In the 21st century almost everyone owns a computer. Moreover, almost all business is conducted electronically. Cash moves through the ether at the speed of light, people communicate with each other at the touch of a button, and purchases are made without the need to leave the comfort of your living room. All of this new technology is certainly convenient; however, it has also led to a whole new category of criminal offenses – “cyber crimes.” Thanks to Hollywood, people often equate the term “cyber crimes” with “hacking” and view them as relatively harmless crime that typically perpetuated by high school kids with too much time on their hands. The reality, however, is that cyber crimes can be serious crimes with serious consequences to individuals and society as a whole. As such, are cyber crimes punishable by jail time in Nebraska? Yes, they are.
The term “cyber crime” is relatively new to law enforcement and the courts. Generally, a cyber crime is broadly defined as any criminal offense that involves a computer and a network. The most commonly known cyber crime is “hacking.” The formal term for “hacking” is “unauthorized computer access.” In the State of Nebraska, “unauthorized computer access” can be a Class II or Class I misdemeanor or a Class IV felony, depending on the facts and circumstances of the unauthorized access. As a Class IV felony you risk up to five years in prison if convicted. “Hacking” can also be a federal crime that can carry an extensive term in prison if convicted of hacking into sensitive and/or confidential government websites.
Identity theft is another common cyber crime that can also be charged as a state crime, a federal crime, or both. Identity theft in Nebraska can be charged as anything from a Class I misdemeanor to a Class III felony with potential penalties ranging from no time in jail up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Stalking is yet another cyber crime that occurs more and more frequently, particularly with the growth of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For a victim of stalking, knowing that someone is following you, or watching you, is bad enough; however, knowing that the perpetrator is stalking you across social media sites that are viewed by millions of people can be downright terrifying. Stalking, under Nebraska law, can also be a misdemeanor or felony, meaning you face a potential term of imprisonment if convicted of cyber-stalking.
If you have been charged with a cyber crime in Nebraska contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney.