Michigan Computer Crimes Defense Attorneys
Michigan has many computer related crimes on the books and the number of criminal violations related to the use of a computer is on the rise. In addition, the law continues to expand the term computer to include virtually every type of electronic device. The attorneys at The Kronzek Firm have helped many people charged with computer crimes. We offer expert defense and free consultations to those seeking the assistance of an attorney.
In the past two decades, the widespread use of computers and the internet has spawned a proliferation of computer-based crime. In reaction to this, several pieces of legislation have been enacted. These include Michigan’s Identity Theft Protection Act of 2004 as well as child protection laws. Conviction of cyber crime charges can result in severe fines and jail or prison time, along with significant damages to your reputation.
The field of computer crimes is rapidly changing and growing more complex, and prosecution of computer crimes has become increasingly aggressive. Therefore, if you are facing criminal charges for cyber crimes, you should consult with a leader in computer criminal defense as soon as possible.
While there are several ways in which a crime can be committed with the use of a computer, the three most common (and actively investigated and prosecuted) computer charges are those for identity theft, child pornography, and solicitation of a minor.
Identity Theft Defense
Identity theft is the intentional use of another person’s “personal identifying information” without that person’s consent, in order to benefit financially, professionally, or otherwise. Identity theft can often result in the acquisition of personal or real property, a line of credit, employment opportunities, etc.
“Personal identifying information” includes another’s Social Security number, addresses, phone numbers, bank accounts logins, credit card information, and other secured information. Because identity theft is the most common computer crime today, prosecution of identity theft charges is vigorous.
Child Pornography Defense
Child pornography is any depiction–in photographs, video, or other forms of expression–of a minor under 18 engaging in sexual behavior. Possessing any child pornography (kiddie porn) is a serious crime under both Michigan law and federal law. According to Michigan law, both “child sexually abusive material” and “child sexually abusive activity” are illegal. “Child sexually abusive material” means any depiction of a child or which appears to include a child engaging in a sexual act.
“Child sexually abusive activity” means sexual intercourse, erotic fondling, sadomasochistic abuse, masturbation, passive sexual involvement, sexual excitement, or erotic nudity. Obviously, law enforcement takes such crimes very seriously, and the penalty for this type of criminal activity can be up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $100,000. We are seeing more and more involvement of federal law enforcement agencies in child porn investigations. Federal penalties for having, duplicating, or distributing kiddie porn are often much more severe than state penalties.
Solicitation of a Minor Defense
Solicitation of a minor for sexual purposes occurs when an adult contacts a minor under the age of 18 with the intent of engaging in sexual activity with that minor. While solicitation of a minor can occur anywhere, it is becoming increasingly prevalent online. Many county sheriff departments are carrying out sting operations. Many federal agencies are also carrying out their own police investigations.
Under Michigan law, online solicitation of a minor carries a mandatory two-year minimum sentence. A defendant can be convicted even if no sexual activity actually took place. This is because solicitation is a separate crime from sexual activity with a minor; if the adult does indeed engage in a sexual act with a minor, there would be a separate criminal charge and additional punishment upon conviction.
If You are Facing Computer Charges
Being investigated or arrested for computer crimes, especially ones of a sexual nature, often results in the suspect experiencing embarrassment or being stigmatized. These feelings, along with the secretive nature of computer crime, can lead people to want to admit their wrongdoing or to offer an explanation to law enforcement officials in hopes of gaining sympathy. This may not be in the person’s best interest.
If you are suspected of a computer crime, do not volunteer any information about the computer, the data that might be stored on it, or your access to it. Don’t even admit that it is your computer. Instead, immediately enlist the aid of a knowledgeable attorney who can speak for you.
Our Cyber Crimes Defense Team
Criminal defense of computer crimes is technologically complex. Just as technological innovations have allowed law enforcement to investigate and prosecute computer charges more thoroughly, they have also complicated and expanded computer crime defense strategies. Evidence of computer crime will almost always be focused on electronic, digital data from computers and the internet.
In addition, even if data is found on a computer that the defendant was using, that computer might be hacked by other people or infected with viruses. In short, clearly identifying the computer user responsible for particular data is not as easy as it might seem and our computer criminal defense experts can use that uncertainty to your advantage.
The proliferation of internet criminal investigations has encouraged the possibility of entrapment. Our criminal defense team will pursue this possibility to ensure that your rights have been protected. Entrapment defenses are especially viable when the defendant has no history of predatory sexual conduct.
In the same way that prosecutors need to be technologically proficient in order to show precisely how certain content may have been accessed, stored, and transmitted, a criminal defense team also has to have the knowledge and experience to analyze electronic data in order to safeguard the defendant’s rights.
Our defense team has access to dozens of computer forensic experts that can help with our efforts to keep you out of prison or jail.
Contact us about your legal matter today! Call us at 1-866-766-5245.