Sophisticated Defense For Internet Sex Crimes
It might seem like harmless keystrokes on a computer or smartphone, but certain conduct on the internet can result in felony prosecution for sex offenses.
If you or a family member has been arrested or investigated for an internet sex crime, you will need experienced and forceful representation. These are serious offenses punishable by years in prison and being labeled a sex offender. The Law Offices of Severo, PLC will take action to protect your rights and fight the charges.
How Can Using The Internet Or Social Media Be A “Sex Crime”?
Under California statute and federal law, you can be charged with a crime for using the internet or smartphone apps to engage in prohibited sexual activities:
- Child pornography – It is a major felony to possess, distribute or create sexual images depicting minors or young children. You can even face charges for unknowingly downloading illegal photos or videos.
- Sexting – Adults can freely trade nude photos or depictions of sexual acts on their phones. But if either the subject or the recipient is under the age of 18, “sexting” can be charged as a felony pornography crime.
- Revenge porn – It is a crime in California to post or distribute nude images or sex acts involving another person without their consent, or to extort or threaten someone (such as a former partner) with making such images public.
- Soliciting minors for sex – It is unlawful to attempt to engage in sexual contact with an underage person, such as arranging online or through a phone app to “hook up” with a teenager. Under the law, it does not matter if no sex actually occurred or if the “teen” turns out to be an undercover cop.
These cases often fall under federal jurisdiction when the conduct crosses state lines. Frequently federal and state law enforcement cooperates in stings and investigations. Our sex crime defense lawyers have experience in both the federal courts and state courts of California.
Fighting The Charges And Limiting The Damage
Possession of child pornography (California Penal Code §311.1) can be a misdemeanor or felony. The lesser charge is punishable by up to a year in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. The felony charge carries up to three years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.The penalties escalate for selling or distributing child porn or for involvement in producing such material: up to six years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines. All child pornography convictions require mandatory sex offender registration. As of 2021, misdemeanor sex offenses require only 10 years on the registry while felonies trigger a lifetime registry.
Soliciting a minor on the internet can also be a misdemeanor or felony. Arranging to meet is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a fine up to $5,000. Actually showing up to meet the minor, or soliciting a minor after a prior conviction, are felonies, punishable by up to four years in state prison and/or a fine up to $10,000.
Our attorneys are well versed in the law, including the viable defenses against internet sex crimes. The government must prove that you knowingly sent or bought illegal images, or that you intended to have sex with an underage person. We use the computer and cellphone experts to analyze the forensic evidence, and we examine the legality of surveillance, search warrants, seized property and interrogations.
There Is Too Much At Stake. Call Us Today.
Raoul Severo has a reputation as a “bulldog” in court. He and his experienced team will strongly assert your rights and skillfully challenge the prosecution’s case to avoid a conviction or minimize the penalties.