Computer crimes, or sometimes referred to as “cybercrimes,” are offenses that are committed on or via the use of the internet and computers. There are several of these crimes that are prosecuted in Washington State and they can take on a variety of different forms. They can also be charged in state court or federal court. Despite this flickering, though, one thing is for certain. Charges of computer crimes are serious and require the assistance of skilled cybercrime attorneys. Our firm addresses three of the more common cybercrimes below.

1. Cyberstalking

A person commits this offense when he:

  1. Uses the internet, or other electronic means; and,
  2. Does so to stalk or harass another person, a group, or an organization.

The crime often involves the following:

  • Making false accusations against another,
  • Defamation,
  • Threats, and
  • Solicitation for sex.

Cyberstalking can be charged under either federal law or Washington law. As a federal offense, the crime is punishable by:

  • five years in prison; and/or,
  • a fine of up to $250,000.

As a state offense, the crime is charged as a gross misdemeanor and is punishable by:

  • up to one year in jail; and/or,
  • a fine of up to $5,000.

2. Child Pornography

This crime is committed whenever anyone does the following using the internet:

  • come to possess child pornography;
  • receive child pornography; or,
  • transmit the same.

Any child pornography offense listed above can be charged under federal law or Washington law, depending on the facts of the case. As a federal crime, the offense is punishable by fines and between five to 20 years in prison.

As a state crime, the offense is charged as a class B felony and is punishable by:

  • up to 10 years in a state correctional institution, and/or,
  • a fine of up to $20,000.

3. Phishing

This is a type of e-mail fraud scheme where people send out what looks like lawful email to try to gain personal information from email recipients. The senders of the email then use the personal information to commit other crimes, like identity theft and fraud.

Phishing is typically charged as a federal offense. The crime can be punishable by as much as:

  • 30 years imprisonment under the wire fraud and bank fraud statutes; and/or,
  • A fine of up to $250,000.

Please note that the above three offenses are just some of the more common cyber crimes committed in Washington. Others do exist, such as:

  • Hacking,
  • Identity theft,
  • Internet fraud,
  • Creating computer viruses,
  • Wire fraud, and
  • Forgery.

Luckily, legal defenses do exist for persons charged with these crimes. However, please note that it will take an experienced computer crimes attorney to raise the best defense. The talented lawyers at Black Law have the experience and skills in computer offenses that make all the difference. They represent all their clients with passion and vigor. Do yourself a favor and contact them now to get the criminal defense that you deserve.