Law Offices of Kenneth H. Lewis
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Internet Crimes in Los Angeles

INTERNET - CYBER/INDENTITY CRIMES

THE INTERNET HAS BECOME AN AREA RIFE WITH LEGAL COMPLICATIONS

The internet has broadened communications between people worldwide. It has also opened up numerous areas of potential legal liability. Some of these areas include threats against people over the internet that can be the subject of restraining orders, libel lawsuits or criminal stalking cases; misappropriating someone’s identity for fraudulent purposes; illegal “sexting” of pornographic images; and government “stings” against computer users such as child pedophiles.

Kenneth H. Lewis has been a Los Angeles attorney for over 30 years. He has handled numerous internet, cyber and identity crimes. This is a specialized area of the law, and few attorneys have experience in this area and know the “in’s and out’s” of internet cases.

Aren’t Internet Communications Between Two People Private?

Not necessarily. With the right software, one party can download and print, or even forward, internet communications to another person. Libelous or threatening communications can thus be preserved and used against a party. The police and authorities may even be able to use these communications against a party in a criminal case. Never assume a computer communication is private.

What if I Erase a Computer Communication? Isn’t it gone?

Probably not. Deleting something on a computer hard drive usually just removes the file name or identification from the operating system. The actual writing remains on the hard drive and can usually be recovered with special software; software that virtually all good police department forensic laboratories own.

What if I Send Something Anonymously? I Can’t be Found, Can I?

Not true. All internet sources have an “IP address” which is like a letter’s return address. It has also been analogized to an “electronic fingerprint”. Unless elaborate precautions are taken, the sender of an internet communication can be easily traced.

Can I be Prosecuted for Something I Communicate Over the Internet, or Have a Restraining Order Issued Against Me?

Since internet communications are not really private, can often be traced and are hard to erase, anything you say over the internet can be used against you if it is threatening, harassing, annoying, constitutes stalking, or would otherwise disturb the peace of another party. These communications could form the basis of a Domestic Violence Restraining Order pursuant to the Domestic Violence Prevention Act, Family Code Sections 6200-6409. Or they could be the basis for a Civil Harassment Restraining Order pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure Section 527.6. They could even be used in a criminal stalking prosecution under Penal Code Section 646.9.

Can I Get in Trouble for Sending Sexy Pictures of Myself or Someone Else Over the Internet if I Have Permission?

While pornography maybe all over the internet, that does not make it legal. Certainly sending pictures of underage parties (i.e. under 18 years of age) is illegal. The mere possession of pornographic images of a child is also against the law. That means that if a picture is downloaded onto your computer, you have violated at least two California laws, “possession” and “duplicating” child pornography, California Penal Code Sections 311.11(a) and 311.3. There may also be violations of federal law. Minors have even been prosecuted for sending nude pictures of themselves over the internet, so-called “sexting”.

Are Prosecution of Internet Identity Crimes Difficult?

Not necessarily. While it takes computer expertise for the government to be able to prove an internet crime, increasingly police departments are developing the necessary skills to investigate and prosecute internet identity crimes. As mentioned above, the searching of hard drives for information is very sophisticated, and the use of sting operations is becoming more commonplace. Merchants are beginning to develop new techniques to identifyidentity fraud and theft and are demanding prosecution by the authorities.

Why Hire Kenneth H. Lewis to Defend Internet/Cyber/Identity Crimes?

The prosecution of these types of crime are relatively new to the criminal justice system. Few lawyers have the legal experience, much less the computer knowledge, to successfully defend these type of cases. Besides requiring the “usual” expertise required of a good criminal defense lawyer, the additional requirements of internet crimes calls for an attorney that has unusually good cross-disciplinary skills in order to present the most effective, cogent and successful defense possible.

Call or e-mail Ken Lewis now to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION at: 213-624-4904, day or night. The consequences of an internet criminal case are too great to be left to anyone without direct internet case experience.