New Jersey College Student Crimes: Piracy

New Jersey College Student Life

New Jersey offers outstanding college and university experiences. Students from inside and outside the state enjoy strong academic programs, exciting campus and cultural life, and rich alumni networks at their New Jersey schools. Public schools like the College of New Jersey, Montclair State University, Kean University, Rowan University, Thomas Edison State University, and Rutgers, The State University, and private schools like Seton Hall University and Caldwell University can provide students with rewarding opportunities to achieve their educational, professional, and vocational ambitions.

Piracy Crime on New Jersey Campuses

As rewarding as New Jersey higher education can be, students attending New Jersey public and private colleges and universities must nonetheless meet their school's personal and academic conduct standards while avoiding committing crimes threatening or affecting the campus community. One of those core conduct standards that New Jersey colleges and universities enforce has to do with piracy crime. Piracy, not in seafaring but instead of the campus kind, involves illegal downloading, copying, or transfer of copyrighted audio, digital, or other works for commercial purposes or financial gain. Raised and immersed in an online virtual world, college and university students can be unusually skilled in accessing, downloading, and distributing online materials. But federal and New Jersey criminal laws and New Jersey college and university policies prohibit students from committing acts of piracy. If you face piracy criminal or school disciplinary charges relating to your New Jersey college or university attendance, retain New Jersey school discipline and criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's Defense Team to represent you in both criminal and school disciplinary proceedings. Skilled, experienced, and coordinated school and criminal defense make for your best possible outcome.

Federal Anti-Piracy Criminal Law

New Jersey school disciplinary officials, together with state and federal criminal court prosecutors, are generally well aware of the powerful federal anti-piracy laws. Federal copyright laws have protected original works from unauthorized copying and distribution virtually since the country's founding. The much more recent Digital Millennium Copyright Act and other congressional acts have amended old copyright laws to address rampant online piracy of music and video files and similar copyrighted works. Copyright infringement remedies codified at 17 USC Sections 501 and 506 currently provide severe civil and criminal penalties against students and others who reproduce or distribute copyrighted files. 18 USC Section 2319 sets the punishment for violating these federal anti-piracy laws at from one to ten years imprisonment, in addition to fines assessed for every violating act. Your school disciplinary officials, and local prosecutors, may take these federal criminal provisions into account when pursuing school disciplinary or criminal court charges. Federal prosecutors also indict New Jersey residents for copyright crimes.

New Jersey Anti-Piracy Criminal Law

New Jersey has its own Anti-Piracy Act codified in New Jersey Statute Section 2C:21-21. The New Jersey Anti-Piracy Act focuses its prohibitions not only on sound recordings but also on audiovisual works. The Act criminalizes not only the unauthorized transfer of sound recordings and audiovisual works for financial gain but also transferring of sound or audiovisual files for mere use without the intent to commercialize the violation. The Act also criminalizes advertising the commercial transfer of unauthorized sound and audiovisual files, making an unauthorized recording at a live event for financial gain or use, and various other acts. The Act expressly authorizes law enforcement officials to arrest without a warrant any student or other person suspected of violating the Act's live recording provision. Your New Jersey college or university campus police, disciplinary officials, and local police and prosecutors have ample state law authority to pursue school disciplinary and state criminal court charges under New Jersey's anti-piracy laws. Retain New Jersey school discipline and criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's Defense Team to coordinate your defense of charges in both the school and criminal court forum.

Penalties for New Jersey Piracy Crimes

New Jersey's Anti-Piracy Act codified in New Jersey Statute Section 2C:21-21 provides a range of criminal penalties depending on the number of pirated recordings. Pirating at least 1,000 sound recordings or 65 audiovisual works within 180 days is a third-degree crime punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Pirating more than 100 but less than 1,000 sound recordings or more than seven but less than 65 audiovisual works within 180 days is also a third-degree crime but limits the fine to a maximum of $150,000. Any lesser piracy offense under the Act is a fourth-degree crime punishable by up to 18 months in prison and $25,000 fine unless the offense is a second or subsequent offense, in which case the crime is of the third degree with fines up to $50,000 for a second offense and $100,000 for a third and subsequent offense. Retain New Jersey school discipline and criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento if you face any such charges for your best outcome in avoiding or minimizing these severe potential criminal penalties.

New Jersey Piracy Investigations and Prosecution

Students on New Jersey college and university campuses can face piracy investigations not only by federal or state law enforcement officials but also by campus police and school disciplinary officials. Students will find campus police departments on campus at Rutgers, Montclair State University, New Jersey City University, Stockton University, Rowan University, and other local colleges and universities. Campus police and local law enforcement may tend to focus first on crimes involving public safety. But they may investigate property and piracy crimes, too, especially when the activity threatens the school's reputation and the integrity of its personnel, programs, and electronic or other systems. Campus police and disciplinary officials may also share information with local police and prosecutors and coordinate investigation and prosecution in other ways. Retain attorney Lento the moment you learn of a criminal or school piracy investigation. You need to know your school and constitutional rights. Your retained defense attorney's skilled response and advocacy may also forestall criminal charges or school disciplinary proceedings.

Defending New Jersey Criminal Piracy Charges

A criminal piracy investigation and charge do not mean that local prosecutors will convict you for violating New Jersey state anti-piracy laws. Even if you face a piracy charge, you may not have violated federal or state piracy laws. Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and other copyright laws may allow you to use and even copy a protected work without infringing it for your own personal use after a legal purchase. Or the owners of the copyrighted work may have given permission for your download and other use when uploading or allowing the upload of their work for online posting. You may have other exonerating and mitigating evidence that your retained criminal defense attorney can present to law enforcement investigators, prosecutors, or the court that will lead to the voluntary abandonment or court dismissal of charges. New Jersey criminal defense and school discipline attorney Joseph D. Lento also has the skill and reputation for negotiating with prosecutors for charge reduction, dismissal, or diversion. Your criminal piracy charges may qualify for New Jersey's Pretrial Intervention or Diversion programs. Your best move when facing New Jersey piracy charges is to retain the best available criminal defense attorney for the best possible outcome.

New Jersey Criminal Procedures for Piracy Charges

Even if school officials, law enforcement investigators, and local prosecutors have evidence of piracy violations, you still have the benefit of New Jersey's protective criminal procedures. As a matter of constitutional law, those procedures must presume your innocence unless and until prosecutors prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That proof standard is the highest standard the law imposes, meaning that factual doubt over the evidence should result in your acquittal on piracy charges. You also have constitutional rights against unreasonable searches of your person, premises, and devices and unlawful arrest or unreasonable seizures of evidence. Police or prosecutor misconduct violating your rights can lead to suppression of evidence and dismissal of piracy charges. Your retained criminal defense attorney may be able to invoke preliminary examination, pretrial motion, and trial procedures enforcing your constitutional and statutory rights, leading to the dismissal of piracy charges or a not guilty verdict. Once you retain New Jersey criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's Defense Team, they can strategically deploy procedures for your best outcome.

New Jersey School Piracy Policies

While criminal piracy charges are a serious matter, your interest in continuing and completing your New Jersey college or university education may be just as great as or even greater than avoiding criminal piracy charges. Your New Jersey college or university very likely includes anti-piracy provisions in its student code of conduct. Your violation of school anti-piracy policies could lead to school discipline, suspension, and dismissal, having a severe impact on your education and future. Consider, for example, each of these policies prohibiting piracy at prominent New Jersey colleges and universities:

  • Montclair State University's Code of Conduct states that “unlawful downloading of music, movies, or other copyrighted material is expressly prohibited, as is the illegal file sharing of such material”;
  • Rutgers University maintains a Copyright Policy prohibiting students from violating the copyrights of others on campus or using school computing resources;
  • New Jersey City University maintains a Student Code of Conduct that prohibits computer misuse, theft, and violations of state or federal law while referring to the University's intellectual property policy prohibiting copyright violations and unauthorized file transfers; and
  • Seton Hall University maintains a Student Code of Conduct that expressly prohibits “use of computing facilities and resources in violation of copyright laws,” while also prohibiting unauthorized file transfers, theft, and other violations of state or federal law.

New Jersey Campus Piracy Disciplinary Procedures

Don't ignore your school's piracy allegations, believing that you must suffer discipline. New Jersey colleges and universities, like schools elsewhere, must generally offer protective procedures to ensure that school officials do not deprive you of your liberty and property interests in earning your degree. Schools typically publish disciplinary procedures in their student codes of conduct or related policies. For example, the student code at Montclair State University offers extensive protective procedures from written notice of charges to informal conferences, investigation interviews, investigation report reviews, formal hearings for contested charges, and appeals of adverse decisions. Your retained school disciplinary defense attorney should have the skills and experience to strategically invoke those procedures to your best advantage. Retain premier school discipline and criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento for the best available school discipline defense representation. Attorney Lento has helped hundreds of college and university students nationwide successfully defend and defeat all kinds of misconduct charges, including piracy charges.

Special School Relief from Piracy Charges

While piracy can be a serious criminal and school matter, downloading and sharing computer files doesn't generally carry the danger and other harms that school violence can carry. New Jersey college and university disciplinary officials may, with sensitive and skilled school discipline defense attorney representation, be willing to accept alternative resolutions that avoid student discipline and permit the accused student to continue in school. Even if you have exhausted all school disciplinary procedures, retain New Jersey school discipline and criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento to explore alternative special relief through your school's general counsel office or other oversight channels. Attorney Lento has the national and local reputation and network to gain the trust, confidence, and attention of school oversight officials. He has helped many students gain reinstatement and other relief after they had exhausted all formal channels.

New Jersey Defense Attorney for Student Piracy Charges

New Jersey student discipline and criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento is your best available option for the coordinated defense of both school disciplinary and criminal court piracy charges for your best possible outcome. Attorney Lento has the premier skills and substantial experience you need for both criminal and school defense of piracy charges. Trust attorney Lento, as hundreds of other college and university students nationwide have done, for your best defense of misconduct charges. Contact attorney Lento now at 888.535.3686 or go online.

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When it comes to criminal defense cases, you need the right person in your corner. To learn more about how Mr. Lento can help you, call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686. or contact him online.

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