In Minnesota, crimes committed through the use of the internet or computer technology are generally referred to as “cybercrimes.” These crimes include “phishing,” identity theft, hacking, and cyberbullying. Cybercrimes have become increasingly popular in recent years due to computer technology advancements. As a result, the penalties associated with cybercrimes continue to increase in severity.
If you have been arrested for any cybercrime in Minnesota, seek the legal guidance of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. During this overwhelming time, allow James Blumberg Law to be your best resource.
Minnesota Cybercrime Attorney
Cybercrimes are serious offenses. Without the representation of an effective criminal defense attorney, you could be facing lengthy prison time and steep fines. To receive skilled legal representation, contact James Blumberg Law. Defense lawyer James Blumberg is a qualified cybercrime attorney with a thorough background in criminal law.
Allow him to utilize his vast experience in your favor. Call (952) 431-7758 to schedule a free consultation today.
James Blumberg Law accepts clients throughout Dakota County, including Apple Valley, Eagan, Lakeville, Burnsville, Rosemount, Farmington, Inver Grove Heights and West St. Paul.
Phishing is a type of scam where an individual attempts to steal personal or financial account information from another through misrepresentation, fraud, and deceptive electronic messages. Phishing is common in emails, instant messages, or even phone calls. Often, phishing scams are conducted through fake websites that disguise themselves as credible companies, organizations, or even financial institutions. The complexity of phishing software allows the program to remain on your computer, searching for private information—this includes financial accounts, personal contacts, emails, and even photos and videos.
Under Minnesota law, phishing is considered within the realm of false pretenses. As such, there are significant penalties associated with phishing crimes. For instance, if someone is found guilty of obtaining identity information through unlawful means, they may be imprisoned for up to five years and subject to fines of up to $10,000.
Further, Minnesota Statute § 609.891 prohibits unauthorized computer access. If someone is convicted of unauthorized computer access, they will be charged with a felony and face up to ten years in prison, subject to fines up to $20,000.00.
Identity theft is a serious felony under Minnesota law. Specifically, Minnesota Statute § 609.527 defines identity theft as: “a person who transfers, possesses, or uses an identity that is not the person’s own, with the intent to commit, aid, or abet any unlawful activity is guilty of identity theft.” In simple terms, identity theft occurs when someone intentionally obtains someone else’s identity to use it for criminal gain.
As a felony, Minnesota imposes significant penalties against anyone convicted of committing or assisting in the commission of identity theft. Any individual convicted of identity theft may be sentenced as follows:
- If the offense involves a single victim and the loss does not exceed $250, the defendant will be facing imprisonment for a period not to exceed 90 days and a fine not to exceed $1,000.
- If the offense involves a single victim and the loss exceeds $250 but is less than $500, the defendant will face imprisonment for up to one year and fines not exceeding $3,000.
- If the offense involves two to three victims or the loss exceeds $500 but less than $2,500, then the defendant will be sentenced to imprisonment for a period not to exceed ten years and a fine not to exceed $20,000.
- If the offense involves the possession or distribution of pornographic work or involves eight or more victims, or if the loss exceeds $35,000, the defendant will face up to 20 days in jail and a fine not to exceed $100,000.
In addition to criminal penalties, Minnesota law allows victims of identity theft to seek restitution damages. Restitution damages are a financial order imposed by the court to remedy unjust enrichment. Essentially this means the court will allow the victim to recover a sum of money from the defendant.
Minnesota Statute § 609.87 defines “encryption” to mean any protective or disruptive measure, including but not limited to cryptography, encoding, or enciphering that:
- Causes or makes any data, information, image, program, signal, or sound unintelligible or unusable; or
- Prevents, impedes, delays, or disrupts access to any data, information, image, program, signal, or sound.
- Minnesota Statute § 609.8912 provides that a person will be found guilty of criminal use of encryption if they intentionally use or attempt to use encryption in any of the following circumstances:
- to commit, further, or facilitate conduct constituting a crime
- to conceal the commission of any crime
- to conceal or protect the identity of a person who has committed any crime
- to prevent, impede, delay, or disrupt the normal operation or use of another’s computer, computer program, or computer system
Hacking is a serious felony in Minnesota. Anyone convicted of violating the laws against hacking could face severe penalties. If anyone uses encryption in a criminal manner, they will face up to five years in prison and a fine not exceeding $10,000.
Cyberbullying occurs when electronic means of communication are used to harass, intimidate, or abuse another individual. Cyberbullying is prevalent in today’s technological society, and most people do not even know it is a crime.
Minnesota has codified the unlawful nature of cyberbullying and has categorized it as a misdemeanor. As a misdemeanor, anyone convicted of cyberbullying can face penalties, including imprisonment and hefty fines. Specifically, penalties for such behavior may include fines up to $1,000 and imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year.
It is important to note that if the conviction is motivated or predicated on the victim’s race, the crime rises to the level of a felony. As a felony, the defendant will face imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $10,000.
Minnesota has imposed harsh penalties on anyone convicted of cybercrimes. In addition, the Minnesota legislature has drafted statutes for all forms of cybercrimes. Anyone who is facing charges for cybercrimes should seek the counsel of an attorney who specializes in cybercrimes.
Minnesota Legislature – Minnesota Statutes Chapter 609 website provides a complete description of the cybercrimes statute and a detailed description of the penalties associated with each crime.
Cyber Security Education – The CSNP provides programs and webinars for those who want to get educated on cyber security and methods to identify and prevent cybercrimes.
Apple Valley Cybercrimes Lawyer | Dakota County, MN
If you or someone you know has been arrested for a cybercrime in Dakota County, MN, do not wait much longer to seek legal representation. Attorney James Blumberg at James Blumberg Law has been representing Minnesota clients since 2004. He can answer any questions you may have regarding the legal process and discuss all of your options.
To schedule a free consultation with James Blumberg Law, call (952) 431-7758 today. Mr. Blumberg accepts cybercrime cases in Rice County, Steele County, Scott County, Sibley County, Dodge County, Olmsted County, and Carver County.