Washington DC Computer and Internet Fraud Lawyer

When law enforcement authorities have accused you of fraud, you may be tempted to try and explain away your actions, or simply deny any knowledge of the alleged criminal offenses.

However, before you speak or try to defend yourself, you should consider contacting a Washington DC computer and internet fraud lawyer for the legal advice that you may need.

Making voluntary statements to law enforcement officials often makes your defense to any formal charges that are filed much more complicated and less likely to succeed.

Since those prosecuting fraud charges must prove the intent of individuals in committing the fraudulent actions, a voluntary statement can give the prosecution evidence of your intent.

An experienced criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you avoid missteps such as these when you are being investigated for a criminal offense.

Defining Computer and Internet Fraud in DC

Fraud encompasses many different activities, but they all share the common element of intent to deceive. In any type of fraud, individuals have misrepresented or concealed the truth so as to cause damages to others, all for their personal gain.

In today’s society, the Internet and technology have made it easier for individuals to commit various types of fraud, even across state lines, and, sometimes when they are not even aware that they are violating the law. When this type of fraud occurs, a computer and internet fraud lawyer in Washington DC may be of assistance.

Some common types of fraud that may utilize computers and the Internet include the following:

  • Email campaigns designed to procure bank account information
  • Credit card fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Phishing

The Internet has made it easy to commit fraud-based crimes that were more difficult to carry out in the past. For example, fraudulent transactions that previously occurred by mail now may occur via email, which is faster and often less secure.

Computer and Internet Fraud Criminal Charges

While fraud may occur in a variety of situations, individuals who use computers and the Internet, or any means of intrastate communications, to commit fraud may automatically subject themselves to federal mail and wire fraud charges.

As the penalties under these federal laws can be more severe than those under Washington DC fraud laws, individuals must be extremely cautious about revealing any information or even speaking with federal authorities about alleged crimes. A Washington DC computer and internet fraud lawyer could attempt to mitigate the severity of the penalties that a person may face.

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) contains multiple provisions that relate to computer and internet fraud. Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(2), it is illegal to intentionally access another’s financial records and information without authorization to do so. Violation of this section of CFAA starts as a misdemeanor offense, but certain aggravating factors can quickly elevate it to a felony offense.

Under 18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(4), it is a felony offense to commit fraud with a computer. This offense occurs when individuals knowingly access a protected computer without authorization and with the intent to defraud if the access furthered the fraud and allowed the individuals to obtain anything valued at $5,000 or more.

How a Washington DC Computer and Internet Fraud Attorney Can Help

Given the potential penalties under Washington DC and federal law, you need to strongly consider contacting a Washington DC computer and internet fraud lawyer for help.

A seasoned cybercrime defense attorney may be able to defeat the prosecutor’s ability to prove the elements of the fraud accusations against you that are necessary for a fraud conviction. Do not allow what may be your strongest opportunity to defend yourself slip away. Get some advice from a trusted DC computer fraud attorney before your case proceeds any further.