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Legal representation Internet and Criminal Law

Legal representation internet crime

The growing use of the internet has exposed an unprecedented number of otherwise law abiding ‎citizens to the risks of committing criminal offences. Prosecution of offences involving fraud, ‎harassment, unlawful publication, breach of reporting restrictions, court orders and contempt of ‎court are on the increase, along with an increasing number of people finding themselves (often ‎inadvertently) on the wrong side of the law.‎ Many of these crimes do not even require any criminal intentions by the offender. In other words, ‎these are what we call 'strict liability' offences where no excuse is acceptable.‎

Unfortunately, when criminal offences involve internet use, it can be a real challenge to find ‎suitable legal representation with adequate knowledge and experience, to deal with such matters ‎for either party.‎

Too many alleged suspects and victims of internet crime are poorly represented at court by ‎lawyers who simply fail to properly grasp how the internet and social media really work.

Solicitors, ‎counsel and often judges alike all still find phrases such as SEO, DNS or URL too confusing and too ‎‎"technical" to understand. At the same time, members of the public are often unaware of the ‎possibility that their actions could actually land them in jail.‎ The lack of this understanding of the internet in the legal profession may not come as such a ‎surprise when one considers the how ‘internet law’ is a relatively recent phenomenon and is as a ‎result still in its developmental infancy.

There is, as yet, no clear distinction between overlaps in civil ‎and criminal law, a problem which has yet to be fully explored by the courts. As a result, our ‎experience shows that the police frequently dismiss complaints brought by victims of ‘internet ‎crime’ because they do not consider them to be a criminal offence.

The police will instead take the ‎view that such complaints are in fact civil matters and should therefore be dealt with in the civil ‎courts. A common example of this is where there is a dispute between two commercial entities ‎online, despite the fact that if the equivalent acts were committed offline, they would have no ‎doubt been treated as serious crimes. Another example is when a case is dismissed by the police ‎for lack of evidence or to put it more accurately, difficulties in obtaining the evidence because they ‎are of an electronic/internet nature.‎

At Cohen Davis Solicitors we are often far quicker than the police in securing evidence for our ‎clients, particularly when the crime involves foreign jurisdictions. To give one example, we can ‎obtain full disclosure from GoDaddy or PayPal by issuing quick subpoenas in their local courts in ‎less than 48 hours.

It would take the police on the other hand at least 4 months just to obtain ‎permission and the necessary budget to process a request for the same evidence.‎ If then you are arrested or prosecuted for a criminal offence involving the use of the internet, ‎particularly for offences relating to breaches of court orders or harassment on the internet, you ‎might find that your local criminal lawyer is not able to effectively assist you at the police station or ‎in court.

This is because most lawyers are not internet literate. If you wish to receive effective legal ‎representation concerning internet crime, we would therefore recommend that you approach a ‎lawyer who specialises in internet law and who is also a certified police station representative with ‎relevant experience in criminal law. ‎

As our internet law and social media crime lawyers are also fully accredited police station ‎representatives, we should be able to help. Our lawyers can help you with: contempt of court, ‎breach of court orders, harassment, breach of privacy, threats to kill, public order offences and ‎regulatory breaches.‎

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