New Mexico news headlines were recently riddled with references to a case involving Governor Martinez’ former campaign manager and a federal indictment for “computer intrusion and false statement charges” that stemmed from the “interception of wire communications intended for others.” The increased use of, access to, and sharing of information has been mirrored by the increase in cyber crimes and computer fraud. Fraud and crime charges as they relate to computers, the Internet and cyber space are as frequent as they are complex.
If you aren’t familiar with terms like “netcrime”, “cybercrime”, “computer crime”, “cracker/hacker”, “black hats” or “white hats”, don’t worry because you’re not alone. These terms describe the newest and most technologically advanced methods for committing crimes and fraud, and the people that commit them (or try to prevent them). While each of the above mentioned terms has unique definitions, each typically involves the unauthorized use or access of computers, files or online information. In most cases, the perpetrator is accused of committing the crime with the intent of using the information maliciously.
Documented cases of computer crimes date back to the 1970s with increasing instances of both large and small scale cases increasing throughout the years. However, the water is still undeniably murky when it comes to what truly constitutes a “computer crime”. And the penalties and legal implications vary from state to state making it sometimes difficult to define, prosecute or defend these types of crimes. Computer related crimes in New York state for example, range from Class A misdemeanor for the unauthorized use of a computer to a Class C felony for the first degree felony crime of computer tampering carrying a sentence of as many as three to fifteen years in prison. There are often very subtle differences between the way the misdemeanor crime is defined and it’s much more serious felony version.
We understand that the stigma and effects of a criminal charge can have catastrophic effects on one’s professional and personal life as evidenced by the current high-profile case here in New Mexico. That is why BLSW attorneys aggressively focus on eliminating and avoiding the likelihood of criminal charges on the front end, rather than looking for a “best case scenario” to defend against a crime that has already been charged. For us, this is the only best case scenario.
We have defended corporations, business owners, directors, officers, and other professionals in these often difficult and complex investigations and cases. Whether you are being investigated or you have been charged, we can assist you in obtaining a favorable outcome in most complex or white collar criminal matters including computer fraud and crime charges.