crime with which you were charged. A San Antonio Internet crime defense attorney at Goldstein & Orr can help.
Computer and Telecommunication Crimes in Texas
Because the Internet crosses state lines and even national borders, it would be beneficial to know the difference between state and federal Internet offenses. Texas law provides for cyber and Internet crimes that rely on new technologies. Chapter 33 of the Penal Code sets out the offenses that constitute “Computer Crimes.” Offenses under Chapter 33 include:
- Breach of Computer Security (§ 33.02)
- Online Solicitation of a Minor (§ 33.021)
- Online Impersonation (§ 33.07)
“Telecommunications Crimes” are found in Chapter 33A. Chapter 16 of the Texas Penal Code provides for criminal offenses related to the misuse of the Internet, such as Unlawful Access to Stored Communications (§16.04) and Illegal Divulgence of Public Communications (§16.05).
Illegally Downloading Music
When people think of cyber crimes, they often think of serious and heinous offenses. However, one of the most common Internet crimes is the downloading of music illegally. People often download music and movies using torrents or peer-to-peer sharing programs, thinking it is not illegal because the actual torrents and peer-to-peer sharing programs are not illegal.
However, it still is a crime that can be punished by law. Downloading content for your own use, or for the use of distributing it, without purchasing the product is considered stealing under Texas law. This also could be applied to movies and software.
Criminal penalties can run up to five years in prison $250,000 in fines or both, even if you did not download the product for monetary or financial or commercial gain, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Civil penalties could mean thousands of dollars in damages and legal fees. The minimum penalty is $750 per song.
Keeping Tabs on Cutting-Edge Developments
At Goldstein & Orr, we keep up with the latest technological, regulatory and legal developments in the area of computer crime so we can understand what claims the government is making about our clients’ alleged behavior and follow up with defense investigations to dispute those claims.
As computer crime has grown, government surveillance of online behavior has adapted rapidly, often raising questions about the legality of new methods. In many cases, government agents are hacking into people’s computers without search warrants via peer-to-peer networks and other methods.
We have the technological understanding to interpret what the government is doing to try to convict you and oppose those efforts at every step of your case. Contact us to get experienced, savvy computer crime defense lawyers on your side.
Resources for Computer Crimes
FBI Cyber Crime Investigations – The FBI investigates high-tech crimes including computer intrusions and major cyber fraud. Article includes a cyber crime fact sheet, Internet crimes report, and a list of common Internet frauds. Article includes definitions of computer crimes under state and federal law and recent charges and defenses.
The DOJ Criminal Investigations into Cybercrime – Article from the Department of Justice Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) discussing strategies in combating computer and intellectual property crimes across the county. CCIPS engages in complex investigations to resolve investigative issues for recent and emerging computer technologies.
Top Five Computer Crimes – Identifies the top five cybercrimes facing individuals in the United States including malware, identity theft, cyberstalking, child pornography, and Spam.
Recording Industry Association of America – The Recording Industry Association of America is the trade organization that supports and promotes the creative and financial vitality of the major music companies. The organization works to protect the intellectual property and First Amendment rights of artists and music labels; conduct consumer, industry and technical research; and monitor and review state and federal laws, regulations and policies.
Finding the Best Computer Crimes Attorney in San Antonio
If you are charged with any type of computer crime in San Antonio, contact the experienced San Antonio cyber crime defense attorneys at Goldstein & Orr. We fight to protect our clients charged with high-tech cybercrimes in both federal and state court, and we fight to make sure your rights are represented. Call (210) 226-1463 for a free consultation.