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Computer crimes are taken seriously by all Florida law enforcement agencies, and over the last several years the cybercrime units in numerous police departments have become more sophisticated. In addition to the police, the various Florida State’s Attorney’s Offices have become more focused on punishing computer crimes in order to send a message that even simple pranks will not go unpunished. If you or a loved one has been charged with or is being investigated for a computer crime anywhere in South Florida it is important to contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately. Cybercrimes investigations do not take place overnight, as police will often spend weeks gathering evidence to prove their case. An unrepresented defendant is vulnerable to questioning by law enforcement, which can be used to prove guilt at a trial down the road. Never speak to police without the presence of a lawyer, and remember that police must end questioning immediately if you ask for an attorney. This applies to juvenile cases and adult cases. Benjamin Herbst is a South Florida criminal defense lawyer who specializes in computer crimes such as hacking an unauthorized access to a computer network. He has successfully represented adult and juvenile defendants in all South Florida and Treasure Coast courts including Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie Counties. Benjamin is standing by to offer a free consultation at his Fort Lauderdale or West Palm offices, and is also available by phone 7 days a week at (954) 543-0305. Contact Benjamin today and learn how he can help prevent charges from being filed and continue to fight for a dismissal in court.
Most computer crimes are classified as felonies in Florida, with the exception being modifying a device or network, or the supplies used in a device. This offense does not require that the person actually gained access to a network, and can be viewed as attempted hacking. Modifying a device or network without permission is a first-degree misdemeanor under Florida law. Any person who intentionally gains access to an electronic device, computer or network of computers without authorization may be charged with a felony cybercrime under Florida statute 815.06. A person who has access to a computer or network, but exceeds that access without permission could also be charged with a cybercrime. Gaining access to a computer network or device without authorization is a third-degree felony under Florida law, which is a harsh penalty considering it is not required that the state prove the defendant damaged, stole or otherwise defrauded the owner of the device or network. Unlawful access to any network such as a school, utility, private company or government organization is enough to sustain a conviction, which could potentially result in a jail sentence and a permanent felony. Introducing a contaminant into a device or computer network such as a virus is also punishable by a third-degree felony charge, and proof of damage or even that the virus worked is not required. It is also a felony in the third degree to gain access to a computer network for the purpose of watching or downloading video surveillance. Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, Benjamin Herbst is a criminal defense lawyer with the skill and experience to produce the best possible outcome in your Florida computer crime case. He handles cybercrime cases in all state and federal jurisdictions in the Tri-County area, and along the Treasure Coast.
Cybercrime charges can become even more serious if the defendant intended to commit a fraud or if his or her actions caused damage or placed others in danger. If unlawful access to a computer network caused damage in excess of $5,000 (including cost of labor to fix the problem) or if the access was gained in an attempt to defraud a person or company or interrupt a government function the charge becomes a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
A person who hacks or otherwise gains unauthorized access to a computer network or device and endangers human life faces first-degree felony charges punishable by up to 30 years in jail. The state does not have to prove that anyone was actually injured, if they can show the actions placed individuals in substantial danger. Hacking into computer systems related to medical equipment will also result in first-degree felony charges regardless of whether anyone was actually injured. Any person charged with a computer crime in Florida can call cybercrime lawyer Benjamin Herbst for a free consultation at (954) 543-0305.