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COVID-19 & Cyber Crimes

Throughout the Country the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the lives of millions of Americans. The shutdown orders in response to the pandemic have created intense financial stress for the average American family. Unemployment rates are skyrocketing as businesses are forced to close their doors. One bright spot has been that the vast majority of crime is down as a result of the shutdown orders put in place by various government officials. The same cannot be said for one particular group of criminal offenses, Cyber Crimes. The United States has seen a large increase in Cyber Crimes throughout the past month as businesses have shuttered. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has received three to four times the normal amount of Cyber Crime complaints throughout this crisis.

This uptick in Cyber Crimes is likely fueled by a large surge in internet commerce resulting from the forced closure of many retail businesses deemed unessential. With nothing to do but stay at home many Americans turn to the internet to make purchases they would otherwise make in person, at a brick and mortar store. Accordingly, the amount of online purchases and in turn credit card usage has soared. So much so, that online retailers are having trouble filling orders quickly and Shipping Services are delayed in delivering packages. This all adds up to the perfect storm for opportunistic cyber criminals.

The other major factor in this uptick in Cyber Crime is the financial uncertainty the future holds when these stay at home orders are finally lifted. Millions of Americans have been laid off and are uncertain whether they will have employment opportunities when the pandemic passes. Millions more are falling further and further behind on their mortgages and other bills. Even more unsettling is the fact that a likely time frame for returning to life as we knew it before the pandemic is still unknown. These feeling of desperation and fear of the unknown can cause good people to make bad decisions they otherwise wouldn’t make.

Once an arrest is made in a Cyber Crime related case, the prosecutor will determine what if any plea bargain will be offered to the defendant and what the recommended sentence will be. Prosecutors treat Cyber Crimes very seriously often times requiring Felony Convictions and jail sentences for those accused. While successfully defending a Cyber Crime related case is difficult, it is not impossible. In many cases it is possible to obtain a very favorable result.

The most important goals a criminal defense attorney should try to achieve in these cases are:

  1. Protecting an otherwise clean criminal record; and,
  2. Avoiding any possible jail sentence

These goals are very attainable if an experienced criminal defense attorney is hired immediately after an arrest. Your attorney must have experience dealing with this specialized group of Cyber Crimes, have a good reputation in the courts and have credibility with the judge and the prosecutor. At Collins Gann McCloskey and Barry PLLC, we have successfully handled hundreds of Cyber Crime cases.

Call us today at (516) 294-0300 for a free consultation.