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Can I get in trouble for internet gambling?

Absolutely. Though the arena of online gambling has been in flux over the past decade or so, it has been sharply curtailed by federal law. In fact, one law makes it illegal for any person or institution to accept a financial instrument when it is related to illegal internet gambling. This includes credit, electronic fund transfers, checks, or the proceeds of another type of transaction which includes a financial institution. In fact, financial institutions must follow strict regulations to ensure they block or identify any unlawful transaction related to illegal internet gambling.

The penalties for knowingly accepting payment related to illegal online gambling are harsh. An accused individual or institution could face hefty fines, and a prison sentence of up to five years may be imposed in addition to any fines. These penalties can affect your finances, reputation, and personal and professional relationships. It may mean being stripped away from your family and having difficulty living a normal life after serving your debt to society.

With this in mind, you may be wondering what you can do to protect yourself. First of all, it is imperative to know the law so that you do not run afoul of it. Second, if you have already been accused of criminal wrongdoing, then you may want to talk with a California attorney who is experienced with cases dealing with internet crimes. He or she may be able to work with you to develop a sound legal defense that will work to try to avoid the serious penalties mentioned above.

When faced with a computer crime allegation, there are many defense strategies. Depending on the statute at hand, merely showing that you lacked knowledge of the act could be enough to get charges dropped or obtain an acquittal. Therefore, it is best to talk about your matter so that you can find a legal strategy that works best for you.

Source: Legal Information Institute, "31 U.S. Code § 5363," accessed on March 13, 2015

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