Due to COVID-19, Americans are spending more time on the internet than we used to. In previous years, the average American consumed a little over three hours of content online per day. In 2020, that has more than doubled to almost seven hours of screen time per day. Needless to say, the increased time online has coincided with a rise in cyber crime. With online crime regulations varying by state, it may not be clear what constitutes a cyber crime in Florida. The criminal defense attorneys at Dale Carson Law want you to be in the know.
In Florida, an illegal act committed on a computer, piece of digital technology or a web network is considered a cyber crime. The Florida Computer Crimes Act clarifies these crimes by categorizing offenses. The two categories are intellectual property crimes and crimes against computer users.
Criminal Defense Attorneys Enhance Understanding of Cyber Crime in Florida
In Florida, an illegal act committed on a computer, piece of digital technology or a web network is considered a computer (cyber) crime. The Florida Computer Crimes Act clarifies these crimes by categorizing offenses. The two categories are intellectual property crimes and crimes against computer users.
Intellectual Property Crimes
Intellectual property is documentation or information about someone’s work or person. There are three types of intellectual property crimes.
- Data contamination means personal data has been altered, maliciously or accidentally. As a result, a computer system can no longer be used or accessed.
- Data destruction is when a computer is hacked rendering the computer’s technology useless. It can also mean the data, computer programs and documents are destroyed.
- Information theft is when confidential information is stolen from someone’s computer.
Crimes Committed Against Computer Users
This is a much more broad category involving a variety of computer activities.
- Accessing someone’s computer without permission by hacking passwords and firewalls
- Denying a computer user’s ability to transmit data
- Putting a virus on someone’s computer, phone or tablet
- Taking a computer and damaging it
- Computer surveillance including accessing a web camera or sifting through internet history and email without permission
What are the punishments for Cyber Crime?
Florida’s legal system takes cyber crimes very seriously.
Intellectual Property Crimes
Intellectual property cyber crimes are typically charged as a third-degree felony. This type of felony can land someone up to five years in prison, The charge may be considered a second-degree felony if the action was meant to obtain property or defraud someone of something.
Crimes Committed Against a Computer User
Crimes committed against a computer user are also punishable as a third-degree felony if the estimated damage is under $5,000. If damage is over $5,000, it could elevate to a second-degree felony.
Charged With a Cyber Crime?
It is possible to find yourself charged with a cyber crime through no fault of your own. An example could be performing a simple task on a computer that someone else has stolen or taken without authorization. There can be strong defenses to these types of charges but time and experience are extremely important.
You need to take cyber crime charges seriously. The first thing you should do to protect yourself is contact our criminal defense attorneys. We will help you navigate the law and fight for your rights.