In the state of California, there are many laws that impose plenty of sentences when it comes to cyber crimes and online scams. The punishment itself will often depend on the type of online crime committed, the severity of violation, the value of losses suffered by the victim, and the defendant’s prior criminal history. The California Penal Code has assigned a certain computer or Internet-related crime as a kind of misdemeanor or felony. This will all rely on the crime committed, and the extent of the damage by the victim. Aside from that, computer crimes and online scams done as a part of other crimes might require punishment for these kinds of criminal activities.

Online Scams Penalties

  1. Computer crimes that deal with unlawfully accessing, changing, or breaking a computer, a computer system, or a computer network might end up in a huge fine, an imprisonment, or even both. The biggest fine that is required might go from $1,000 to $10,000. Plenty of cyber fraud or cyber crimes are also called ‘wobblers’. These might be punished through misdemeanors, or a felony. Term of imprisonment could be served inside a county jail for at least three years. A court might also file compensatory damages, for victims who have suffered tremendous financial losses from an online crime.
  2. Aside from those, California law has allowed their courts to require the perpetrators to do community service, or other types of alternate sentencing. A defendant who has been convicted of online scams or other forms of Internet fraud would have to demonstrate remorse, and prove to the judge that they won’t commit the same type of crime ever again.
  3. It’s highly possible for an individual to be convicted of online scams, if 1.) The charges deal with the transfer of government-issued ID information, such as a birth certificate, a driver’s license, or a social security number.
  4. The charges that deal with the transfer of more than five means of identification, or
  5. The individual ends up stealing someone’s identification for the purpose of stealing anything of value, that’s worth more than $1,000 during a one-year period.

If you, or someone you know, has been convicted with online scams, the maximum sentence is five years. This can go up to two decades if you land a second conviction for these crimes, together with many instances of identity fraud linked with drug trafficking crimes or crimes related to online violence. The main reason why people behind online scams are caught is because of punishment, deterrence, denunciation, rehabilitation, and for protecting the people around them.