Impersonating Someone Online To Harm Or Defraud – California Penal Code § 528.5
It is illegal to impersonate another person online either to buy some sort of a social media posting account like a Facebook account or some email with the intent to do some sort of harm to that person or defraud another person.
Where we see this a lot is when people are impersonating another person – putting up some sort of crazy email account – maybe a boyfriend/girlfriend situation where one of the individuals is trying to get back at the other person so they put up some fake account trying to defraud or harm the other person and make them look like an idiot online or put some sexually-related material online by impersonating the other person. Obviously, this is illegal and you will be prosecuted if you are caught doing something like this.
Now with the new age of the internet, people doing all sorts of things on the internet in order to gain an advantage on another person, steal someone’s identity, steal information or money – now this Penal Code §528.5 is applicable and being used all the time by the prosecutors and police in order to stop individuals from impersonating people online.
Punishment For Impersonating Another Under Penal Code § 528.5
It is a straight misdemeanor. You could face up to a year in the County Jail. You could be sentenced to community service, Caltrans, community labor, put on probation for three years. You could be ordered to stay away from the person. You could also be ordered while you’re on probation not to be able to go online on a computer. They take these crimes very seriously.
So, if you’re charged with impersonating another person and you need a good California criminal defense attorney you’re going to want to find somebody that knows this area of the law, that has dealt with cases involving Penal Code §528.5 and obviously, knows how to get your version of events across to the prosecutor and the judge in order to either show that you’re innocent of the crime or to mitigate the case down to some lesser offense or even get the case set up for a diversionary program so that your record can be protected.
Defenses to Impersonating Another Person Online With The Intent To Defraud
One defense is nobody was harmed. Nobody took whatever you posted seriously and therefore, you cannot be prosecuted pursuant to this Penal Code Section. Another defense is you’re not the person that set up the account. You’re not the person who stole the identity or impersonated another person.
The prosecutors are going to have to be able to prove this through evidence. In other words, a lot of times they can track I.P. addresses and see who set certain things up. But just because a person had a motive to impersonate another person online with the intent to defraud doesn’t necessarily mean that they did it.
So, even though the police or the prosecutors might believe that you’re guilty of a particular car, they are going to need the evidence to prove it. That’s where a seasoned criminal defense comes in, who has been litigating cases in Los Angeles for a long time, knows how to defend these impersonating cases and knows how to show your side of the story.
What we have you do is we have you come in. Once we meet and go over everything, you’re going to have an idea of whether or not you’re going to be able to defend the case, whether or not it’s a situation where we need to work out a resolution in the case or whether it’s a situation where we need to fight the case all the way.
Contact our Law Firm for Help
You give me the information regarding the impersonation charges. Obviously, it’s incumbent upon you to be honest and tell the truth – really let us know what happened in the case so I can do everything I can to get the case resolved as quick as possible and get you out of the judicial system as fast as possible.
A lot of defenses relating to Penal Code §528.5 violations and doing something to impersonate another person online center around the facts of the case. Once we get the facts and circumstances, then we can really get down to the nitty-gritty as to whether or not you have a defense to this impersonation charge or whether it’s something that needs to be resolved by way of a plea bargain.
For more information on Online Impersonation To Harm Or Defraud, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 374-3952 today.
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