The Internet allows us to do many things that decades ago would not have been possible. People purchase goods online, communicate through social media platforms, pay their bills online and perform many other daily tasks using the Internet. However, increased Internet usage has also led to a rise in the number of people accused of computer crimes.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in 2018 approximately 352,000 people reported incidents of Internet crimes. This is a sharp increase from the 50,000 incidents of Internet crimes reported to the agency in 2017. The leading cybercrimes reported to the FBI last year were non-payment or non-delivery crimes, extortion and breaches of personal information. Florida is one of the top states in the nation for Internet crimes.
It is important to note, though, that those accused of committing an Internet crime may have defenses at their disposal. For example, if their search and seizure rights are violated, evidence obtained therein cannot be used against them. Or, it is possible that the accused has an alibi and was not the person who committed the crime. There may be other defenses as well.
In the end, while the age of the Internet has brought new types of crimes and new ways of committing crimes, it is important that a person is not wrongfully accused of committing an Internet crime. Like traditional crimes, Internet crimes can be very serious and a conviction could mean years or even decades behind bars, hefty fines and a permanent criminal record.