Computer Crimes Lawyer in Athens, GA

Computer Crimes Attorney in Athens, GA

Computers have become central to our daily lives in our technology-driven world, but they can also be at the center of criminal activities. Cybercrimes such as cyberstalking, hacking, identity theft, and computer fraud are serious offenses punishable by hefty fines and lengthy prison sentences.

If you’re under investigation or facing charges related to computer crimes in Georgia, it’s crucial to seek help from a skilled defense attorney who knows the ins and outs of this complex area of the law. Criminal defense attorneys from Swingle Levin LLC are here to shed light on the importance of having an experienced computer crimes lawyer by your side. With our experience and knowledge, we can navigate the legal maze and protect your rights in the face of cybercrime allegations. Join us as we explore how we can be your shield in the digital age.

What Are Computer Crimes?

A computer crime, often referred to as a cybercrime, is any unlawful activity committed using computers or computer networks. It encompasses a wide range of offenses, including hacking, identity theft, fraud, and spreading malware. These crimes exploit technology for illegal purposes, posing threats to individuals, businesses, and governments.

Are Computer Crimes Federal or State Crimes?

Computer crimes can be prosecuted as either federal or state crimes. As such, which computer crimes end up being prosecuted by the federal government and which are prosecuted by the state depends on the facts of the case. The allegation must involve interstate commerce to be prosecuted as a federal crime. If your computer is connected to the internet, there’s likely some connection to interstate commerce.

The federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (18 USC § 1030) serves as the primary federal law for prosecuting most computer-related offenses at the federal level. At the state level, the Georgia Computer Systems Protection Act lays down the legal provisions and penalties for offenses, including:

  1. O.C.G.A. § 16-9-93(a): Computer theft.
  2. O.C.G.A. § 16-9-93(b): Computer trespass.
  3. O.C.G.A. § 16-9-93(c): Computer invasion of privacy.
  4. O.C.G.A. § 16-9-93(d): Computer forgery.
  5. O.C.G.A. § 16-9-93(e): Computer password disclosure.

fraud lawyer, The law offices of Swingle Levin LLC, can help you understand the complexities of computer criminal charges. They can also provide advice on legal issues to protect their your rights and ensure they receive fair treatment throughout the legal process. 

Types of Computer Crimes

Computer crimes or cyber crimes take many forms, including:

  • Hacking: Invading another computer network to shut it down, steal large amounts of data, or take control of a company’s intellectual property.
  • Cyberstalking: Targeting and tracking someone through internet websites. This includes but is not limited to harassing, threatening, recording conversations, or installing webcams to take compromising photos.
  • Child Pornography and Solicitation: Searching for, soliciting, or distributing sexual material involving underage individuals on any online platform.
  • Identity Theft: Stealing and misusing someone’s personal information obtained on the internet to make purchases on an e-commerce site, open credit cards, or access their bank account.
  • Phishing Scams: Using fictitious email messages or online advertisements to access an internet user’s personal computer or a computer network.
  • Viruses, Ransomware, and Malware: Infecting a person’s or company’s computer systems and planting programs or apps that interfere or interrupt the computer’s ability to function to blackmail the unsuspecting user or company into paying to get their computer or system back.

It’s essential to understand the details of each type of internet crime to determine the types of legal issues that will require advice and representation. Consider hiring a criminal defense lawyer who can provide sound legal advice and handle the complexities of internet crime law.

Defensive Strategies Against Computer Crime Charges in Georgia

In Georgia, defending against computer crime charges can involve several strategic approaches depending on the specifics of the case. 

One common defense is challenging the evidence’s validity, arguing that the digital data could have been compromised or mishandled. Defense teams often scrutinize how digital data is secured, handled, and analyzed, arguing that improper procedures could lead to compromised evidence integrity.

Another potential defense is the lack of intent. Many computer crimes require specific intent to commit a crime, and proving that the accused acted inadvertently can be a potent defense.

Additionally, asserting unauthorized access by another individual using the accused’s computer can also form the basis of a defense, especially in cases where device security is questionable. 

Defendants might also claim unawareness or lack of knowledge of the illicit nature of the software or activities conducted on their devices. This defense is particularly relevant in situations involving malware that operates unbeknownst to the user.

Another defense can include invoking constitutional rights, such as protection against unlawful searches and seizures. If evidence was obtained by violating these rights, it might be deemed inadmissible in court. 

Employing a multifaceted defense strategy is crucial, as computer crime allegations can have far-reaching consequences, including substantial fines and imprisonment.

Penalties for Computer Crimes in Georgia

The penalties for computer crimes under Georgia law can vary based on the severity of the crime and the individual’s criminal history. Most computer crimes are prosecuted as felonies, with prison terms ranging from one to twenty years, depending on the offense.

Other punishments can include fines, community services, and restitution. Federal sentencing ranges for computer crimes will vary greatly depending on several factors related to the specifics of your charge and your criminal record. 

How Can a Lawyer Help Defend Computer Crimes?

Some of the first steps in defending against any computer-related crime will include the following:

  1. Understanding the Charges: GA Lawyers from Swingle Levin can help you understand the specific charges and relevant laws, such as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and Georgia Computer Systems Protection Act. 
  2. Gathering Evidence: We can collect and examine all available evidence from the prosecution, such as digital records, server logs, IP addresses, timestamps, and other relevant documentation.
  3. Independent Digital Forensics Analysis: Depending on the facts of our case, as part of our investigation, we collaborate with digital forensics experts to analyze the evidence, determine whether it was properly obtained and stored, and if it supports the charges. This analysis can uncover potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s case or capture exculpatory evidence.
  4. Evaluating Law Enforcement Procedures: We can assess whether law enforcement followed proper procedures in obtaining and handling digital evidence, such as obtaining search warrants and complying with chain-of-custody requirements.
  5. Identifying Witnesses: We can identify and interview potential witnesses, such as those with knowledge of the alleged crime or the client’s good character.
  6. Exploring Alternative Explanations: We explore alternative scenarios to explain the digital evidence, such as malware or misattributed IP addresses, as well as unauthorized access to the defendant’s computer.
  7. Analyzing Internet Service Provider (ISP) Records: We can examine ISP records to determine any inconsistencies or inaccuracies that could cast a doubt on the prosecution’s testimony.
  8. Reviewing Social Media and Online Presence: To identify potential leads and exculpatory evidence, our attorneys can investigate the other relevant parties’ online presence, including social media accounts, blogs, and forums.
  9. Assessing the Defendant’s Computer and Digital Expertise: We can evaluate the defendant’s knowledge and skill in the relevant area to determine if they were capable of committing the alleged crime.
  10. Identifying Potential Legal Defenses: Our team of lawyers will explore legal defenses, such as lack of intent, entrapment, or constitutional violations, which may help to challenge the prosecution’s case.

Attorneys from Swingle Levin LLC are here to provide you with criminal defense and protect your rights every step of the way.

Contact Swingle Levin LLC Today!

If you or someone you know is facing legal challenges concerning criminal law, especially concerning computer crimes, our dedicated team of lawyers is here to provide guidance and defense. Your rights and future matter, and we’re committed to safeguarding them. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation and take the first step towards protecting your legal interests.

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