Person typing on computerThis is the next post in my series on the handling of computer related crimes in Peoria, Illinois. My last article discussed the possible need for expert witnesses in matters involving cyber crimes. It is important to understand that “layperson” witnesses may not testify in regards to subjects involving specialized knowledge, training, or skill. This means that each side in a computer related case will often employ an expert to dispute whether or not “hacking” occurred. In this article I will discuss another important topic – what to expect from the trial process. I cannot stress enough that attending trial can be a complicated affair. It is important that you retain a criminal defense attorney who is experienced in handling such matters. If you are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.

I previously discussed what a defendant should expect when taking an embezzlement case to trial. Many of these same processes apply to matters involving cyber crimes. The case will begin with the selection of a jury. While the attorneys for each side will be able to “strike” a certain number of persons from the pool of potential jurors, counsel may not use their challenges to remove someone for reasons involving ethnicity, gender, religion, or some other protected characteristic. Each side will make an opening statement after the jury has been selected. The prosecution will then present their case. The defense will follow with its evidence and witnesses. The prosecution may then follow with evidence which “rebuts” any claims made by the defense. Closing arguments will be made and the jury will deliberate. A verdict will be delivered thereafter and the matter will be concluded.

An important point to understand about cyber crime trials is that they can involve highly complicated facts. There can be a dispute about whether a crime occurred at all. For example, in order to show that the defendant perpetrated a “hack,” the prosecution must first show that someone’s online assets were actually accessed. Also, assuming a crime is proven, the prosecution must be able to show that the defendant was the one who actually committed the offense. Establishing such matters can require counsel to explain IP logs, routing information, and technical records to the jury. This information can be voluminous and complex. The defendant’s counsel must be able to address a jury in a way that the jurors can easily interpret. This means that one should retain a lawyer with extensive trial experience.

As a former prosecuting attorney, I am familiar with our local court systems. I have taken many cases to trial and I strongly believe that everyone is entitled to a vigorous defense. If you have been arrested for a computer related crime, then contact my office to speak with a Peoria defense lawyer. We also service the cities of Bloomington, Decatur, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington. We also serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford. Additional areas where we handle federal cases include Benton, Chicago, East St. Louis, Springfield, and Urbana.

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