Articles Posted in Computer Crimes

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pexels-soumil-kumar-735911-300x200While most people think of domestic violence as the act of physically striking one’s partner or spouse (and indeed, domestic battery accounts for the lion’s share of domestic violence incidents), the State of California counts plenty of other actions as “domestic violence.” In fact, nowadays, you don’t even have to be in the same room as your partner to be charged with a crime! Some people have been surprised to find police at their doorsteps with a warrant for their arrest on domestic violence charges–even though they weren’t anywhere near their alleged victims! 

How is this possible? Because perhaps without realizing it, by law, these people were committing domestic violence online.

The use of the Internet has expanded domestic violence into cyberspace, and California’s laws have expanded in kind to list numerous types of online activities as crimes. And because many of these online activities are traceable, they essentially leave an evidence trail that can make it easier for the cops to arrest you–and easier for prosecutors to prove you committed a crime. Let’s discuss a few possible online activities that could ultimately result in domestic violence charges.

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Often, Los Angeles petty theft cases take a turn for the bizarre. Separating truth from fiction can be a lot more challenging than people realize. How are your instincts? Take this quiz to find out. marla_maples-shoes-petty-theft.jpg

Three of stories actually happened, and three are totally made up.

1. Shoe fetishist steals 40 pairs of Marla Maples’ shoes

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If you are a parent of a teenager or young man or woman who was recently arrested on charges of Los Angeles petty theft crime, you are probably sad, depressed, and anxious about your child’s future. shoplifting-in-los-angeles-penalties.jpg

What caring parent wouldn’t be?

The state of California considers both petty theft and shoplifting to be serious crimes. Individuals convicted on two separate occasions for petty theft can be actually slapped with a felony charge and compelled to spend over a year behind bars!

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The Department of Justice emerged victorious on Tuesday in a case against Alan M. Ralsky, the self-titled Godfather of Spam. The 64 year-old Ralsky was sentenced to jail time as well as substantial fines for computer fraud in southern California and elsewhere.alanralksy.jpg

The DOJ had argued that Ralsky — in conjunction with a ring of associates — violated the CAN SPAM Act and engaged in money laundering, mail fraud, wire fraud, and illegal use of emails and computer networks. Court documents said that his spammer ring worked for about a year and a half (from 2004 to mid 2005) to artificially jack up the prices of certain stocks by sending out bulk spam emails to people. After the stock prices went up, other individuals in the white collar crime syndicate traded on those stocks. Collectively, they thus managed to rake in millions of dollars in illegal gains.

The spammers used sophisticated software to avoid detection and conducted their operations not only here in the United States but also in China and Hong Kong.

Microsoft, in particular, seemed delighted by the news of the conviction of these white collar criminals. A company spokesman remarked: “Yesterday’s sentencing is a significant success and sends a clear message that the courts take this type of illegal conduct seriously.”

As a good white collar criminal defense attorney in Southern California might note, Penal Code sections 502(c) and 530.5(e) respectively cover computer access and fraud and mail fraud. Of course, with intricate computer fraud cases like this one, the issues of law can get quite complex. For instance, to prepare for the Ralsky matter, prosecutors no doubt had to consider not just applicable federal and state laws but also international laws.

Putting together a strategic battle plan for a fraud case can get incredibly technical. Both sides must assemble complicated cause-and-affect arguments. The prosecution, for its part, has to identify the mechanisms by which the alleged fraud acts were committed — no small task, particularly when you’re dealing with sophisticated spammers and computer gurus. The defense doesn’t have it easy either. In order to combat charges of computer fraud, the defense must aptly challenge the logic of the prosecution’s arguments and cite relevant laws and cases.

If you or a family member or friend has been charged with a white collar crime, like computer fraud in Los Angeles, you may want to speak with veteran criminal defense Attorney Michael Kraut of the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers. Attorney Kraut has impressive intellectual firepower — he is a graduate of Harvard Law School. He also has lots of experience “in the trenches” — he served for years as Deputy District Attorney for the City of Los Angeles prior to representing white collar defendants. He has a knack for anticipating and deftly deflating prosecutorial arguments — arguments that often leave even experienced defense attorneys confused and helpless.

With so much on the line — not just for you but also for your family — it makes sense to work with one of Southern California’s most trusted fraud defense attorneys.

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As we see the beginning of a new President and Vice President for the United States, we will most likely see a new beginning for criminal prosecutions for Los Angeles DUIs and Southern California criminal law.

Already the new administration has claimed that there will be a clamp down on crime. The local administrations have also claimed that they will vigorously prosecute even minor offenses. It will not matter if you are arrested for a Los Angeles DUI, a Long Beach crime, a San Fernando robbery, or a Pasadena DUI, the police will be trying to enforce the law to the fullest. For that reason, it is important to hire a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who has the experience and knowledge to defend you.

The new emphasis on punishment for minor offenses is going to put regular citizens in a bad position. In the past, judges and prosecutors understood that there is a clear difference between people who are law abiding but who make a mistake, and those who a repeat offenders. Now, even minor offenses are going to punished more severely.

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I want to wish everyone in the Los Angeles and Southern California area who reads or is redirected to this Los Angeles and Southern California Criminal Defense Blog a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah. This blog is now six months old and I am pleased that it seems to have helped so many people. I have received many comments from people around the area that they have been helped by the information here.

In an attempt to wrap it up for the year I want to make sure that people are safe for this holiday season. I also want those people people who get into a Los Angeles DUI that if they should be stopped by the police in at a Southern California DUI checkpoint, or by Los Angeles law enforcement, that a Los Angeles DUI defense attorney is available 24/7 to assist if you or a loved one.

Because Southern California DUIs are taken so seriously, you need to know your rights and responsibilities. Remember you do not need to take the Los Angeles Law Enforcement PAS test in the field. If you are stopped by the police make sure to be polite. If they ask you to take the Los Angeles field sobriety tests you must comply. But if they ask or demand that you take a PAS test you are allowed to refuse. It is the recommendation of this Los Angeles DUI defense attorney to refuse this test. It can only be used against you. If you blow a significant BAC then you will be arrested. If you are taken to the police station you will be offered a choice of the breath or blood test. The choice is yours. But try to delay the test as long as possible. The law requires that the blood test must be taken with a specific time. If it is not done within the allotted time then the results will be thrown out in court.

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The trial began today of a MySpace mom in Los Angeles Federal Court. The tragedy began when a 13 year-old girl in Missouri used to turn to the popular on line retreat as a form of escape and flirtation. The girl, Megan Meier, began to write to what she thought was a 16 year-old named Josh Evans. After developing a friendship online, the cyber encounters went sour.

After only a short time after the communications began, the nice pleasantries of online romance changes to mean comments about how “everyone hates you” and “the world would be a better place without you in it.” Only minutes after those statements were made, the 16 year-old was found hanging in her home by her mother. She died the next day.

Josh Evans, as it turned out, never existed. Instead, the boy was dreamed up by Megan’s former best friend and her mother, Lori Drew. Drew, 49, is currently on trial in Los Angeles Federal Court charged with conspiracy and using a computer without authorization.

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