We’re seeing more cases of law enforcement monitoring chat rooms and message boards.In these cases, after they believe that a crime is occurring or has occurred, they frequently have a federal law enforcement official obtain the IP address records from the suspect’s internet service provider.This penalty for using a computer to commit a crime varies based on the penalty for the underlying crime, but ranges from one year to life in prison.The sentence for using a computer to commit a crime may be ordered to run consecutive to the underlying crime.After finding out where a suspect IP address is physically located, they frequently obtain a search warrant and seize the computers in question.During the execution of the search warrant, the government will try to obtain evidence that the suspect was the person using the computer.

In addition to any underlying crime, the prosecutor can tack on a charge of “using a computer to commit a crime” in violation of MCL 750.145d.

Prosecutors frequently add this charge any time that a computer was used in connection with another crimes, such as possession of child pornography, accosting a minor for immoral purposes, solicitation of prostitution, etc.


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