Birmingham Internet Crimes Lawyer
Representing Clients in Vestavia Hills and Throughout Alabama For 20+ Years
Today’s technology is developing faster than the laws that are needed to keep up. Because of this, the internet has become a new environment for potential criminal activity. The laws governing the internet can be quite vague but the consequences extremely harsh.
For instance, laws are being written and passed related to drones without considering citizens’ constitutional rights in relation to the technology. The combination of vague laws with harsh punishments is disconcerting for anyone who deeply cares about the Constitution and internet-related charges. Attorney Joseph A. Ingram has the experience and knowledge to handle your internet case.
Types of Internet Crimes
There is no criminal charge involving computers or the internet my firm is not prepared to handle, such as the following:
- Computer hacking
- Possession or distribution of child pornography
- Illegal file sharing
- Identity theft
- Credit card theft
- Online sex crimes
- Internet piracy
- Social engineering
- Copyright violations
Prohibited Computer Crimes
Alabama prohibits multiple computer-related crimes including computer tampering, encoded data fraud, and phishing scams.
Computer tampering is knowingly doing any of the following without authority:
- Accessing, altering, damaging, or destroying any computer or computer system or network;
- Altering, deleting, or destroying computer programs or data;
- Disclosing, controlling, or taking computer programs, data, or supporting documentation;
- Introducing a computer virus to a computer, system, or network;
- Disrupting a computer, system, or network or denying computer access by any authorized user(s);
- Preventing a computer user from exiting a site or system to make the computer continue to connect or display contents of the site;
- Getting confidential information or private records by accessing a computer, system, or network operated by Alabama or a local county, city, or medical institution;
- Giving a computer user’s password, identification, debit card or bank account number, or other confidential computer security information to another person without their consent to restrict access to a computer, network, or data.
The crime of encoded data fraud occurs if an individual knowingly and with intent defrauds another person’s possession, use, or attempt at use of a scanning device or re-encoder to access or store encoded identification information without permission from the authorized user.
Illegal phishing activity refers to the soliciting or taking of any action on a website, in an email, or another way online to induce a person to provide identifying information by representing themselves as a business without that business’ real authority.
What are the Penalties for Internet Crimes?
Penalties for internet-related crimes in Alabama depend on whether the offense is a felony or misdemeanor. The standard penalty for computer tampering is a Class A misdemeanor penalized by up to 1 year in jail and a $6,000 fine.
The penalty is raised to a Class C felony when the alleged crime was committed to defraud or harm anyone to gain benefit unlawfully. A Class C felony carries 1-10 years in prison and up to a $20,000 fine.
Computer tampering becomes a Class B felony when:
- the damage caused is worth more than $2,500;
- the data sought is part of the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center; or
- there’s an interruption of government operations, public communications, transportation, or other utility supply.
Defendants convicted of Class B felonies can be sentenced to 2-10 years in prison and up to a $30,000 fine. If the defendant causes physical injury to anyone during the alleged crime or causes the victim to spend more than $100,000, then it is charged as a Class A felony subject to 10-99 years or life imprisonment and up to a $60,000 fine. The court can also order the defendant to pay the costs of prosecution, investigation, and any other associated costs.
Both encoded data fraud and phishing are Class C felonies punished similarly to above. In phishing cases, multiple violations from the same phishing act are still just considered one violation. Also note that in a phishing case the prosecuting attorney can recover actual damages or $25,000, whichever is greater.
If convicted of any of these internet-related crimes, the court will order any computer, system, or software used by the defendant be forfeited to the State and sold, destroyed, or disposed of. If the defendant is a minor, the property forfeited can belong to the parent or guardian.
From there, the court can award the property to any state, county, or city police department who participated in the investigation or prosecution. Any scanning device or re-encoder owned by the defendant and used in violation of the law can be seized and destroyed as contraband by the investigating police department.
Let Ingram Law, LLC Defend Your Internet Case
If you have been charged with an internet or computer crime, contact an experienced lawyer immediately for legal representation in your case. Ingram Law, LLC could fight for your defense, whether to mitigate your charges or argue for an entire dismissal. Attorney Ingram can argue that the actions taken were committed within the scope of your lawful employment, for example.
You can trust that at Ingram Law, LLC, you will be working with an attorney with proven experience in this area of the law who has the diligence and attention to detail needed to fight for a positive outcome in your case.
Attorney Ingram is a Former District Attorney and has a successful track record.
We are here for you. Attorney Ingram will travel to you.
Attorney Ingram is a proven trial attorney with years of experience.
We are always available to take your call. Contact us 24/7.