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Have I committed computer fraud?

Computer fraud, also known as internet fraud, covers a wide range of activities that use a computer or the internet. Prosecutors alleging computer fraud are alleging that an accused has dishonestly used a computer to attempt to incite another person into taking an action, or not taking an action, that will cause the other person loss. Computer fraud charges are often federal crimes.

Common computer crimes include hacking or various types of identity theft. The act of hacking involves remote access of an internet site or another computer without permission. Oftentimes, hacking may be perpetrated against a financial institution. Identity theft may include the taking of another person's credit card information, passwords or other personal data. Transmission of a program that causes damage to another's computer may also constitute computer fraud.

A conviction for a computer fraud crime may have long-term consequences for Louisiana residents. The federal penalties are harsh and include long prison sentences and significant fines. Courts will often require that anyone convicted of computer fraud must forfeit the property used to commit the violation, as well as any proceeds obtained from the violation. In addition to the criminal penalties and consequences in the event a person is convicted of computer fraud, the person convicted may also face civil penalties, as the person who suffered damage from the alleged computer fraud may seek compensatory damages or other relief.

Getting the right information about the complexities of federal law may affect the outcome of a case in which federal crimes are at issue. If you have been charged with a form of computer fraud, seeking the right information could help you in your defense.

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