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Defending Against Federal Cybercrime Charges in the SDNY

Defending Against Federal Cybercrime Charges in the SDNY

Common Federal Cybercrime Charges in the SDNY

There are a wide variety of cybercrime-related charges federal prosecutors in the SDNY may pursue, including:

  • Computer hacking – gaining unauthorized access to a computer system or network
  • Identity theft – stealing and using someone’s personal information
  • Wire fraud – using electronic communications to execute fraudulent schemes
  • Computer fraud – using a computer to obtain money or property through fraudulent pretenses
  • Cyberstalking – online harassment that causes substantial emotional distress
  • Child pornography – possessing, distributing, or producing sexually explicit images of minors

Charges often carry hefty penalties. For example, wire fraud involving a financial institution can result in up to 30 years imprisonment. Child pornography convictions may lead to decades behind bars. It’s critical to fight the charges aggressively to avoid draconian consequences.

Building an Effective Defense Strategy

While the evidence may seem stacked against you, an experienced federal cybercrime lawyer can often construct a strong defense by:

  • Challenging the digital forensic evidence – questioning the reliability of methods used to link the defendant to the crime
  • Raising reasonable doubt about criminal intent – arguing the defendant did not purposefully commit a crime
  • Presenting mitigating circumstances – highlighting factors that help explain the defendant’s actions
  • Suppressing evidence obtained illegally – getting thrown out evidence obtained through unconstitutional searches
  • Leveraging procedural mistakes by investigators – capitalizing on sloppy police work

An adept attorney intimately familiar with cybercrime investigations conducted by the FBI and U.S. Secret Service can identify the flaws in the prosecution’s case and construct a counter-narrative that raises reasonable doubt about your culpability or otherwise undermines the charges against you.

Understanding Key Federal Cybercrime Laws and Precedents

When defending against federal cybercrime allegations, it’s essential your attorney have expertise regarding the specific laws and precedents that may impact your case. Some key examples include:

  • The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) – the primary federal anti-hacking statute. Vague wording potentially criminalizes common online activities like breaching a website’s terms of service, but courts have limited the scope in some cases.
  • The Wiretap Act – prohibits unauthorized interception of electronic communications. But courts have found it doesn’t apply to breaches of public websites like Twitter.
  • The Stored Communications Act – makes it illegal to access stored electronic communications without authorization. However, violations involving publicly accessible data may not be prosecuted.

An attorney well-versed in how courts interpret cybercrime statutes can argue they do not actually apply to your specific alleged conduct. This may get charges dismissed or lead to acquittal.

Pursuing a Plea Deal

If the evidence against you is overwhelming, your attorney may advise negotiating a plea bargain rather than going to trial. Typical deals in SDNY cybercrime cases may involve:

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
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Brendan huisman
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Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
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Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
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Anthony Williams
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Loveth Okpedo
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Bee L
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divesh patel
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  • Pleading guilty to lesser charges – avoiding the most serious offenses
  • Cooperating with prosecutors – providing information about others involved in exchange for sentencing leniency
  • Paying restitution – compensating victims for losses in return for a lighter sentence

Even if a trial seems unwise, an experienced lawyer can still get charges reduced and penalties minimized through effective plea bargaining. They understand what concessions prosecutors may offer and how to get you the best deal.

What a Knowledgeable Lawyer Can Do For You

Facing cybercrime accusations can be extremely daunting. But a lawyer well-versed in federal cybercrime defense can protect your rights and future at every stage, by:

  • Aggressively contesting unconstitutional searches and seizures
  • Meticulously scrutinizing digital evidence
  • Raising doubts regarding criminal intent
  • Educating prosecutors and judges about technology issues
  • Creatively applying cybercrime statutes and precedents
  • Negotiating advantageous plea bargains if needed

Although the SDNY has a reputation for aggressive prosecution, the complexity of cybercrime cases also provides opportunities for defense. Don’t go it alone against the full force of the federal government. Get the help of a cybercrime attorney who knows how to effectively defend your rights and freedom.


Narrowing the CFAA, Ninth Circuit Finds Breach of Website’s Terms of Service Insufficient to Trigger Criminal Liability
Court Holds Hackers Did Not Violate Wiretap Act by Accessing Twitter’s Internal Systems
Ninth Circuit Will Not Revive Stored Communications Act Claim Based on Publicly Accessible Data

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