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CT defense lawyerThere are a variety of different theft crimes articulated in Connecticut law, but one of the most potentially damaging to its victims is criminal fraud. Fraud is a serious issue that can tar you with the brush of dishonesty for the rest of your life if you are convicted, and if you are charged with a fraud crime, it is crucial that you react appropriately by enlisting an experienced attorney. Fraud crimes are often very specific, and trying to defend yourself alone is not a good idea.

Deceit and Misrepresentation

There are many different crimes that fall under the umbrella of fraud in Connecticut. More specific examples include identity theft, insurance fraud, money laundering, or wire fraud. The central component of these types of crimes is referred to as a fraudulent transaction - one induced by deception or willful misrepresentation, that confers gain on the person who induced it. Generally, if the prosecution can establish that a fraudulent transaction happened and that it happened because of your deception or misrepresentation, it will be able to establish your guilt.

It is important to keep in mind that while most Connecticut crimes are defined by statute (meaning that the legislature has passed laws that specifically lay out a definition and sentence for a crime), general fraud and many other crimes are not. Instead, these crimes are defined by what is called common law. Common law is based on case precedent only, meaning that past cases govern how a court should decide today. This can be a bit confusing for the average person, not least because legal cases are difficult to read, but nonetheless, this is the basis for prosecution for many fraud crimes.

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CT defense lawyerWith the increasing prevalence of powerful technology in this day and age, more and more cybercrimes are occurring, and more consumers are at risk. However, it can also be more difficult in some cases to determine whether or not you have actually committed a computer crime. If you have questions or concerns about computer-related crimes, it is important to contact an experienced attorney who can guide you in the right direction.

Cybercrime Laws Are Vague

Connecticut’s computer crime law is quite wide-ranging, but because of this, it can also be vague, at least to the average person. There are five different broad categories of offenses that qualify as computer crimes under the relevant law: unauthorized access to a computer system, theft of computer services, interruption of computer services, misuse of computer system information, and destruction of computer equipment. These headings can mean little or nothing to the man on the street.

Some of the charges contained under Sec 53a-251 are self-explanatory - destruction of computer equipment is just that. However, many others may require a dedicated attorney to explain, because they require several criteria before the offense can actually be charged. For example, accidentally using another person’s identical laptop without permission is technically unauthorized access to a computer system, but it would not necessarily be charged because the intent to cause harm was missing.

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Posted on in White Collar Crimes

CT defense attorneyAs technology advances, so, unfortunately, does the gamut of crimes that can be committed with it. Cybercrimes are a broad category of offenses that encompasses generally anything involving a third party’s computer, and while many are considered white-collar crimes, some of them can be the first steps toward violence. If you have been charged with a computer crime in Connecticut, you should expect it to be taken very seriously.

The Law Is Broad

Connecticut law governing computer crime is very specific on some counts and very vague on others. The relevant statute lists several broad categories of computer crime, as well as the specific criteria to use when attempting to charge someone with any of these crimes. Despite this, the application of Connecticut’s laws can seem counterintuitive at times, especially when dealing with crimes that involve malice or threat.

For example, someone who commits the crime of cyberstalking or cyberbullying would most likely be charged under Connecticut’s harassment laws, rather than under the specific computer crime laws, even though both the computer and the underlying conduct are key factors in the charge. Computer crimes have specific criteria, and often cyberstalking cases do not rise to that level. Still, it can get confusing to try and discern how you might be prosecuted if you try to handle the issue alone.

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CT defense lawyerMost people think that white collar crime is the province of Wall Street and the wealthy; in reality, white collar crime is the name used for a wide variety of crimes that do not involve violence, but do involve cheating or lying. It is a serious charge to lay at someone’s door, and if you have been accused of such conduct, it is imperative to have an experienced attorney on your side who understands this type of law.

An Ever-Changing Term

Because historically, the ‘white collar’ has been used to denote a richer and ostensibly less violent class of people, but also the hallmark of professionals such as lawyers and accountants, the term ‘white collar crime’ has been used to describe any crime involving dishonesty or fraud. Examples to be found in the Connecticut General Statutes include (but are not limited to) fraud (more specifically mail fraud, credit card fraud, insurance fraud, and the like), embezzlement, money laundering, bribery, identity theft, forgery, tax evasion, creating or passing counterfeit bills, and many more.

In recent years, the term has evolved yet again to include more ‘new’ crimes, such as those requiring technology to commit. Cyber crimes fall under the realm of white collar crime, even though they can at times be violent - for example, stalking can turn violent if the behavior is not stopped or the alleged perpetrator is not arrested. It is important to keep this umbrella term in mind, even if it is inexact, because sometimes judges, in particular, may try to make ‘examples’ out of ‘white collar criminals.’

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CT defense lawyerCrime evolves right along with law enforcement, utilizing technology and its convenience to commit more offenses. In perhaps the last 30 years, computer-based crimes have become more and more common, creating a need for new laws and different types of enforcement. However, sometimes people with no criminal intent can get caught up in the dragnet. If you have been arrested and charged with a computer crime, you need an experienced Stamford criminal defense attorney to help get you through the process.

Many Different Types

A general computer crime statute exists in Connecticut, covering several possible offenses, including misuse of a computer system, unauthorized access to a computer system, and intentional disruption or denial of computer services. However, computer crimes are somewhat unique in that these are very rarely charged as isolated offenses. They will often be charged in connection with another crime - for example, the use of a computer to harass or threaten another person is still technically a computer crime, despite the fact that harassment can be done without the use of technology.

While the laws surrounding many other offenses also may provide for a civil cause of action, no specific computer crime-related one exists in Connecticut law. If a person believes there may be grounds for a civil lawsuit against the alleged perpetrator, the recommended course of action is to bring suit under the overarching legal theory (for example, if a person was cyberbullied, they would likely bring a civil suit alleging harassment).

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