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3 common Internet crimes that could land you behind bars

Although some people may think they are unknown to the world as they sit in front of a computer locked away in their very own home, they are often not as anonymous as they may think. Here are three Internet crimes that if committed, could get you into some serious trouble.


Phishing is the act of taking over a computer without permission for the purpose of sending out bulk messages, or rather large quantities of emails to multiple email addresses. When this email solicits the recipient to purchase a product, this type of email is commonly known as spam. Phishing is not only considered annoying, the practice of phishing is actually outlawed. Individuals participating in phishing schemes could face a three-year prison sentence for a first offense or a maximum of five years if the emails are sent out in a spamming attempt to achieve personal gain.

Underage Pornography

Underage Pornography is generally defined as a depiction of a minor shown engaging in sexually explicit conduct. It can include any variety of mediums from photographs to digital images, videos, or even animated images. Transmitting Underage Pornography not only could carry a prison sentence of five to 20 years, but those who are convicted could potentially have to register as a sex offender in the sex offender registry for the rest of their lives.

Computer Hacking

Computer hacking is known as the process of breaking into a computer system without authorized access. Hackers who access email accounts with the intent of malicious destruction or for commercial gain could face up to a maximum of five years in prison as first-time offenders. Hacking into email accounts simply as a prank or without furtherance of another type of crime, could result in a maximum of a one-year prison sentence.

If you have been charged with an Internet crime, an experienced Wisconsin criminal attorney may be able to help build a defense to reduce charges or limit jail time.

Source: Complex, “The 10 Most Common Internet Crimes” Stephen Nale, Jul. 22, 2014

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