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Internet crimes: an evolving area of criminal law

The Internet is in homes and businesses around the globe, and millions of individuals stay connected all the time through mobile devices. While connectivity has become a way of life for many, the legal areas associated with the Web are still evolving -- including Internet crime charges and how to defend against them.

One of the most common criminal charges associated with the Internet is identity theft. Identity theft occurs when one person uses another person's personal information to gain access to accounts, money, or benefits, but it might also occur if someone impersonates another person online for some other type of gain.

Other types of Internet crimes include piracy, computer and business fraud conducted online, phishing schemes, solicitation of a minor using the Web, various pornography charges, and, in some areas, gambling. Some of these crimes are difficult to prove, but it is easy for someone to allege that they occurred.

When allegations of Internet crimes occur, individuals can be subject to several interrogations or other police action. Even before charges are made in a case, individuals might find themselves dealing with searches of their homes or seizure of computers and other devices. A good criminal defense in such situations starts at that point by protecting your rights even before official charges occur.

A proactive approach is often the most successful approach when criminal charges are likely, and this is especially true in the evolving arena of Internet criminal law. Protecting yourself against gray-area searches or law enforcement action helps protect your potential case and reduces the chance that you might find yourself in an even poorer situation should charges be filed.

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