For many, it’s hard to remember a time before computers played an integral role in their everyday lives. With the increase in mobile technologies and society’s dependence on them, however, it’s no surprise that the increase in cybercrime is substantial. 

The term “cybercrime” may sound like something out of an 80s sci-fi flick, but it encompasses a range of all-too-real concerns nowadays. Cybercrimes are offenses committed through the use of mobile phones, computers, and other electronic devices. If someone uses a phone to plan a home invasion, for instance, they would be guilty of a cybercrime as well as the invasion itself.

If you or a loved one has been wrongly accused of a cybercrime, you may be entitled to compensation. To learn more, contact the Law Office of Mo Abusaft Criminal and Injury Attorney today for a free consultation. Our experienced Spartan, South Carolina, criminal attorney is here to ensure your rights are protected.

What is a cybercrime?

South Carolina cybercrime laws are stated in Section 16-16-10 of the state’s Code of Laws. In the law’s simplest terms, a cybercrime involves directly or indirectly accessing a computer to obtain money, services, or property under false pretenses.

Cybercrimes may be classified as:

  • Computer crime in the second degree (Class A misdemeanor)
  • Computer crime in the third degree (Class B misdemeanor)
  • Computer crime in the first degree (Class E felony)
  • Second or subsequent convictions of second-degree cybercrimes (Class F felony)

Proving that a cybercrime was committed requires the prosecution to prove the person knowingly, willfully, and maliciously broke the law. However, since most people who use computers are not tech experts, cybercrime laws can be confusing. 

Additionally, genuine cybercriminals are constantly inventing new ways to scam people over the internet, which means legislators must consistently review and create new laws to stay current. As such, the state’s laws are nuanced and ever-changing. But that means it is entirely possible for a person to accidentally breach cybercrime laws without any malicious intent. 

What to Do if You have been Accused of a Cybercrime

It is natural to feel frightened, confused, or angry when you have been wrongly accused of a crime. False accusations can affect every aspect of your life, damaging your reputation, career, and relationships.

That being said, though, the first thing to do if you have been accused of committing a cybercrime is to take the accusation seriously, as the state of South Carolina certainly does. 

From there, preventing the worst from happening involves taking the following actions:

Hire an Attorney

Innocent individuals don’t always fully understand the importance of hiring an attorney. If you know you haven’t done anything wrong, you may believe you don’t need legal counsel. But that is far from the truth. An attorney will safeguard your rights and make sure you get fair treatment under the law, whether you are innocent or not. 

If you need to defend yourself against false allegations or if you have committed a cybercrime, a criminal lawyer will work on your behalf to minimize complications and help you move forward. 

Remain Silent

If you’ve been falsely accused of a (cyber)crime, you’ll likely want to explain the situation and clear up any misunderstandings. However, your right to remain silent is protected by the Constitution. Avoid the urge to speak with law enforcement without your attorney present. And do not respond to questions inside or outside of police headquarters. 

Collect Physical Evidence

Carefully document any receipts, photos, emails, or screenshots that would help support your story and prove your innocence. Your attorney will advise you on the best ways to collect further evidence. 

Decline Searches

Whether you are facing false or bona fide accusations, you have the right to refuse a search of your property or home until a court order is produced. Waiting for it will provide time for your legal counsel to arrive and provide on-scene advice. 

Do Not Contact the Alleged Victim

You may believe the alleged victim is lying about you or that everything boils down to a simple misunderstanding you could clear up with one conversation. Whatever you are thinking, though, don’t make the mistake of contacting the victim, any witnesses, or anyone else related to the incident. 

Speak with your attorney instead. They’ll know how to navigate the legal system effectively and efficiently. If it is deemed helpful for you to speak directly with an alleged victim, your attorney will arrange a meeting at the appropriate time and place. 

Find Help at the Law Office of Mo Abusaft

Whether you have been falsely accused or you have knowingly committed a cybercrime, you have the legal right to an attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Mo Abusaft before you speak to the police or anyone else. Our experienced criminal law attorney will represent you fairly under all circumstances.