Types of Cyber Crime Prosecuted in Arizona

cyber crimeCybercrime (computer, digital) is a broad category of offenses. Very often, such crime schemes are carried out over the internet, involving financial gains through hack attacks or identity theft.

How does Arizona deal with cybercrime and how many categories of digital offenses does the state recognize? While the question is a broad one, we’ll try to put together a detailed overview of the state’s internet and computer crime laws.

Common Cybercrimes in Arizona

Arizona has extensive regulations that criminalize a wide array of fraudulent or damaging internet-based/computer activities.

Some of the most common types of cybercrime recognized in the state include the following:

  • Identity theft and identity fraud
  • Cyber extortion
  • Cyber terrorism
  • Computer crimes against children, including the spreading of child pornography
  • Computer hacking
  • Cyber stalking
  • Online credit card fraud
  • Internet auction fraud
  • Hack attacks and the spread of malware with the intent to damage computer systems
  • Obtaining information that is to be kept confidential under Arizona law

… and many others. Cybercrime is typically divided in several broad categories that include criminal activities against humans, against property (for example – the transmission of a virus to damage a computer network) and against the government (using pirated software or disseminating confidential information).

Just like all other crimes, cybercrime needs to have elements of intentional, knowing and reckless behavior. An honest mistake cannot be prosecuted in the state and attorneys will often try to prove the lack of intent of their clients.

Click here for information on Arizona computer crimes laws.

How Common is Cybercrime in Arizona?

A study from 2017 identifies Arizona as one of the US cybercrime hubs.

Over the year, there were 60,000 reports of cybercrime in Arizona. These caused damages exceeding 20 million dollars over the course of a single year.

As per the study, Arizona ranks seventh in the US based on the prevalence of cybercrime. California occupies the firs position in the ranking and it’s followed by Nevada and New Mexico.

There are several reasons that contribute to the prominence of cybercrime in Arizona, regardless of the fact that the state doesn’t rank among those having the highest population. It’s also not a technological hub.

One of Arizona’s most prominent industries is healthcare service provision. It involves the creation and maintenance of medical records. Unlike financial data and governmental documents that are heavily protected, patient records are typically lacking in terms of security measures. This could be one of the reasons why cybercrime has proliferated in the state.

Cybercrime Penalties

Obviously, cybercrimes aren’t comparable in scope and damage potential. Identity theft isn’t the same as accessing confidential files that may cause a national security compromise.

This is why cybercrime sentences could contribute to a wide range of sanctions.

The unauthorized possession of an access device, for example, is a Class 6 felony that carries a prison sentence ranging from six months to two years. The unauthorized release of confidential or security information is a much more serious crime that could lead to a Class 4 felony sentence. A Class 4 felony carries a prison term ranging from one to 3.75 years.

Computer tampering, depending on the severity and the scope of the illegal operation, will lead to charges ranging between Class 5 and Class 3 felony charges. Class 3 felonies are very serious and they carry an extensive scope of penalties. The prison time in that instance will be anywhere between two and 8.75 years in prison.

If you are being charged with cybercrime, you need to get in touch with an experienced Arizona criminal lawyer immediately. The consequences can be serious, even if you don’t think that the crime is that big of a deal. Your lawyer will examine the evidence and come up with an adequate course of action and a personalized defense strategy.

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