At some point, you may find yourself one of the many people accused of an Internet crime without even realizing that you have broken any laws. In trying to protect Texas citizens from a wide range of new Internet-based misdeeds, the government casts a wide net and sometimes catches people who didn’t know that they were acting illegally in the first place.
Credit Card Fraud, Online Impersonation, and Identity Theft
Maybe you were horsing around on social media or subscribed to or purchased something online while using someone else’s name because you knew the person. Even if you meant it as a harmless joke or even if you thought that person had agreed, if it upsets that individual, he or she can have you charged with one of the above crimes.
Performing a transaction with someone’s credit card information, even when that person is a friend or loved one, can easily come back to haunt you. Even using someone’s identity to take advantage of discounts or other perks could lead to an altercation with the law, and then you’ll need to mount a proper defense. “Unlawful access” and “breach of computer security” are other official legal labels used to suggest you’ve gone too far.
The accuser might have decided that something you did online was threatening, annoying, or harmful. If so, you might be charged with harassment. Even if you didn’t mean to be menacing or don’t believe you went too far, the act of causing offense online can get you into deep water.
Even when some of these things might’ve been said face-to-face with no legal repercussions, posting your comments online can make someone feel exposed to widespread shaming or ridicule that can feel overwhelming to a private person. Once live, many social media comments will stay in the public record indefinitely, as they are stored on servers and mined by web crawlers that can provide access even after the content is taken down from its original source.
The same goes for any language that can be construed as threatening or inciting violence. If you sent the person a private message or email, it could suddenly be up to a judge or jury to decide what your words meant, even if you don’t agree.
Easy Crimes to Commit Without Intending To
Pew Research reports that 73 percent of people have seen other people harassed online and that 40 percent feel it has happened to them. Clearly this issue is widespread, and more Internet-related arrests are sure to follow.
However, to be found guilty of these crimes, it must be proven that you did so under one of the following conditions: 1) You acted as another person without his or her consent. 2) You made the receiver of the communication believe that it was sent by another person. 3) You intended to cause harm or defraud.
Austin Internet Crime Defense Lawyers
Beating an Internet crime accusation is essential to preserving your good name. Tillman Braniff, PLLC keeps up to date with the latest technology so that we can mount the strongest cybercrime defense possible. Contact us to discuss your case during a free and confidential case evaluation. Simply give us a call at 512-472-6565 or complete the form below.
We have years of experience on both sides of the law and know how to expose holes in prosecution cases. If there’s a way to get your charges thrown out or reduced, we’ll find it. Call today to learn how we can help.