Lexington Computer Crimes Attorney

South Carolina Computer Crime Laws

Computer crimes, or offenses committed over the Internet or other networks, are a new and emerging area of criminal law. They share many of the same similarities as other crimes, including the possibility of a permanent criminal record or prison time, while having complexities never before encountered by our court system. Fortunately, the Lexington criminal attorneys at the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC are well-equipped to defend you against any of the following cyber crimes:

First-Degree Computer Crime
S.C. Code §16-16-20
First-degree computer crime is a felony punishable by up to five years' imprisonment and a fine of up to $50,000. First-degree computer crime is prosecuted in the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office. It requires either a victim's loss or defendant's gain in a pre-described amount of $5,000 to $10,000 minimum depending on the exact allegations.

Second-Degree Computer Crime
S.C. Code §16-16-20
Second-degree computer crime is a felony punishable by up to 5 years' imprisonment and a fine of up to $50,000. Second-degree computer crime is prosecuted in the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office. It requires either a victim's loss or defendant's gain in a pre-described amount of $1,000 to $10,000.

Third-Degree Computer Crime
S.C. Code §16-16-20
Third-degree computer crime is a misdemeanor punishable by up to two years' imprisonment and a fine of up to $2,000. Third-degree computer crime is prosecuted in either the magistrate court by the arresting officer or the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office. It requires either a victim's loss or defendant's gain of no more than $1,000.

Credit Card Theft, Financial Transaction Card Theft
S.C. Code §16-14-20
Credit card or financial transaction card theft is a felony punishable by up to five years' imprisonment. It is prosecuted in the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office. These offenses involve the obtainment, sale, or use of another's credit or debit card number. This is the offense that one may be charged with if you fraudulently obtain credit, or if you unlawfully use another's credit card to make online purchases.

Identity Theft, Financial Identity Fraud
S.C. Code §16-13-510
Identify theft, or financial identity fraud, is a felony punishable by up to up ten years' imprisonment. It is prosecuted in the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office. This offense involves the unlawful use of another's personal information, such as their social security number and date of birth, to obtain financial records of another or conduct a transaction in their name.

Anonymous Communication of Indecent Message
S.C. Code §16-15-250
Anonymous communications of indecent message is a misdemeanor punishable by up to three years' imprisonment. It is prosecuted in the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office. It is the offense of sending an anonymous bullying, harassing, or obscene instant message, text message, or e-mail.

Criminal Solicitation of a Minor, Online Child Solicitation
S.C. Code §16-15-342
Criminal solicitation of a minor is a felony punishable by up to ten years' imprisonment. Criminal solicitation of a minor is prosecuted in the court of general sessions, usually by the South Carolina Attorney General's Office. This is the offense that one may be charged with for having an allegedly sexually oriented chat or online room encounter with a police officer posing as an underage minor. Frequently those charged with this offense receive more severe sentences than those charged with the actual molestation of children.

Defending Against a Cyber Crime Charge in Lexington, SC

If you are charged with a computer crime, you should know that there may be specialized defenses available to your case. These include:

  • A requirement that the state comply with federal laws pertaining to the obtaining of search warrants used in interstate cases (such as to an ISP located out of state)
  • The possibility that the police have improperly identified you as the responsible party of illegal conduct as the result of improperly tracing an IP address or someone intentionally "spoofing" or pretending to be you online
  • The possibility that the police overstepped their bounds when executing a search warrant, or that your computer or other equipment was seized without any warrant at all

In addition to being a criminal defense attorney, James Snell has an additional background in computer networking and the Internet. He has received both the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) and the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) credentials and has completed college coursework in computer science.

Get Help Now in Lexington & Columbia, South Carolina

Charged with a computer crime in Lexington, South Carolina? Whatever the nature of the alleged crime in your case, you can find the help and support you need at our office. We offer free, confidential consultations to potential clients, so that you can get answers to your questions and learn about strategies that can be used in your defense. The one thing you must not do is to speak with law enforcement officials without having your attorney present to represent you. Contact a Lexington criminal lawyer now to maximize your chances of avoiding conviction.

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