Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

What are the penalties for computer crimes in Louisiana?

Computers have completely revolutionized modern society, changing the way we do almost everything. Whether it's swiping a card to pay for something, saving important information to a hard drive or exchanging confidential materials via email, there are dozens of ways in which we might expose ourselves through the use of machinery. Sometimes people fall prey to cyber-attacks or computer crimes, and if you are accused of such activities, it can be hard to prove your innocence.

Because of the nature of white collar crimes, many involve the use of computers. Fraud, for example, could consist of hacking into someone's credit card information and using it to withdraw money, or logging into someone else's computer and sending an incriminating email from their account. Without much of the forensic evidence that appears in physical crimes scenes, such as fingerprints or clothing materials, it can be hard to deny your involvement if you are accused of such a crime. Because many computer crimes can be performed from any location with a wireless Internet signal, having eyewitnesses place you at your local Starbucks does not provide much of an alibi.

Still, it is important that you defend yourself from computer crimes no matter what, because the penalties can be extreme. Interfering with, altering or damaging software or hardware that is worth less than $500 is a misdemeanor in Louisiana while doing the same to hardware or software that is worth more than $500 is considered a felony. That means that if you are convicted of emailing someone a virus that destroys their home computer, you could be facing felony charges depending on how expensive the machine was.

Just because it is difficult to defend yourself against these computer crime charges does not mean that it is impossible. If you are facing cyber-crime charges or any other white collar crime, it is in your best interests to contact an attorney to help you prepare a legal defense. The expertise that an attorney provides could be exactly what you need to avoid a conviction.

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Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

8048 One Calais Avenue | Suite A | Baton Rouge, LA 70809-3483 | Phone: 225-250-1812 | Fax: 225-769-0195 | Baton Rouge Criminal Law Office