The Internet offers a wealth of information and convenience; it also offers myriad opportunities for illegal activity. An experienced New Jersey computer crimes attorney discusses some of these.
Hackers are people who invade another computer system without the owner’s knowledge or permission. Their motive may be to steal confidential or financial information in order to surreptitiously transfer funds, to steal someone’s identity or to compromise their system by introducing a malicious program. These programs, known as viruses, worms or Trojan horses, are designed to disable, damage, or infiltrate the victim’s computer system.
Internet pirates illegally sell or distribute copyrighted materials such as music, motion pictures, books or computer software programs. Since these materials are under copyright, royalties must be paid to the owners whenever they are sold or, in the case of a movie or a song, played. Pirated materials are distributed without permission and with no royalties paid.
Fraud and Phishing
People committed identity theft long before there was an electronic venue that made it easier to do so. Nowadays, it is done by using small email programs called “phishing” emails. The victim is inadvertently led to a duplicate of a website they normally frequent and information is requested. When the victim provides the password, personal or financial information demanded, it goes to the hands of someone who will use it for his own ends.
Social Media Abuse
Social media websites can, unfortunately, be used to humiliate, frighten or wound others. It is usually motivated by malice and can take the form of threats, bullying, posting compromising pictures or spreading malicious gossip or lies. This is common among children and teenagers, and the effects can be tragic. Lives have been ruined, and, in extreme cases, young people have been driven to suicide because of this kind of harassment.
The Internet makes preying on minors for sexual purposes disastrously easy. This is an extremely serious offense and carries severe penalties. Jail sentences for convicted offenders can stretch into decades.
Protect Yourself: Engage a New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are facing charges of Internet or computer-related crime, seek help now. Call the Tim Anderson Law Office, your New Jersey computer crimes attorney, at 732-212-2812 today.
You are protected against self-incrimination by the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. So, you have the choice and right to remain silent rather than take the witness stand. In deciding whether or not to testify, your New Jersey criminal defense attorney will advise you on the pros and cons of testifying, under all the facts and circumstances of your particular case.
If you are called as a witness in a criminal investigation, you will probably feel nervous and anxious, as if you have done something wrong, but there is nothing to be afraid of. You will want to stay a witness and nothing more. This video from criminal defense attorneys in New Jersey will help you prepare so you know to protect yourself.
While previous criminal investigation procedures depended on statements made by eyewitnesses, the legal field is slowly moving away from the weight formerly placed on their testimony. In fact, new data shows they might not offer a reliable version of events. A New Jersey criminal defense lawyer might be able to disprove information provided by an eyewitness.
As you near your criminal trial, you may fear the sentence that you may receive if you are convicted. Your criminal defense attorney in New Jersey may discuss potential defenses, as well as alternatives to trial, such as cooperating with the prosecution. Cooperation encompasses certain advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of Cooperation
A better deal may come your way if you decide to cooperate with the prosecution and supply evidence against co-defendants. In federal drug cases, cooperation is often one of the only ways that you can avoid the imposition of a mandatory minimum sentence, which tends to be longer than a similar state crime. Additionally, in some situations,if you were to cooperate and your role in the alleged offense was relatively minor, the prosecution may decide not to charge you at all.
Disadvantages of Cooperation
While the advantages may seem encouraging, a criminal defense attorney in New Jersey can discuss the potential disadvantages. For example, your safety may be put in jeopardy if it is known that you plan to provide damaging information about other individuals. You must ensure that the government takes necessary steps to protect you. Another disadvantage to cooperating is that it can change the dynamic between you and someone whom you betrayed.
In terms of your sentence, you may wind up pleading to more serious charges and subjecting yourself to stricter sentencing guidelines by cooperating. This is because the prosecution may wish to threaten you with such a sentence if you wind up backing out of your cooperation. In some situations, the judge has discretion on how to sentence you and may not be bound by an agreement of this nature, so you may not get the sentence that you were promised.
Prosecution Benefits from Cooperation
A prosecutor receives many potential benefits from getting defendants to cooperate. The cooperating party may provide information related to the scope of the conspiracy or drug amount to bring about higher sentencing guidelines for individuals that are convicted.
If you would like more information about the idea of potentially cooperating, contact a criminal defense lawyer in New Jersey such as Tim Anderson by calling him at (732) 212-2812 and requesting a confidential consultation.
As you and your New Jersey criminal defense lawyer discuss your case, your lawyer may recommend creative approaches to your legal defense. One such approach may be to utilize civil discovery to aid you in your criminal defense, especially if there is an active civil case in a related matter.
Civil discovery is much more generous than criminal discovery. If a criminal charge has not yet been filed, you and your New Jersey criminal defense lawyer are not automatically entitled to any criminal discovery of a pending investigation. However, if you use civil discovery in a related civil case, you may be able to gain important insights regarding the evidence that the prosecution may be planning to use against you.
However, sometimes a prosecutor can seek a stay of the civil case. This situation may apply when the prosecution believes that civil discovery may result in the prosecution disclosing too much important information related to their investigation. However, courts often do not grant such orders.
Another approach that your New Jersey criminal defense attorney may recommend is using a civil settlement in a case to justify dismissal of a criminal charge. If a civil action has been filed against you, your attorney will be motivated to prevent that case from jeopardizing your position in the criminal case. In some instances, a prosecutor may be persuaded not to pursue a criminal charge, for instance if the victim is returned to the position that he or she was in before the incident. In such an instance, the prosecutor may not see much incentive to pursue a criminal case. However, the prosecution may still choose to take a hard line by determining that the criminal and civil cases are treated completely separately and will not allow the criminal defendant to in a sense “buy” his or her way out of the prosecution.
If you would like more information about how an active civil case may affect the outcome of your criminal case or you would like to discuss potential options in your particular case, contact Tim Anderson at 732-212-2812.