What Constitutes an “Internet Crime” in New Jersey?

“Cybercrime” is the name frequently given to many crimes that can be committed through the use of a computer. So many parts of our lives today are tied to the Internet, from our social lives to our bank accounts, and even our home security cameras and TVs. Because of this, there are many crimes that deal explicitly with the use of the Internet. Some of the more common Internet crimes are listed below. This list helps explain which crimes are categorized as Internet crimes or cybercrimes. If you or a loved one was charged with a crime dealing with the use of a computer or the internet, call the Atlantic City Internet crime defense lawyers at The Law Offices of John J. Zarych today at (609) 616-4956.

List of Cybercrimes in New Jersey

Many Internet crimes are merely everyday, “analog” crimes committed through the use of the Internet. For instance, you can rob a bank by walking into a physical bank, but you can also commit theft by remotely accessing someone’s computer and making false transactions with their information. Alternatively, there are some newer crimes that are separate and deal with the use of a computer itself, such as hacking crimes. The following are all examples of common crimes committed with the use of a computer or the Internet:

Child Pornography Crimes

Though child pornography – and statutes criminalizing it – have been around long before the Internet, Internet access has increased the availability and distribution of this illegal material. Many parts of the statutes dealing with possession of child pornography explicitly mention the use of a computer, file server, or another digital medium to access or share illicit pictures or videos. The child pornography charges dealing with the use of a computer often have higher penalties than the basic offense of possessing child pornography.

Identity Theft

Stealing someone’s personal information in an attempt to pass yourself off as them is completely illegal. This may be charged under various crimes, depending on your specific actions. For example, someone could use stolen information to commit forgery by signing another’s name, create false credit cards (or credit card transactions) with someone’s account information, or simply steal from the victim. N.J.S.A. § 2C:21-17 also creates the crime of “impersonation,” which is also illegal.

Wrongful Access/Hacking

Accessing “any data, data base, computer, computer storage medium, computer software, computer equipment, [or] computer system” is illegal under N.J.S.A. § 2C:20-31. If this information you access is disclosed to anyone or leaked to the public, you can be convicted of either a second or third degree crime. Not only that, but there are also federal crimes dealing with access, which can carry extensive fines and restitution for any damage (including, in some cases, the cost of running remedial security checks or patching holes in security).

Cyberbullying/Cyber Harassment

N.J.S.A. § 2C:33-4.1 explicitly creates a crime called “cyber-harassment,” which is separate from the standard harassment statute. While the crime of harassment covers using the Internet to harass someone under its general terms, the NJ legislature created this separate crime to explicitly punish online harassment and cyberbullying. This crime also has upgraded penalties from normal NJ harassment crimes, showing this Internet crime is taken more seriously.


Many emails and other online communications are sent as an attempt to get people to disclose personal information or send them money. Many of these are grouped under “419 scams” or “Nigerian prince” schemes, where someone will try to get money by claiming to be someone wealthy that needs to borrow money. Other scams merely try to get access to your information so they can use it to crack your passwords or steal your identity. While there is no crime called “phishing,” there are other offenses that you can be charged with for soliciting private information or money under false pretenses. Especially if you get information or money, this could end with identity theft or theft charges.


More and more money is becoming attached to the Internet every day. Many people in New Jersey use online banking, online payment systems (like PayPal, Venmo, or systems through their bank), online investing programs, or even Bitcoin and cryptocurrency wallets. Stealing money through these systems is illegal under standard theft offenses. However, the use of a computer may mean you can be charged with additional crimes or may convince a judge to issue additional penalties and higher sentences for theft using a computer or the Internet.

Call Our Atlantic City Internet Crime Defense Lawyers Today for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one was charged with a criminal offense that involved using a computer or the Internet, talk to an attorney right away. The Atlantic City cybercrimes lawyers at The Law Offices of John J. Zarych represent people dealing with complex or complicated Internet crimes as well as traditional crimes committed using the Internet. For a free consultation on your case, contact our law offices today at (609) 616-4956.

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