With the technological advances and increase in online transactions and communications over the past decade, the instances of computer-related crimes have increased, as well. Florida legislators, law enforcement officers, and prosecutors take computer crimes very seriously. For this reason, anyone convinced of a computer crime in Florida may face strict penalties and should always contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who has experienced defending this type of case.
The following is a brief overview of the three basic types of computer crimes under Chapter 815 of the Florida criminal statutes. Trade secret crimes— This type of offense generally occurs when a person is terminated from or leaves a position in which he or she performed information technology (IT) or other computer-related work as an employee or independent contractor. If that individual is under suspicion of unlawfully sharing confidential and protected trade secrets of the agency, they may face third degree felony criminal charges and up to five (5) years in prison. Trade secrets criminal law overlaps with and is closely related to public records and theft laws and thus any attorney handling this type of case must have a full understanding of all applicable laws. Intellectual property crimes— These offenses involve scheming to obtain or misappropriate protected intellectual property (IP) by willfully and knowingly doing one of the following without proper authorization:
Depending on the particular circumstances of your case, intellectual property crimes can be charged as either a third degree felony or a second degree felony with a maximum potential sentence of fifteen (15) years in prison. Offenses against computer users— This is the most common type of computer-related prosecution and covers a wide variety of activities involving a number of electronic devices. Such activities must be knowing and willful, without authorization, and range from simply accessing another person or network’s information to disrupting services to completely destroying information. Depending on the specific allegations, this offense may result in third or second degree felony charges and punishments can range from one (1) year in jail to life in prison.
CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED COMPUTER CRIMES DEFENSE ATTORNEY
Anyone charged with a computer-related crime should contact a Florida defense attorney who is familiar with this type of offense. Stephen G. Cobb, founder of the Cobb Criminal Defense Law Firm, holds a degree in computer technology and has an extensive background with computer-related acts. Call us today at 850-651-6565 if you or someone you love has been accused of a computer-related crime in Florida.
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