Web & Cyber Crime
A relatively new, and rapidly growing area of criminal prosecution in Massachusetts is in the field of cyber crime. Cyber crime generally refers to the use of the internet to commit crimes, or to facilitate the commission of crimes. For example, cyber crime encompasses stalking, child enticement and exploitation, human trafficking, hate crimes, illegal downloads, copyright infringement, illegal file sharing and piracy, online gambling, illegal purchases, internet and email fraud, and hacking.
As use of the internet continues to grow, for purposes as broad as social communication to banking and shopping, laws regulating the use of the internet have evolved as well. Massachusetts recently launched a movement to investigate and prosecute cyber crime in the Commonwealth. The Attorney General’s office received funding from the U.S. Department of Justice in 2007 to create a Cyber Crime Initiative, and thereafter founded a Cyber Crime Division within the Attorney General’s office dedicated to investigating and prosecuting cyber crimes. The funding has also been used to train police officers and investigators regarding the detection of cyber crimes. This movement to fight cyber crime is evident in the 2010 criminalization of sending sexually graphic instant messages or text messages to minors. These offenses carry severe punishment, including jail time and classification as a sex offender. Often conduct that was intended to be a joke can result in criminal charges. This makes children especially vulnerable to being charged with a cyber crime.
Often, the same rules that apply to offenses that occur in the open apply to that conduct when it occurs over the internet, or when the internet is used to facilitate the conduct. For example, M.G.L. c. 265, s. 43 outlaws stalking, and defines stalking as acts or threats conducted by mail or by phone, or via a telecommunication device such as a fax machine or email and internet communications. On the other hand, there are certain crimes that by nature occur over the internet, such as online gambling and illegal file sharing.
If you or a loved one is charged with a cyber crime, or is being investigated for involvement in a cyber crime, you should immediately contact a criminal defense attorney. Even as the effort and will to prosecute cyber crimes grows, the traditional rights of the accused continue to protect those charged with cyber crimes. An experienced criminal defense attorney will know how to invoke these crucial rights in your case. Often, the investigation and charging of cyber crime involves unreasonable searches and seizures, violations of the accused’s privacy or property rights, or the entrapment of the accused.
Cyber Crime Lawyers at Altman & Altman, LLP
The attorneys at the law offices of Altman & Altman are well versed in the rapidly evolving world of internet and cyber law. We have an experienced team of aggressive attorneys who will defend your rights at every step of the process, and who will be available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The successful defense of cyber crime charges requires thorough investigation, a solid understanding of both the law and how the internet itself works, and an ability to apply age-old constitutional rights to new scenarios made possible by technological advancements. Altman & Altman’s criminal defense team has the resources, knowledge, and experience to defend cyber crime charges. Call us today for a free and confidential case consultation. You will meet one-on-one with an expert attorney who will fully explain your legal rights and options. Choosing a criminal defense attorney is a crucial step toward resolving your case. Altman & Altman is the right choice. Contact us today.