A Social Media Threat May Be an Internet Crime in Florida
Facebook is a popular social media platform for sharing content and connecting with friends, but a man who used the site to make threats was recently arrested for his posts. According to a report on 7 News Miami, the man posted questionable material indicating that he intended to resort to violence against the gay community in a manner similar to the Pulse shootings earlier this year. He now faces federal charges based upon a law that makes it illegal to use the internet to send a communication included a threat to kidnap or injure another person.
There are multiple crimes that, when they take place online, become internet crimes under Florida and U.S. law. Anyone charged with internet crime should know how these laws work, and be aware of potential defenses.
Federal Crime – Internet Communications = Interstate Commerce
The federal government has the power to make laws involving interstate commerce; Congress can pass laws dealing with internet communications because the conversations cross state lines. Besides the offense in the Facebook threats case, there are other internet crimes under state and federal law, including:
- Accessing another person’s computer over the internet with intent to commit fraud;
- Hacking someone’s computer via the internet;
- Stealing data from another’s computer;
- Publishing, transmitting, or receiving child pornography;
- Wire fraud;
- Harassment, bullying, or making threats; and,
- Additional offenses.
Proving Internet Crimes
The primary piece of evidence that puts you at a disadvantage in defending yourself in an internet crimes case is your own computer. Regardless of attempts to delete or destroy files, your computer can contain traces of unlawful activity that will incriminate you. A prosecutor in an internet crimes case will typically move to confiscate your computer, tablet, smart phone, or other devices. All of the information stored within this equipment and all your activity online may be turned over to authorities to be used against you in court.
Fighting Internet Crimes with a Strong Defense
It can be intimidating to fight your case when the other side includes various departments within the federal government, such as the FBI, Department of Justice, and US Attorney’s Office. However, you do have rights under the law; in the case of internet crime charges, your strongest argument may be the US Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protections against illegal search and seizure. You may have a strong civil rights defense to prevent information stored on your computer and other devices from being used against you in court. This evidence can be thrown out under the right circumstances, leaving the prosecutor unable to prove the charges in an internet crime case.
An Experienced Internet Crimes Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale Can Help
If you are facing internet crime charges in Florida, there can be harsh consequences for a conviction. However, you may have defenses to the charges and can fight for your rights when you a legal advocate to represent your interests. A qualified defense attorney like Kevin J. Kulik can assess your case to determine defenses and get the best possible outcome in court. Please contact Kevin J. Kulik to schedule a free confidential consultation in the Fort Lauderdale area or with any questions about your case.