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Sexual Assault, Megan's Law, and Other Sex Crimes: NJ Computer and Internet Crime Defense Lawyers

New Jersey’s criminal code outlines a number of criminal offenses that can be charged in relation to the use of computers and internet pornography. While many computer crimes are charged as fourth or third-degree offenses (carrying up to 18-month and five-year prison sentences, respectively), the law specifies several aggravating factors that can elevate these crimes to second and first-degree offenses.

Computer and Internet Crimes in New Jersey

Under Section 2C:20-25 of the New Jersey Statutes, it constitutes “computer criminal activity” to purposefully or knowingly and without authorization:

  • Access any data, software, computer system or computer network (a third-degree offense);
  • Alter, damage or destroy any data, software, computer system or computer network, including denials of service and service interruptions (a second-degree offense);
  • Accessing or attempting to access any computer system or computer information to commit fraud or obtain services, money, property, or personal information (a third-degree offense, unless the value obtained or sought exceeds $5,000, in which case the crime is charged as a second-degree offense);
  • Obtain, take, copy or use any computer system or computer information (a third-degree offense, unless the information obtained contains personal, medical, government or other confidential information or exceeds $5,000 in value, in which case the crime is charged as a second-degree offense); or,
  • Access and recklessly alter, damage or destroy any computer system or computer information (a fourth-degree offense, unless the value of the damage exceeds $5,000, in which case the crime is charged as a third-degree offense).

State and federal laws also impose severe penalties for internet crimes involving children and child pornography. These crimes include:

  • Possession and distribution of child pornography
  • Soliciting sex from a minor over the internet
  • Internet fraud, bank fraud and other offenses that are not necessarily specific to minors or internet pornography

Factors that Can Elevate Computer and Internet Crimes to First-Degree Offenses

With respect to the computer crimes outlined in Section 2C:20-25, the following aggravating factors can lead to these crimes being charged as first-degree offenses:

  • An “interruption or impairment of public communication, transportation, supply of water, gas or power, or other public service,” that (a) affects 10 or more locations, (b) lasts for at least two hours, or (c) creates a risk of death or significant bodily injury to any person;
  • Causing damages or loss in excess of $250,000; or,
  • Causing significant bodily injury to any person.

First-degree offenses carry possible prison sentences of 10 to 20 years and up to $200,000 in fines. Section 2C:20-25 also specifies that individuals convicted of first-degree offenses must serve one third to one half of their prison sentences without eligibility for parole. In all cases, individuals convicted of internet pornography and other sex-related computer crimes can face a variety of other penalties as well.

Speak with a New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer in Confidence

If you are under investigation or facing charges for an internet sex crime or other computer-related offense, the attorneys at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman can help. To schedule a confidential initial consultation, please call 1-877-435-6371 or contact us online now.

 

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