The world, for many of us, is based and focused on the little square boxes on our desks, our counters or perched precariously on our laps. We even have telephones now that let us stay connected to the internet while we are away from our computers so we do not miss a single Tweet, Face or Space no matter where we are. Because criminals will also go to where the action is, there are countless computer based, criminal acts.
Florida law has an entire section on these so called “victimless” crimes, which can range from identity theft to malicious damage to the theft of intellectual property. But to the average person those words probably sound like a foreign language. The laws follow certain codes for how they are written. It is up to the courts to interpret them, and it is up to the Florida criminal law attorneys to explain them to their clients.
Florida law divides computer based crimes into different categories, based not only on what they accomplished, but what they had hoped to accomplish as well. For instance, if a computer hacker broke into your computer and stole all of your financial records with the intent to steal all of your money, that person could be charged with the original crime as well as the intent to steal. Purposely installing or causing the installation of a known virus or other potentially hazardous file or program into another’s computer or computer network is also a punishable offense and punishment may depend on the magnitude of the crime that results. For instance, if your virus has crashed Billy Sullivan’s home computer, it will be a lesser crime than if this same virus had crashed the computer of Sgt. Bill Sullivan of the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s department.
Computer based crimes can be very difficult to detect and to prove under not only Florida law, but also Federal and international laws as well. There may be cases where the separate branches of government are all fighting for the right to prosecute, especially when the case involves security or financial records of any kind.
Remember, the computer is not meant to be wielded as a weapon, but rather, to be used as a tool for entertainment and education. It helps us remain connected with the global world. Florida law has included computer based crimes within its statutes to protect the citizens and their right to use their computers for those and other legal purposes. If you face any serious threats, seek the assistance of a professional Florida federal criminal attorney.
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