Criminal Conversion and Property Theft
As societies grow and prosper, the rules and regulations governing individual actions may change with the times. New technologies not only provide people with different options for living their lives and new ways of communicating, but they also may provide new ways for people to commit crimes and violate the laws of society.
With the advent of advanced cell-phone and internet technology, there has been a sharp increase in technology-related crimes, whether it be identity theft, fraud, or computer-hacking. In the case of stealing someone else’s information, web-traffic, or wireless signal, individuals may be accused of the crime of criminal conversion.
At it’s core, conversion is considered to be the crime of using someone else’s property as your own or exerting control over such property without the owner’s consent. The difference between conversion and theft often lies in the intent of the person’s use. Theft usually means that the individual committing the crime intends to completely deprive the owner of his or her property. Conversion typically means that the person who exerts control over the property does so with the intent of using it for his or her own purposes but does not mean to completely take it away from the owner.
Conversion may include the use of someone else’s utility line, web-space, or other property for temporary use. This is a crime if the property owner is unaware of the use and did not authorize the use of his or her property. The same can be said for someone who takes another person’s computer to use for a short time with the intent of returning it later. Such acts are often considered to be criminal conversion and may be punishable in a court of law.
Because individuals who commit acts of criminal conversion often do not keep or completely control the property they use, the crime is often considered to be slightly less serious than theft. Consequences for criminal conversion often depend on the specifics of the case and the amount of control they held over the property.
In some cases, criminal conversion may only require fines, classes, and a period of probation if a conviction is reached. In more serious cases, individuals may face heavy fines and incarceration for their crimes. Regardless of the circumstances, any individual who is accused of a crime has the right to defend themselves in a court of law. If you have been accused of criminal conversion and would like to know more about criminal defense, visit the website of the Appleton criminal attorneys of Kohler, Hart & Priebe.