To talk about the penalties of an internet crime, we must first know what it is. As many of you know, there are scammers who use the internet to defraud thousands of people every year. Using software and digital services, they trick people into sending them money or personal information. That’s why it’s important to take precautions to protect yourself and report fraud online.
Scammers will try to find out your credit card numbers, bank account numbers, debit card PINs, and passwords to steal them from you without you even knowing.
The consequences of internet fraud are punished in different ways depending on their aggravating circumstances, such as:
Types Of Internet Crimes
- Phishing scams: Trick someone into giving you personal information, like credit card numbers.
- Computer hacking: Accessing without permission to a private network in order to view or steal personal data.
- Online sex crimes: Download or view child pornography, interact lovingly with an under age person.
- Identity theft: Using someone else’s identity to commit fraud, usually to earn money.
- Stalking: Stalking or harassing someone online.
- Cyberbullying: Bullying or harassing someone online.
First Degree Felony
If the crime that was committed also endangered human life in any way, a first-degree felony charge may be imposed. First-degree felony charges for computer crimes in Florida carry a prison sentence of up to thirty (30) years and a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
Second Degree Felony
A second-degree felony and increased penalties may be imposed if:
- The crime resulted in over $5,000 in loss or damage.
- The crime was part of a scheme to commit theft or fraud
- The crime disrupted public services.
- The crime interrupted government operations.
Second-degree felonies for computer crimes in Florida typically result in a term of imprisonment for up to fifteen (15) years and fines of up to $10,000, or both.
Third Degree Felony
Generally, Florida law allows for the prosecution of computer crimes, often resulting in a third-degree felony. Punishment is delivered with a prison sentence of up to five (5) years and fines of up to $5,000 or both.
Any offense against intellectual property, including the illegal downloading of music and movies is typically punishable as a third-degree felony. If the defendant also intended to commit fraud or theft, the charges may be increased to a second-degree felony
How Is Fraud Crime Different From Theft Crime?
In robbery, the perpetrator seizes the personal assets without the consent of the victim, while fraud is a relationship crime that requires the collaboration of the victim who voluntarily delivers the assets without knowing that he is being deceived or defrauded.
If you were accused of committing internet fraud you should have it handled by an attorney who has the experience and knowledge to protect your rights and your freedom. Criminal defense lawyer Russell A. Spatz of the Spatz Law Firm, PL, in Miami, Florida, has decades of experience handling serious criminal cases.
To meet with lawyer Russell Spatz to discuss your criminal matter, please call the Spatz Law Firm, PL, at 305-442-0200. You may also contact the firm online.