The government's prosecution of individuals over computer crimes has exploded over the past decade. And that's because court decisions have allowed the government almost unfettered access to computer devices, such as hard drives, smart phones, and internet service providers, and people have incorporated computer technology into virtually every aspect of their lives. Examples of computer crimes are:

* Fraud achieved by the manipulation of computer records
* Spamming wherever outlawed completely or where regulations controlling it are violated
* Deliberate circumvention of computer security systems
* Unauthorised access to or modification of programs (see software cracking and hacking)
* Intellectual property theft, including software piracy
* Industrial espionage by means of access to or theft of computer materials
* Identity theft where this is accomplished by use of fraudulent computer transactions
* Writing or spreading computer viruses or worms
* Salami slicing is the practice of stealing money repeatedly in extremely small quantities
* Denial-of-service attack, where company websites are flooded with service requests and their website is overloaded and either slowed or crashes completely
 * Making and digitally distributing child pornography

Effective advocacy these days not only includes an attorney's skills in the courtroom, but also his knowledge and expertise in dealing with digital evidence. If you've been charged with or being investigated for a computer crime, you should retain legal counsel who is familiar with search issues related to computer devices and the government's use of digital evidence in the courtroom.