Introduction to Internet Sex Crimes
The pervasive influence of internet technology has created a trap for the unwary computer user. The internet is like the Wild West 150 years ago in the sense it is the last frontier for law enforcement. While it is now easy for law enforcement authorities to track down people engaged in Internet sex crimes like the distribution of child pornography or solicitation of a child to engage in a sexual act, law enforcement often fails to distinguish an IP address from the individual using the computer. When a team of law enforcement officers descend on your home or office to execute a search or arrest warrant, the situation can be disturbing.
The vast majority of Internet sex crimes involve kids, such as the use of the web to coordinate sexual contacts or encounters with minors or engaging in transmitting, receiving or possessing child pornography. Local law enforcement, state investigators and the FBI have all ratcheted up their investment in arresting and prosecuting individual involved in internet sex crimes. These law enforcement schemes often involve sting operations aimed at ensnaring many people often by using decoys pretending to be minors. Approximately 2,500 people per year are arrested for internet sex crimes involving minors. One in four of these arrests involves a decoy undercover officer rather than an alleged victim.
The best way to protect your future is to exercise your right not to talk to the police and immediately contacting our experience Arizona Internet sex crime defense attorneys at Ariano and Associates. Law enforcement officers often can track downloads without emails or other forms of unique proof. This information is used to obtain a search warrant, so the police can come to your home or business and seize computers and other evidence of online sex offenses. Our Phoenix online sex crimes attorneys have the knowledge, experience and expertise to aggressively challenge law enforcement agencies and prosecutors in these complex cases.
What Types of Conduct Constitute Internet Sex Crimes in Arizona?
There are generally three broad types of internet sex crimes:
- Enticing Minors for Sexual Conduct: If you engage a minor in instant messaging or chat to lure, communicate, solicit or schedule an opportunity to sexually exploit a child, you can be charged with a crime.
- Child Pornography: If you possess, distribute, download, buy, sell or view images that constitute child pornography, you will face felony charges. See the article on Findlaw about Arizona child pornography laws.
- Harassment: Another type of conduct that many do not necessarily viewed by some people as a sex crime involves using the web to stalk, threaten or harass.
Understanding the Consequences for Web Based Sex Offense
The penalties associated with internet sex offenses can be devastating, such as:
- Felony record
- Many years in state prison
- Mandatory registration as a sex offender
- Restrictions on employment and housing
- Ban on internet usage
The specific penalties will depend on your situation, so you should contact an experienced Phoenix sex crimes lawyer who can evaluate your situation and explain your rights and potential exposure.
Skilled Criminal Defense for Individuals Charged with Online Sex Crimes in Phoenix
If your IP address is linked to an internet sex crime, our experienced Phoenix internet sex offense attorneys have the technical skill and legal knowledge to identify the most promising defense strategies. We work closely with computer experts who might be able to establish that you did not knowingly download or view sexual images. Whether we defend you by contending that someone else was the perpetrator of unlawful conduct or by seeking the suppression of illegally obtained evidence, we provide a fierce defense on behalf of all of our clients.