Can computer crimes be misdemeanors or felonies?

Can computer crimes be misdemeanors or felonies?

Computer crimes can be very serious in the eyes of the law. Sending or
creating viruses, damaging networks, hacking into governmental websites,
and other activities are illegal. If you’re
accused of a computer crime, you need to be proactive about your defense.

While one of the most common forms of crime online is hacking, something
you’re more likely to see is spam or viruses. Spam, which is essentially
digital junk mail, may carry damaging viruses. Some viruses open a way
for hackers to access information on a server once the spam has been opened
or downloaded.

To prosecute someone for a computer crime, the person must have willfully
and intentionally committed the crime. Most computer crimes will be considered
to be misdemeanors, but some can be felonies. For instance, while illegally
accessing a computer through hacking may be a misdemeanor, if the act
results in losses of over $10,000, then it becomes a felony crime. Even
attempting to hack a computer is considered to be a crime.

Some cyber crimes may include: falsifying email source information, using
encryption to aid a crime, taking information services from a provider,
introducing a virus to a computer system, improperly accessing a system,
network, or computer, or improperly using programs or devices.

Depending on the crime you’re accused of, you could be looking at
up to 20 years in prison. Fines can top $10,000. It’s important
to take steps to protect yourself as soon as you’re accused of these
kinds of crimes; you deserve to have a defense and to tell your side of
the story.