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Penalties for Cybercrimes in Minnesota

In our modern world, computers are an essential part of everyday life. People search the internet on a daily basis, and many people base their livelihood on computerized services or internet research. However, this widespread use of computers has also contributed to the rise in computer and internet crimes. There are several different types of cybercrimes, including identity theft, credit card fraud, child pornography, and hacking. These sorts of crimes can vary in severity but often result in serious, lasting penalties.

Common Types of Cybercrimes

Computer crimes are defined as any type of damage, theft, or unauthorized behaviors committed via the internet or on a network. This includes crimes involving the unauthorized access of computer data, software, security systems, or hacking a network. These types of crimes are wide-reaching and can encompass a number of different offenses. Common forms of cybercrime include:

  • Child pornography crimes
  • Credit Card Fraud
  • Distributing or creating computer viruses
  • Hacking
  • Identity theft
  • Internet phishing
  • Online solicitation of a minor

Potential Penalties

Many cybercrimes are tried in federal court because federal prosecutors usually have more experience with such offenses. That being said, Minnesota does have a set of laws governing cybercrimes. According to Code Section 609.87, internet and computer crimes can be charged with either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances and severity of the crime. Misdemeanor crimes typically include crimes involving unauthorized computer access, potentially those that also risk the health or safety of the public or compromise the security of data. More serious crimes that pose a serious risk to others, especially those that could cause fatalities, are almost certainly charged as felonies.

The penalties vary depending on the threat to the public, and the cost of the damage. Individuals convicted of cybercrimes could face anywhere from less than 90 days in jail to 10 years in prison, depending on the severity of the crime. Likewise, the fines may range anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000.

If you are facing charges for cybercrimes, take immediate action to protect your rights and your future. Contact Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A. to discuss your case with our Minneapolis criminal defense attorneys.


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