Not surprisingly, crimes involving the internet have become commonplace in our society and are increasing in frequency every year. State and federal law enforcement agencies have greatly increased surveillance efforts in order to find people who can be charged with committing an internet crime. This category of offense encompasses a wide array of activity that involves no physical contact.
One common class of internet crime is assault. A person may be guilty of assault online when they harass and/or threaten someone else via the internet. It is important to understand that what matters for online assault is whether the person receiving the threat was actually afraid and not whether or not the person communicating the threat intended to follow through.
The related internet offenses of theft and fraud generally involve the unlawful taking and use of someone’s confidential information. The information most frequently stolen online is not surprising bank account or credit card information. With this information, an offender can quickly max out credit cards and drain a bank account in a matter of minutes.
Another type of internet crime, the possession or distribution of child pornography, is now a common offense and a serious felony that can have lifelong consequences. Most frequently, those who are charged with the possession and distribution of child pornography download images and videos through peer-to-peer downloading programs. When these programs are used to download child pornography, law enforcement can easily track the distribution of certain files, obtain an IP address, and file for a search warrant. Fair or not, if found guilty of this type of offense, you will be required to register with Megan’s Law for an extended period of time or, unfortunately, the rest of your life.