In recent years, multiple federal agencies have expressed a commitment to targeting so-called cyber criminals, and a wide variety of alleged crimes committed via the internet can be federally prosecuted. “Cybercrimes” can involve any one of a number of alleged violations, and criminal charges could affect individuals or entire companies.
The nature of federal charges can be extremely overwhelming for the average person, and the criminal penalties may be steep for certain violations. While state law in Texas certainly prohibits a number of criminal actions on the internet, cyber crimes are commonly prosecuted at the federal level because the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has jurisdiction over the internet and federal offenses are commonly deemed to have crossed state lines.
If you or your loved one were recently arrested for an alleged federal internet crime in Dallas, Garland, Irving, or some other nearby community in Dallas County, it will be important for you to get a criminal defense attorney on your side right away. Do not wait to reach out to The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy.
Our firm will be unwavering in our commitment to helping you achieve the most desirable outcome to your case and we will be with you the entire time so you never have to deal with anything on your own. You can have us review your case and give you answers to any questions you might have when you call (972) 233-5700 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.
One of the most common kinds of internet crimes is identity theft, which is criminalized under 18 U.S. Code § 1028, or fraud and related activity in connection with identification documents, authentication features, and information. 18 U.S. Code § 1028(a)(7) specifically states that any person who “knowingly transfers, possesses, or uses, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, or in connection with, any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of Federal law, or that constitutes a felony under any applicable State or local law” commits an offense.
Federal prosecutors work with federal investigative agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Secret Service, and the United States Postal Inspection Service to prosecute identity theft and fraud cases. It should also be noted that 18 U.S. Code § 1028A is the federal law relating to aggravated identity theft
Under 18 U.S. Code § 1028A(a), a person commits aggravated identity theft if they transfer, possess, or use, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person during and in relation to any felony violation enumerated in subsection (c), which includes a felony violation of:
It is important to note that 18 U.S. Code § 1028 prohibits many other acts in addition to identity theft. Identification fraud is also among prohibited actions, as 18 U.S. Code § 1028 also states that a person commits an offense if they:
Additional internet crimes commonly prosecuted by federal agencies may include credit card fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1029), computer fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1030), mail fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1341), wire fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1343), or financial institution fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1344).
Violations of 18 U.S. Code § 1028 are punishable by a fine and up to 15 years in prison if the offense is the production or transfer of an identification document, authentication feature, or false identification document that is or appears to be an identification document or authentication feature issued by or under the authority of the United States; or a birth certificate, or a driver’s license or personal identification card; the production or transfer of more than five identification documents, authentication features, or false identification documents; an offense under paragraph (5) of such subsection; or an offense under paragraph (7) of such subsection that involves the transfer, possession, or use of 1 or more means of identification if, as a result of the offense, any individual committing the offense obtains anything of value aggregating $1,000 or more during any 1-year period.
A violation is punishable by a fine and up to five years in prison if the offense is any other production, transfer, or use of a means of identification, an identification document, authentication feature, or a false identification document; or an offense under paragraph (3) or (7) of such subsection. An offense is punishable by a fine and up to 20 years in prison if the offense is committed to facilitating a drug trafficking crime; in connection with a crime of violence; or after a prior conviction under this section becomes final. A violation is punishable by a fine and up to 30 years in prison if the offense is committed to facilitating an act of domestic terrorism or an act of international terrorism.
Credit card fraud crimes under 18 U.S.C. § 1029 are generally punishable by fines and up to 20 years in prison. Computer fraud crimes under 18 U.S.C. § 1030 are punishable by fines and up to 10 years in prison when a violation does not occur after a conviction for another offense under this section but are punishable by fines and up to 20 years in prison when they do involve convictions for other offenses under this section.
Mail fraud violations under 18 U.S.C. § 1341 and wire fraud violations under 18 U.S.C. § 1343 are punishable by fines and up to 20 years in prison, but a violation in relation to, or involving any benefit authorized, transported, transmitted, transferred, disbursed, or paid in connection with, a presidentially declared major disaster or emergency, or affecting a financial institution, can result in fines of up to $1 million and up to 30 years in prison. Financial institution fraud under 18 U.S.C. § 1344 can also result in fines of up to $1 million and up to 30 years in prison.
Internet Crime Complaint Center(IC3) | Home Page — You can file a complaint with the IC3 if you believe you have been the victim of an Internet crime or if you want to file on behalf of another person you believe has been such a victim. Learn more about the details that will be asked to be included in your complaint. You can also find answers to many other frequently asked questions.
Cyber Crime | FBI – FBI.gov — Learn more about protecting yourself online on this section of the FBI website. You can understand common crimes and risks online and learn how to file a report with the IC3 or contact your FBI Field Office. Also, learn more about the FBI’s Cyber Strategy.
Were you arrested for a federal internet crime in Dallas County? You need to take the criminal charges very seriously and cannot delay in seeking legal representation.
Any person facing federal charges for an internet crime should seek out The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy. Call (972) 233-5700 or contact us online to have our firm take a long look at your case and give you a full evaluation of the case during a free consultation.