The law can be confusing. This statement is no surprise to many, but to some, the intricacies of the legal system can be damning. Particularly, those who operate in the corporate world can suddenly find themselves being accused of running afoul of the law. When this happens, those facing criminal allegations should do everything they can to get the law to support their side of the story.
Many laws apply to internet usage, and the everyday citizen is probably unaware of most of them. However, running afoul of these laws could result in serious consequences. In fact, violating some laws could result in decades behind bars, stripping an individual of his or her freedom, good name, and ability to live a normal, productive life. Therefore, it is important that Californians become educated about these laws so that they can avoid criminal wrongdoing or, in the event that they face computer crime allegations, they can adequately defend themselves against the charges.
You might, depending on the circumstances surrounding your case and the quality of your criminal defense. According to federal law, if you receive, store, sell, or dispose of any goods, merchandise, securities, or money over $5,000 in value, those items have been stolen, and they have crossed a state line or a U.S. boundary, then you might be charged with a federal crime. Additionally, if you accept or promise to hold stolen goods to secure a loan, the value of the stolen goods is $500 or greater, and the goods crosses a state or United States boundary, then you could face federal criminal accusations.
Last week's blog post introduced readers to the idea of mens rea, or the mental state that must be shown by a prosecutor in some cases in order to obtain a conviction. Though not all offenses require the prosecutor to show the appropriate mens rea, many do. This can be a hotly contested area during the course of plea negotiations or a trial and should be dealt with aggressively, as failure to do so could lead to a conviction and serious penalties.