Believe it or not, many people who get arrested and accused of cybercrimes in Florida have no idea that they've committed illegal actions until the police arrive to take them to jail. Such arrests can shock whole families and communities.
But what happens when someone who understands cybercrime laws intimately gets arrested for such offenses? The defense usually becomes much more difficult. In that context, let's consider the arrest last week of a deputy Los Angeles City attorney on serious pornography charges.
On Thursday, September 4, the Los Angeles Police Department arrested Christopher Richard Garcia on suspicion of child pornography distribution. The police action followed a 10-month investigation, during which Garcia remained on administrative leave from his position. Authorities had identified potentially incriminating content on Garcia’s computer, including illicit images and other evidence of child exploitation, which prompted the investigation.
Garcia posted a $40,000 bail, and he's currently awaiting trial. In the meantime, however, his professional reputation as a law officer has likely already suffered a severe blow. Even if he clears the charges and proves that they were unfounded, he may struggle to reclaim a normal life and career.
How Do Cybercrime Arrests Happen to Those Who Should Know Better?
Individuals in professions such as Garcia’s obviously can commit cybercrimes. But just because someone knows and understands the law doesn’t necessarily mean he or she cannot accidentally carry out illegal acts. Here are three situations in which an innocent person (even a police officer or investigator on the cybercrime beat) could get in trouble with the law:
• Family photos. An innocent photo of a young relative could become incriminating evidence in some circumstances. (For instance, a person who texts a "cute" nude baby picture or picture of a young relative can get in trouble, even if he or she had zero intention of sharing the picture for prurient reasons.)
• Botched investigatory searches. People who attempt to identify and apprehend cybercriminals can be mistaken as the very individuals they seek to bring to justice.
• Mislabeled downloads. People who download torrents or other media run the risk of receiving unwanted material, for which they can become legally responsible.
Regardless of what got you into your current situation, if you currently face cybercrime charges, you understand the dire consequences of a conviction. These can include imprisonment, permanent sex offender status, and the loss of support from colleagues, friends and family.
The experienced Florida cybercrime defense attorneys at Seltzer Law, PA can help. Contact us today online, or call 1-888-THE-DEFENSE (1-888-843-3333), to begin your journey back towards freedom.