Criminal Defense

Cybercrime in California: It’s Complicated

January 03, 2017 by Seppi Esfandi in Criminal Defense   Leave a Comment
Thumbnail for: Cybercrime in California: It’s Complicated

The term “cybercrime” often evokes an image of someone in a foreign country hacking a major government agency when, in reality, cybercrime in California covers a wide range of conduct. This is in addition to any federal crimes that can be committed using the Internet.

Common Types of Cybercrime

Stealing passwords, hacking someone’s network to monitor their activity, and/or accessing someone’s email without their permission are common examples of accessing a device or the data it contains. While relevant offenses typically include some kind of use of the information accessed, the act of obtaining unauthorized access to a device or network is unlawful in and of itself with penalties of up to three years in prison and fines of up to $5,000, or both. Consult a licensed attorney to learn more about your case and what punishments you may face.

  • Phishing is defrauding an Internet account holder by posing as a legitimate company to get their personal financial information. (See California Penal Code section 530.5, 484e et seq., and Business and Professions Code section 22948.)

The conduct explained below may also qualify as a federal offense for mail fraud.

Phishing is a very common kind of Internet fraud where people will receive an email posing as a legitimate correspondence a reader would expect from a bank or other company the reader regularly does business with. Unbeknownst to the reader, the email contains links or attached files that fraudulently coax the reader into disclosing sensitive information that can be used to steal their money, or use associated accounts to purchase good sent through the mail. Often the sensitive Information obtained from the victim is sold to third parties both inside and outside the United States. This information includes, but it not limited to, Social Security numbers, drivers license information, credit card numbers, PIN numbers, and even someone’s date of birth.

Keep in mind that there are multiple related offenses associated with various kinds of financial information, including identity theft and the unlawful possession of credit card info. See our article on credit card fraud for more information.

  • Internet fraud schemes (e.g. foreign lotteries, Internet auction fraud, non-delivery of merchandise.)

These crimes can take several forms but typically begin as an unexpected email to an unsuspecting reader. The email usually explains an elaborate situation where goods or money is being held for the benefit of the reader, but where the goods or money can be released if a payment of some kind is made using untraceable means like gift cards, money orders, or foreign wire transfers. What ends up happening is that the reader loses out on their hard earned money but receives none of what was promised in the email.

Another common scam is where goods sold on an Internet site are not what they were purported to be, or are never shipped after payment. This can include counterfeit designer goods, or simply the sale of a deceptively described item with the intent to separate well-meaning consumers from their money. Very often this is also a federal crime.

Possible Defenses

There are multiple ways to fight a case related to cybercrime, but these cases are often highly complex and require a careful professional that has all of the relevant information at their fingertips. The presumption of innocence, which requires that the prosecution prove all elements of an offense beyond a reasonable doubt, is ever-present, but there may be defenses built into various laws that only a licensed attorney can adequately advise you of.

Free Consultation

If you have recently been arrested for a Cybercrime or related offense, please don’t hesitate to call us for a free, no-obligation consultation with Seppi Esfandi. During your call, Esfandi will hear the details of the case and advise you on the best approach to defend yourself. If you wish, a consultation in our office can be promptly scheduled.

Call Us for a FREE Case Review: 310-274-6529

Read our Client Reviews

Criminal Defense Help

  • Do You Need to Take a Field Sobriety Test

    Do You Need to Take a Field Sobriety Test

    Should I take a Field Sobriety Test? After reading question after question regarding field sobriety tests and whether or not they are necessary to take, I took it upon myself to answer these questions here. In short, no.  It is not required to take a field sobriety test if you get pulled over for a... Read More »
  • Drunk in Public: 10 Things to Know

    Drunk in Public: 10 Things to Know

    Have you been arrested for Drunk in Public? Here are 10 things to know about your case: 1. You are Not Guilty of PC 647(f) You are not guilty of PC 647(f) if you were simply drunk in public. After all, our whole western civilization has been built and rests on a foundation of liquor... Read More »
  • Case Study:  Alleged Sexual Battery PC 243.4(a)

    Case Study: Alleged Sexual Battery PC 243.4(a)

    Facing: Felony Sexual Battery with Prison Yesterday I went to a preliminary hearing on a count of PC 243.4(a)- Sexual Battery by Restraint. This code section requires a sexual touching while the victim is restrained. Although it was a “wobbler“, which means it can be charged both as a felony or a misdemeanor, the District... Read More »
  • What is a “Wet Reckless” Plea Bargain?

    What is a “Wet Reckless” Plea Bargain?

    Wet and Reckless “Vehicle Code 23103.5 – If the prosecution agrees to a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to a charge of a violation of Section 23103 in satisfaction of, or as a substitute for, an original charge of a violation of Section 23152, the prosecution shall state for the record a factual basis... Read More »
  • What is a “Wobbler”?

    What is a “Wobbler”?

    What is a “wobbler”? There are several common criminal offenses that a prosecutor can charge as a felony or a misdemeanor, depending upon the specific facts of the case and the defendant’s criminal history. In other words, it can “wobble” between a felony and a misdemeanor. It’s important to note that if you are charged... Read More »
  • Driving on Drugs:   DUID Fatalities Surge

    Driving on Drugs: DUID Fatalities Surge

    Nationwide Drugged Driving Fatalities For the first time, there are now more drivers killed that are positive for drugs than those who were positive for alcohol. Nationwide, 43% of drivers that were tested in fatal crashes had used drugs, eclipsing the 37% who tested above the legal limit for alcohol in 2015, according to a... Read More »
  • What Happens at a California Arraignment?

    What Happens at a California Arraignment?

    Arraignment FAQs Here at Esfandi Law we get lots of questions about the California arraignment process, so we decided to answer the most frequent ones in this article. Many people are confused or misinformed about what to expect at an arraignment. They are often left with more questions than answers once they leave the courtroom.... Read More »
  • What is the Discovery Process in a Criminal Case?

    What is the Discovery Process in a Criminal Case?

    What is the Discovery Process in a Criminal Case? “Discovery helps both sides gather evidence and avoid surprises in court” Discovery is the process by which evidence is exchanged between the criminal defense attorney and the prosecution prior to court or trial. The exchange of evidence is an important component of a criminal investigation and... Read More »

Gerardo C.

Seppi was amazing, one of the nicest persons I've met. He was very professional and handled my case like so. He assured me from the beginning what he was going to be able to do for me and always was truthful. He always answered my phone calls and when he didn't he would respond to my voicemails promptly as well communicate via text. The fees were very reasonable. I never had to go to court and he fixed everything for me. I will definitely recommend him to my friends and family.

Anthony M.

I was facing 2 felony counts which included 2 strikes on my record. Each count was a sentence of 2-4 years in state prison. I was looking at 2 counts which could have sent me to jail for a maximum of 8 years. The DA was trying to offer me a lesser misdemeanor charge and Mr. Esfandi advised me to deny their offer and he assured me of a better outcome. MY CASE WAS DISMISSED! I told my girlfriend this is a blessing from God, and she said no it wasn't, you had a great lawyer! Thank you Seppi for doing an outstanding job. You saved my life!

Evan N.

This was the first time that I had to choose an attorney for anything. I am very thankful that I end up choosing Seppi Esfandi. The outcome of my brothers case was perfect and beyond fair with no jail time! I believe that without Seppi, my brother would had definitely been charged with a felony and served jail time. My family is extremely pleased with the professionalism that the Law Office of Seppi Esfandi had provided during the case. The paralegal, Jorge, was very friendly, professional, and I could immediately tell that they cared about our family situation. THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN!

Courtney M.

I've never been in a situation where I needed a lawyer before. Seppi has been highly communicative, proactive and knowledgeable as well as affordable. He is very personable and listens to you, as well as makes you feel comfortable with the process. I felt such relief after choosing him. The best part? He got my case dismissed! I highly recommend him.

Amber B.

Meeting with Seppi Esfandi was the first step in the right direction after a big setback. He is professional, honest, generous, and has passion for what he does. He quickly and effectively answered every single question I had regarding my case and went above and beyond to help me. Esfandi did not stop fighting for me until he saw results in my case - I am so appreciative and grateful for all of his dedication and passion.

Carrie P.

Seppi was the first attorney I have ever hired and will be the only one I ever hire! My kids father was looking at 4 years prison and he got him down to 180 days and back to probation. So instead of prison time he is staying in county to only serve around 90 days. There were more then one cases and even though Seppi could've have charged more to help extra he made sure the other case was done right. He was very attentive and caring and didn't have very bad pricing considering. Thank you so much Seppi!

Miguel T.

I was facing two felony charges Seppi was able to bring it down to a 1 misdemeanor, the other charge was dropped, i did not have to do any jail time and I did not have register. I'm very pleased with Seppi's help and also Jorge who was there from the day I called. I would highly recommend Seppi if you are in need of any legal help.

Cindy F.

Seppi and Shaun were by far the nicest people I have dealt with. I had a complicated situation with terrible prosecutors thinking just because I had a DUI, it automatically makes me a loser, a drunk, a terrible person - we all make mistakes. Seppi was able to get my case dismissed at one courthouse, and at the second was able to have me get the minimum sentence. I was scared from the get-go, but he was very supportive, especially after my mom passed. I would recommend Seppi and the Firm to my family/friends (heaven forbid they ever end up in my situation).

Britney D.

Seppi was awesome. He will answer his phone at 10pm on a Saturday or any other time you need him. The decision to hire him was obvious. I've never been in legal trouble before and he made me feel very comfortable and assured throughout the entire situation. I actually relocated to northern California before the case ended and he was able to handle everything for me from a distance. I did not have to fly back to LA once. As far as LA lawyers go I found him priced at the going rate and money very well spent. I cannot not speak for more serious offenders, but for my situation, it was perfect.

Johanna D.

Seppi was great. He helped me get through one of the most stressful and frightening moments in my life. He answered nearly every question I had & if he was unable to answer at the moment, he made sure to follow-up with me as soon as he had the answer and/or information I needed. Since this was my first time ever in a legal situation, I was scared and confused. Seppi definitely helped me get through it. With his willingness to listen to me and with his expertise, I felt comforted & at ease knowing I had his assistance.

Amanda P.

Seppi is the best lawyer!! I was charged with a felony and he told me that it was a felony strike but that he would work hard for me. I knew to get him on my case because of the way he presented himself, i could tell he was a good lawyer. my case got dismissed after he went to court with me a few times. I am so thankful to Seppi for helping me.

Defense Expertise

Recent Victories

Loading Quotes...

Videos:  Criminal Defense Attorney Seppi Esfandi

Best law firms