Experienced California Defense Attorneys

At Amicus Legal Group, our knowledgeable team of criminal defense attorneys represents clients facing all types of internet crimes. We approach every case with the understanding that lawyers would not exist without clients, and our primary goal is to address each of our client’s individual needs. We understand the stresses and anxieties that come along with being criminally charged, and we do everything we can to provide you with peace of mind through the process. When you decide to let Amicus Legal Group represent you in your case, it will be a decision we will make sure you do not regret.

California Internet Crimes Defense

Aggressive criminal defense attorneys defend clients facing all types of California cybercrimes

While the internet provides the illusion of privacy, the fact is that almost everything someone does online can be monitored. A user’s online identity is not anonymous. When the government believes that someone is engaging in illegal activity from their computer, it will not hesitate to bring criminal charges. Internet crimes often fall under both state and federal court jurisdiction, and these crimes can be prosecuted in either state or federal court. Prosecutors and judges take California cybercrimes very seriously, and anyone facing these serious allegations needs an attorney who is ready to stand up for their rights. 

What Is a California Internet Crime?

Nowhere in state or federal law is the term internet crime defined. However, internet crimes, or cybercrimes, generally refer to any crime that relies on someone using a computer and a network to commit an illegal act. Thus, internet crimes can involve a wide array of illegal conduct. A few of the most common types of internet crimes are:

Child Pornography

The possession, distribution or manufacturing of child pornography is an extremely serious crime that can be prosecuted under state or federal law. Federal law provides much harsher penalties, up to 20 years imprisonment for a first offense and 40 years imprisonment for a repeat offense.

Drug Trafficking

More drug transactions are occurring online than ever before, and the federal government is privy to this fact. While buyers and sellers may think that they can maintain anonymity by using virtual currency, that is not necessarily the case. Federal drug trafficking charges can carry a potential sentence of up to life in prison, although the sentence depends heavily on the specific facts of the case and the individual’s prior record.

Extortion (Blackmail)

Extortion is when a person threatens to release potentially damaging or embarrassing information about another unless that person pays them money or performs some other requested action. Given the prevalence of social media, California blackmail crimes are becoming more common. If an act of extortion “obstructs, delays, or affects” interstate commerce, the crime is punishable by up to 20 years in jail.


The crime of hacking can be especially complex. However, simply stated, hacking is when someone accesses another’s computer or personal data without their permission. Hacking can be graded as either a misdemeanor or felony offense, carrying a potential punishment of up to 10 years in jail.


The First Amendment guarantees free speech – but those guarantees extend only to a certain point. Electronic harassment, or cyberstalking, involves using a computer to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass another person. Cyberstalking is either a misdemeanor of a felony, carrying a potential punishment of up to three years imprisonment for a first-time offense. This offense is also part of the state’s “three strikes” program, meaning if someone is convicted of a third offense, they face a mandatory 25 years in jail.

Identity Theft

Over the past decade, the number of reported cases of identity theft has skyrocketed. Identity theft is often charged in state court. However, if a computer was used to obtain another’s information, the federal government may prosecute the case. Federal identity theft charges can result in a term of imprisonment of up to 15 years.


Phishing occurs when someone sends an email asking for personal information, pretend to be from a reputable company or organization. California phishing crimes can be extraordinarily complicated, and defending against these charges requires an in-depth knowledge of the relevant laws as well as an underlying knowledge of computer networks and electronic communication.

Tax Refund Fraud

Someone commits tax refund fraud if they obtain someone else’s social security number who did not file a tax return, and use that information to file the return. Often, someone will obtain the social security number of someone who recently died, either through the black market or by phishing. Thus, tax refund fraud is typically charged alongside other serious cybercrimes. 

Regardless of the type, cybercrimes are very serious. However, many people charged with these crimes did not necessarily know that what they did was illegal or how to defend against the allegations. Thus, it is critical that anyone facing a California internet crime work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who is familiar with these complex cases.

Contact a criminal defense attorney for immediate assistance

If you have recently been arrested and charged with a California internet, reach out to the San Bernardino criminal defense attorneys at Amicus Legal Group. The firm aggressively defends clients facing all types of internet crimes. With extensive experience handling all types of cybercrimes in state and federal court, we have what it takes to help you defend against the allegations you are facing. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation, call us at (888) 588-1777. You can also reach us through our online form.

Client testimonials quote

Client Testimonials

John-Paul is an extremely effective criminal defense attorney. The one thing that makes him stand out from other defense attorneys is that he talks to his clients to learn the circumstances surrounding their incident and then he makes a forceful and articulate argument in defense of his clients. I recommend my clients to John-Paul when they are in need of a criminal defense attorney because I know he will stand up for them.

Stephen Rinka

Occasionally you meet another attorney who is so impressive both personally and professionally that you want to be affiliated with them in any way you can both personally and professionally. That is how I feel about John-Paul. I not only consider him one of the finest attorneys I know, but I now proudly call him my friend. He is among the very best.

David Booth

I had the pleasure of working a very large scale drug case with Mr. Serrao, representing co-defendants. Mr. Serrao was a pleasure to work with. Highly skilled and very aggressive in his advocacy on his client’s behalf. I highly recommend Mr. Serrao for anyone looking for a criminal defense attorney.

Babak Farahan

Attorney John Paul-Serrao helped us to win our case against the insurance company after we were involved in a traffic accident where our car was rear ended, we tried to handle it ourselves with the insurance company and they did not want to cooperate with us, so we hired Mr. Serrao and he was able to get us a settlement above with the insurance company was willing to pay. I would highly recommend him.

Lupe G.

Mr. Serrao worked on my DUI charge earlier this year and all I can say is WOW! Not only did he keep me updated with the case but his knowledge of the process helped calm my nerves, which was very important to me. He showed care for me as a client and I can’t thank him enough. I would recommend him to anyone in need of a quality criminal defense attorney.

Derrick J.

John-Paul is well known in our community as a smart and effective criminal defense lawyer who is sensitive to his clients’ situations and responsive to their needs. I refer my clients to him with confidence when they need help with the criminal justice system.

Lawrence Brock

John-Paul is a superb attorney. He was my mentor when I was in law school, and now as an attorney I still go to him for advice on complex cases. When my brother required representation I referred him to John-Paul. That is how highly I think of JP as an attorney. I would highly recommend him to anyone who needs representation.

Kit Westbrook

John-Paul took my civil case when no one else would because other lawyers didn’t have confidence in my daughter who has special needs to testify, if needed. John-Paul won her case against the school district without a jury because he cared about my child, believed she was honest and deserved justice. He still doesn’t mind taking my calls whenever I have a question regarding her case.

Dionne L.

Our legal team will collaborate and make sure attention is paid to every detail to ensure the best possible result for each client. We offer services in the following criminal defense areas:

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