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High bail set for California man for comments made online

Internet crime, also known as cyber crime, is a broad range of illegal activity that can range from the very minor to the very serious. Internet crimes include everything from phishing scams and identity theft, to cyber bullying and even cyber terrorism. Some crimes can include very serious charges with severe penalties. That is why, no matter what charge a person faces, it is important to get the best possible criminal defense from very beginning.

Among the many types of computer crimes, cyber bullying is beginning to receive a lot of attention lately. In one such case, a former Ivy League college student was arrested by California law enforcement for allegedly making online death threats to children. The alleged threats occurred on ESPN's websites, in a reader response section. According to officials, the threats were serious enough, that the former Yale student remains jailed on $1 million bail, a bail amount typically reserved for the most serious criminal offenses such as murder.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office has not released the details of their investigation, or why the bond amount was set so high. In most cases involving terroristic threats, however, the presumptive bail amount is $50,000. Moving bail upward involves a showing of specific circumstances that demonstrate the individual is either a flight risk or that he is a threat to the community. It was noted, that several guns were found at the young man's home.

Despite both of these factors, the presumption is always innocence before guilt. Owning guns does not make a person a terrorist, or even suggest intent to carry out a violent act. Furthermore, words, like guns, are protected. To arrest a man and charge him with a crime is an act that should never be taken lightly. Too often prosecutors fail to understand the gravity of such an act, and cases are then built on little more than inferences and theories.

Source: New Haven Register, "Former Yalie in California jailed on $1 million bail in online death threats to children," Sept. 19, 2012

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