Roanoke Lawyer Handling Virginia & Federal Computer Crimes

Computer in darkIt is increasingly difficult to watch the news without hearing about the latest high profile “hack.” While large-scale cyber crimes are regularly featured in the media, the fact of the matter is that smaller scale offenses are regularly prosecuted in state and federal court. Depending on the nature of the conduct, Virginia defendants may find themselves facing state or federal charges. Such cases can involve complicated search and seizure issues and may also require the use of expert witnesses. It is important that you retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you. Cerid Lugar is a Roanoke lawyer handling cyber crime cases in both state and federal court. Cerid understands the impact a conviction can have on your future and she is ready to assist you. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation. Our office also serves those in Salem and the commonwealth’s southwest area.

Attorney assisting Roanoke defendants in cyber related criminal cases

The Virginia Computer Crimes Act makes it illegal to use a computer or electronic equipment for certain activities. Under Va. Code 18.2-152.1, et seq., it is a crime to engage in the following activity:

  • Computer fraud
  • Computer trespass
  • Using a computer to invade another’s privacy
  • Phishing or stealing personally identifying information
  • Stealing computer services
  • Harassing someone via an electronic medium
  • Engaging in spamming activities

Depending on the nature of the offense, and the amount of financial damage involved, a defendant may find themselves charged with a misdemeanor, a felony, or they may face federal criminal charges. The penalties for such charges can range from a sentence of up to twelve months in jail to a sentence of up to twenty years in prison. This is in addition to one potentially paying fines and having a permanent criminal record.

How a cyber crime case begins will depend on the nature of the charges. If the matter involves a Virginia felony, then the defendant will enter a “not guilty” plea after an Indictment has been returned or a preliminary hearing has been held. A trial date will be set and the prosecution will provide the defense with police reports and other evidence relevant to the case. Counsel will investigate the matter and retain any expert witnesses who may be necessary to mount a defense. If law enforcement illegally obtained evidence from the defendant’s computer, smartphone, or online accounts, then it may be possible to have such evidence excluded from trial. If the case is not dismissed or otherwise resolved, then the matter will proceed to trial. It will be the state’s burden to prove that the crime occurred and that the defendant intentionally committed the offense. The jurors will decide the issue of guilt or innocence and sentencing, if necessary, will be handled by the Judge. It cannot be overstated that such cases often involve complex legal issues and that you should retain an experienced lawyer.

Cerid Lugar is a Roanoke criminal defense lawyer who handles both state and federal cyber crimes. Cerid will use your initial consultation to hear your side of the story and to begin formulating a strategy for your defense. She will quickly acquire all evidence which the prosecution is required to provide, retain any necessary experts, and begin an investigation. If she believes that the police violated your Fourth Amendment rights, then she will file a Motion to exclude any illegally seized evidence. Depending on the facts of the case, this Motion may result in a dismissal of the charges. If a trial is necessary, then she will take steps to make sure that you are prepared to testify, that you know what to expect from the process, and that your rights are protected from beginning to end. Our firm understands the impact that a conviction will have on your life. We are ready to assist you.

Lawyer staying in regular communication with Roanoke and Salem cyber crime defendants

If you have been charged with a cyber crime, then you have enough to worry about. You do not need the stress that is added by having a lawyer who does not return your phone calls. Cerid makes attorney-client communication a priority. She will promptly respond to your messages and will make herself available to answer your questions. We strive to provide a high level of service and this is our promise to all of our clients.

Other Virginia areas we serve include the cities of Cave Spring, Salem, the Botetourt County city of Hollins, the Bedford County cities of Bedford and Forest, the Franklin County city of Rocky Mount, and the Montgomery County cities of Blacksburg, Christiansburg, and Radford.