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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Question Statute of Limitations for Cyber Crime

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: CA and PA.

    I have a question about statutes of limitations for one crime where the perpetrator lived in one state (CA) and the victim in another (PA). The perpetrator hacked the victim's email account twice, the first time in 2004 and the second time in 2007. Can the victim still press charges or have the statute of limitations run out?

    Even if statute of limitations now protects the perpetrator, can the victim still file for and recover damages via civil suit?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Statute of Limitations for Cyber Crime

    The statute of limitations can vary depending upon the full facts and potential criminal charge. We don't have that information. But if you're stating that you've known that somebody "hacked" your email six years ago and again three years ago, and you chose not to make a contemporaneous report to the police, I would be very surprised if a prosecutor were interested in trying to pick up the case at this time.

    The civil statute of limitations would similarly depend upon the cause of action that might be alleged, whether any tolling provisions might apply, and the laws of the state in which the action is properly brought. We know none of the relevant facts, nor even what the claimed "damage" is from the alleged hacking. You can have your case reviewed by a lawyer for possible litigation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Default Re: Statute of Limitations for Cyber Crime

    Thank you for your response, Mr. Knowitall.

    The victim did not know about the hacking until recently (July, 2010) when the perpetrator confessed to the crimes to another individual who then informed the victim. In 2004, the perpetrator had accessed the victim's email account and sent out an email from that account to a group of individuals, posing as the victim. The content of the email was foul and abusive and destroyed the victim's reputation with those people.

    In 2007, the perpetrator again accessed the email account and read some sensitive emails between the victim and another person.

    In both cases, it appears that the perpetrator was acting out of a desire for revenge against the victim and the perpetrator's motive was to harm the victim's name and reputation (in 2004) and to find out what the victim was saying about the perpetrator to common friends (in 2007). No financial fraud was involved.

    The victim was living in PA at the time of the crimes and the perpetrator in CA. In light of this information, what options does the victim have if he is now interested in pressing criminal charges AND seeking damages via a civil suit? Most importantly, have the statutes of limitations run out or does the victim still have time to seek justice against the perpetrator?

    Thank you in advance for your opinion / feedback.

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