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Anyone who receives email will understand the term spam. The legal term for it is transmission of unsolicited commercial electronic mail. Certain types of spam are illegal under Virginia law.

It is illegal in this state for a person to use a computer or a network for the falsification or forging of email or other routing information to transmit spam. This will be a Class 1 misdemeanor unless the volume goes beyond 10,000 attempted targets within 24 hours, 100,000 within 30 days, or one million within one year. Then it will be a Class 6 felony. The same holds true if the revenue from this type of email communication goes beyond $1,000 or the total amount accrued goes beyond $50,000.

It is illegal in Virginia to sell, distribute or market software that designed to facilitate the falsification of transmission or routing information, or which has little commercial purpose other than to transmit spam. Anyone charged with these crimes will be facing a Class 1 misdemeanor. Hiring or permitting a minor to take part in sending spam is a Class 6 felony.

Computer law can be complicated and difficult to understand. A violation could simply be an oversight or a mistake. Whatever the situation, those facing charges related to white collar crimes of any kind must remember that the punishments can be as significant as those for violent crimes or crimes involving theft. Anyone facing spam-related charges in Virginia can benefit from speaking to an attorney experienced in defending against white collar crime charges.

Source:, "18.2-152.3:1. Transmission of unsolicited commercial electronic mail (spam); penalty.," accessed on Sept. 26, 2016

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