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Serious Internet crimes and the penalties a conviction can bring

It is a digital world and as such, a great deal of digital crimes occur. As the population grows increasingly tech-savvy, law enforcement officials and those who make law adopt a harsher stance against Internet crime. This results in lengthy prison terms and extremely costly fines for those convicted.

If you are under investigation or have been arrested in connection with illegal Internet activity, it may benefit you to understand how the law responds to your charges. Below are some common yet serious cybercrimes and the possible penalties associated with each one.

Theft of Intellectual Property or Piracy: Stealing intellectual property can be more serious than many believe. Depending upon specific allegations, defendants could face felony charges, a fine of up to $250,000 and/or a five-year jail term if convicted.

Internet Crimes against Children: Soliciting minors, child pornography and other acts that exploit children are examples of such crimes. Upon conviction defendants could face up to 30 years in prison for just one offense. Prison time increases if the defendant has one or more prior convictions.

Illegal Access and Data Theft: This category includes activities such as illegally accessing personal, business and government computers as well as stealing sensitive data from individuals, governments and businesses. Possible penalties upon conviction include jail terms of one year to 20 years.

Fraud: The Internet facilitates all kinds of fraudulent activities including tax fraud, mortgage fraud and identity theft. Convictions for fraud can lead to lengthy prison terms, fines and severe damage to the defendant's reputation.

If you are looking at any of the above charges in the Cleveland, Ohio, area, you will need attorney assistance as early as possible. This is a crucial step whether you are an individual, a business owner, a white collar professional or a government employee.

Source: Opposing Views, "Types of Cyber Crimes and Their Penalties," accessed June 30, 2015

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