Fraud & Computer Crimes
When someone is charged with a crime, it can be an overwhelming and stressful event for the client and his or her family. Nothing adds to this concern more than the inability to control your situation or not having your side of the story rightfully heard. Sam J. Polverino understands that your voice matters. He is dedicated to representing your rights in court and in achieving a positive result in your case. Remember, an arrest for any crime, including one alleging fraud does not mean that you will be convicted. By consulting Sam J. Polverino, a skilled Santa Clara County criminal defense lawyer, after your arrest, you can begin the process of gathering the evidence needed to craft a strong defense to confront these allegations.
CALIFORNIA'S CRIMINAL FRAUD LAWS
Fraud and computer crimes are often very closely related. Computer crimes can be a type of fraud, but California's general fraud laws are violated when a person commits an act that results in an unfair or undeserved benefit for himself or herself. It may also occur when a person causes harm or loss to another person or entity with the required specific intent. Fraudulent acts are frequently driven by financial gain, the desire to escape criminal liability or the need to supplement one's income for a variety of economic reasons. The downturn in the economy has caused many usually law abiding persons to resort to desperate measures.
Penalties for violations of California's fraud statutes are often based on a person's motives, intentions and the amount of loss to the alleged victim. The subjective nature of these allegations permits a criminal defense lawyer to craft a defense to the charges or lessen the punishment. Frequently, an act initially charged as a felony can be reduced to a less serious charge and with a jail alternative sentence. An experienced defense attorney, acquainted with the prosecutors, the courts, and the applicable defenses, can make a major difference in the outcome of a case.
CALIFORNIA'S COMPUTER CRIMES
With the expansion of social media, information is readily accessible and easily attainable with just a few clicks on a keyboard. The internet is not just a tool for increasing knowledge but can be a source of criminal activity. As a result, California prosecutors have renewed their focus on computer crime also known as internet fraud or "cybercrime." The most common types of computer crimes include internet fraudulent schemes such as "phishing," "hacking," and information or identity theft.
Internet Fraudulent Schemes
In its most general definition, an internet fraud scheme is the act of causing loss and / or harm to another person by persuading them to give up something of value. These often include lottery or sweepstakes scams. Mail and wire fraud involve the use of a phone, mail service, or email and are charged and penalized similarly to internet fraud.
The practice of "phishing" is illegal in California. It is defined as the act of tricking an internet user into releasing personal, identifying, or confidential information. Once the victim or victim's information is "hooked", the party committing the fraud then attempts to use the information for illegal purposes.
"Hacking" is also illegal in California. It is defined as the unauthorized access or use of a computer, network, or data for an unlawful purpose. Though "hacking" might seem technologically advanced, a person can be prosecuted for a number of unsophisticated actions. For example, the unauthorized use of information from a work computer can be charged as hacking.
It is not necessary for someone to suffer actual financial loss to be accused or arrested for a computer crime. One mistake or oversight, can lead to an arrest and/or prosecution. Some computer crimes can lead to federal charges. Penalties tend to vary on a case-by-case basis, but generally they can include fines, jail or prison sentences.
Prosecutors have vast law enforcement resources at their disposal. You need an attorney who can present a strong case, challenge evidence, and defend your rights and freedom. When your future or that of a loved one is at risk- experience matters. With more than 30 years of criminal defense experience, Sam J. Polverino can help you or your loved one.