Recent advancements in technology have enabled sex crimes to travel into cyberspace. Individuals can search the web for child pornography, arrange for an escort service, or agree to meet a minor for sex. As such, California law enforcement officials and federal agents often set up undercover sting operations to catch individuals who are using the Internet to engage in illegal sexual activity.
If you have been arrested and charged with an Internet sex crime, your entire future and reputation are at stake. You will need an experienced and skilled Oakland sex crimes defense lawyer on your side to build a solid and formidable defense against these serious allegations. Without aggressive legal representation, you could find yourself behind bars and required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of your life.
There are a variety of sex crimes that can occur on the Internet, and your future and your freedom depend largely on the charges that are filed against you and the age of the victim at the time of the incident. In general, sex crimes that involve minors are treated more harshly and result in significant penalties.
Prosecutors and law enforcement agents do not look favorably on individuals who are accused of being online sexual predators. Using the Internet to lure children for sexual purposes is against California Penal Code 288.4 and prosecuted harshly. Also known as "arranging to meet a minor for a lewd purpose", this crime is motivated by a sexual interest in children. If you are convicted of this crime, you face the following penalties and consequences:
In order to be convicted of an Internet sex crime, the prosecution must prove that you willfully and intentionally broke the law. If you were unaware that the individual you were meeting was a minor or if the minor misrepresented himself or herself, then your attorney may be able to have the charges against you dismissed.
If you were arrested as a part of sting operation, then your Oakland sex crimes defense lawyer may be able to argue entrapment. It is important to consult with an experienced sex crimes attorney immediately upon arrest so that your attorney can begin to investigate the incident and expose the weaknesses in the prosecution's case against you.
Sadly, many individuals who are arrested for Internet sex crimes are innocent. Many times it was another individual who downloaded child pornography on their computer without their knowledge. Perhaps you mistakenly downloaded an image you did not mean to download or arranged to meet someone you thought was older.
No matter how bleak your future looks, there are ways to beat these serious charges. Call us at (510) 907-6600 for a free consultation and to start building a solid defense against these serious sex crime charges. If you are already detained, we are also available for phone consultations and jail interviews.