Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Contact Us!

Computer Crimes

Everything you need to know when charged with a computer-related offense, and how we attack the issue head on to either vindicate you or mitigate your charges

What Are the Different Computer-related Charges In Michigan?

To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused accessed a computer;
  2. The accused did so intentionally;
  3. The accused did so for the purpose of devising or executing a scheme or plan to obtain money, property, or services by a false or fraudulent pretense; and 
  4. The accused’s acts directly or indirectly caused an aggregate loss.

Special Considerations

  • Companies providing services involved in the charge often have promotional pricing or discounts but will claim a value of the service that far exceeds their promotional or bundling rates.

Penalty

  • Violation involves an aggregate amount of less than $200: misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days; a fine of not more than $500 or three times the aggregate amount, whichever is greater; or both imprisonment and a fine
  • The violation involves an aggregate amount of $200 or more but less than $1,000 OR The person violates the act and has a prior conviction: Misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year; a fine of not more than $2,000 or three times the aggregate amount, whichever is greater; or both imprisonment and a fine
  • The violation involves an aggregate amount of $1,000 or more but less than $20,000 OR The person has two prior convictions: Felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years; a fine of not more than $10,000 or three times the aggregate amount, whichever is greater; or both imprisonment and a fine
  • The violation involves an aggregate amount of $20,000 or more OR The person has three or more prior convictions: Felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 10 years, a fine of not more than three times the aggregate amount, or both imprisonment and a fine

To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused accessed or caused access to be made to a computer, computer program, computer system, or computer network;
  2. The accused did so intentionally;
  3. The accused did so without or by exceeding valid authorization;
  4. The accused did so to acquire, alter, damage, delete, destroy property, or use the services of the computer, computer program, computer system, or computer network

Special Considerations

Common Defenses

  • The interference was caused by a computer glitch, and the defendant did not intend to interfere with communication.
  • The restitution amount, which will determine the penalty under the act, should be reduced.
  • There was shared ownership or access to the computer, network, or telephone, and the communication was authorized.

Penalty

  • Felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years, a fine of not more than $10,000, or both
  • For a person with a prior conviction: felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 10 years, a fine of not more than $50,000, or both.

To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused inserted, attached, or knowingly created the opportunity for an unknowing and unwanted insertion or attachment of a set of instructions or a computer program into a computer, computer program, computer system, or computer network.
  2. The accused did so intentionally;
  3. The accused did so without or by exceeding valid authorization;
  4. The instructions or program was intended to:
    1. acquire, alter, damage, delete, disrupt, or destroy property. It does not matter whether the defendant actually did any of these things, only whether he intended to do so; and/or
    2. use the services of a computer, computer program, computer system, or computer network. It does not matter whether the defendant actually did use the services, only whether he intended to do so.

Special Considerations

  • The interference was caused by a computer glitch, and the defendant did not intend to interfere with communication.
  • The restitution amount, which will determine the penalty under the act, should be reduced.
  • Freedom of speech is protected under the United States and Michigan constitutions, as provided by MCL 752.795(b).
  • There was shared ownership or access to the computer, network, or telephone, and the communication was authorized.

Penalty

  • Felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years, a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.
  • For a person who has a prior conviction: felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 10 years, a fine of not more than $50,000, or both

To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused used the Internet, a computer, a computer program, a computer network, or a computer system to communicate with any person;
  2. That the communication was done for the purpose of committing, attempting to commit, conspiring to commit, or soliciting another to commit a crime;

Special Considerations

The following offenses apply;

  1. accosting a child for immoral purposes;
  2. child sexually abusive activity;
  3. kidnapping;
  4. enticing away child under 14;
  5. criminal sexual conduct in the first, second, third, or fourth degree;
  6. assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct;
  7. disseminating sexually explicit material to a minor;
  8. sale of explosives to minors;
  9. inducing minor to commit felony;
  10. stalking;
  11. causing death with explosives;
  12. false report of explosives crime or threatening to commit such a crime

Penalty

  • Misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year, a fine of not more than $5,000, or both, if the underlying crime is a misdemeanor or a felony with a maximum term of imprisonment of less than 1 year
  • Felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 2 years, a fine of not more than $5,000, or both, if the underlying crime is a misdemeanor or a felony with a maximum term of imprisonment of 1 year or more but less than 2 years
  • Felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 4 years, a fine of not more than $5,000, or both, if the underlying crime is a misdemeanor or a felony with a maximum term of imprisonment of 2 years or more but less than 4 years
  • Felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 10 years, a fine of not more than $5,000, or both, if the underlying crime is a felony with a maximum term of imprisonment of 4 years or more but less than 10 years. 
  • Felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 15 years, a fine of not more than $10,000, or both, if the underlying crime is a felony punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years or more but less than 15 years. 
  • Felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 20 years, a fine of not more than $20,000, or both, if the underlying crime is a felony punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of 15 years or more or for life.

What will we do as your Defense Attorney?

These are very serious charges that require an aggressive defense in which all of the facts of the case are thoroughly reviewed. We listen carefully to what our clients tell us in order to both put together a strong defense and mitigate sentencing. We do this in several ways.

First, we never take for granted that the police report is an accurate representation of the incident in question. These reports are usually very biased towards convicting the accused, and are therefore often filled with inconsistencies. We use our client’s testimony, research, private investigators, and crime scene visits to poke holes in the prosecution’s case, and ultimately, prove your innocence or argue that the facts are so that a lenient sentence is appropriate. We always visit the scene of the crime. It’s the only way to learn details showing that the police investigation was flawed or that the prosecution’s eyewitness could not have seen what he or she claims.

When building a defense for computer-related offenses, we always contact a qualified and experienced forensic computer examiner. The expert can help analyze the computer, including ensuring that the computer has not been altered after it has been seized. Whenever a computer file is changed, its hash value also changes. Thus, when two hash values are different, this means that the computer files are different.

Entrapment is also a possible defense when the person on the other side of the computer is a law enforcement officer, as is often the case. Michigan’s entrapment test allows a defendant to be “considered entrapped if either (1) the police engaged in impermissible conduct that would induce a law-abiding person to commit a crime in similar circumstances or (2) the police engaged in conduct so reprehensible that it cannot be tolerated.”

If the accused is between the ages of 17 and 24 they may be eligible to qualify for a sentence under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA). This Act allows the client to plead guilty, but have the offense dismissed by the court if he or she satisfies the terms set by the court. HYTA does not apply to any felony where the maximum penalty is life imprisonment (such as First Degree Arson). With that said, we always try to plea down to a non–life offense such as simple Second Degree Arson, so that HYTA is available. 

Convincing the prosecutor to reduce the charge should always be on the table.  Mitigating factors that we look out for are things like the state of mind of the accused and whether they have a previous record. In other words the punishment must fit the crime or we will not stand for it. 

Schedule a free consultation!

No retainer necessary! Just tell me what’s on your mind and we can plan the next steps for your success!

Why work with us?

  • Tenacious representation for an AFFORDABLE PRICE!
  • Weekend meetings & Consultations Available!
  • Educated on Modern Issues & Laws!

Email: kerrylawpllc@gmail.com

Tel: (734) 263-1193

Address: 214 S. Main St. Ste 200
                 Ann Arbor MI, 48104
Close Menu