Fighting Computer Crime Allegations in South Carolina
In the age of digital technology, the resources available are more advanced than ever, the investigation and prosecution of internet and computer crimes is a key focus for local law enforcement.
Computer crimes commonly targeted for investigation and prosecution include:
- identity theft,
- internet solicitation of a minor or possessing or transferring illegal pornography such as child pornography,
- credit card fraud,
- mail fraud, wire fraud, and bank fraud.
In addition to having your computer seized and searched, you will be faced with hefty fines and possible jail time, making it essential that you retain an attorney who has the resources and the experience necessary to aggressively defend your case and protect your legal rights.
What is Considered a Computer Crime?
A computer crime is when a person intentionally, maliciously, and without permission or for an un-authorized purpose:
- directly or indirectly accesses or causes to be accessed a computer, computer system, or computer network, with the purpose of:
- planning or carrying out a scheme to defraud
- obtaining money, property or services through the use of fraudulent practices,
- committing any other crime
- contaminates, alters, damages, destroys or modifies in any way a computer, computer system, network, software, programs or the data within.
Computer Crime Offense Classifications
Computer crime offense classifications in South Carolina are determined by the monetary amount of damages in in question, either gained by the accused or lost by the victim.
- A first degree computer crime offense in South Carolina has monetary damages of more than $10,000.
- A second degree computer crime offense in South Carolina has monetary damages of more than $1,000 or a max of $10,000.
- A third degree computer crime offense in South Carolina has monetary damages of less than $1,000.
*Please note that each computer, computer system, or computer network involved or affected by this violation is a separate charge.
Penalties for Computer Crime Offenses
- First Degree: A person convicted of a first degree computer crime offense is guilty of a felony and faces a max fine of $50,000, and a max of 5 years in jail, or both.
- Second Degree: A person convicted of a second degree computer crime offense is guilty of a misdemeanor;
- First Offense: Fined a max of $10,000, and a max 1 year jail sentence, or both.
- Second or Subsequent Offense: Fined a max of $20,000, and a max 2 year jail sentence, or both
- Third Degree: A person convicted of a third degree computer crime offense is guilty of a misdemeanor;
- First Offense: Fined a max of $200, or a max 30 day jail sentence.
- Second or Subsequent Offense: Fined a max of $2,000, max 2 year jail sentence, or both
Despite the advancements in technology, getting arrested for a computer crime does not mean that you are guilty, and there are a number of defenses available to defend your case.
If you have been arrested and charged with an internet crime, contact the criminal defense attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case including possible defenses to help you avoid fines and jail time. We offer flexible payment options and accept Visa and Mastercard.