Internet Sex Crimes
Most Texas prosecutors will zealously pursue any internet sex crimes case, especially if children are involved. Extensive joint task force “sting operations” coordinated by multiple law enforcement agencies lead to many arrests.
A federal prosecution case will have extensive documentation and witness statements to support the government’s case. Internet sex crime charges can be filed based upon either Texas state law or federal law. These cyber-crime sexual offenses frequently involve serious felony charges and those convicted face lengthy prison sentences and mandatory registration as a sex offender.
If you’ve been accused, it’s important to protect yourself by hiring an internet sex crimes defense lawyer in Plano. Contact Barbieri Law Firm to learn more: 972-424-1902.
What Is an Internet Sex Crime?
Internet sex crimes involve any type of behavior defined as a criminal offense involving sexual behavior or conduct that occurs over the internet. Online sexual behavior becomes a crime in Texas when state or federal law defines the action or activity as illegal.
Internet sex crimes include:
- Possession or distribution of child pornography
- Sex trafficking – promoting, encouraging, assisting, participating
- Prostitution – promoting, encouraging, assisting, participating
- Arranging to meet with a minor for sex
- Sexting with a minor
Penalties in Internet Sex Crimes
After being arrested and charged for an internet sex crime, the accused is processed through either the Texas state or federal criminal justice system. If convicted, sentencing and punishment are determined by the appropriate state or federal laws.
Penalties in Texas Internet Sex Crimes
In Texas state cases, a conviction of an internet sex crime of the 2nd Degree has a minimum sentence of 2 years imprisonment in a Texas facility. Serious offenses may escalate that sentence to a 1st Degree Felony, which carries a maximum sentence of 99 years in prison.
Penalties in Federal Internet Sex Crimes
In federal cases, a conviction for an internet sex crime may come with a mandatory minimum sentence. Sentencing can involve a minimum of 15-30 years to be served in federal prison. If convicted for a federal sex crime involving a minor, serious cases can result in life imprisonment.
Legal Defenses of Internet Sex Crime Charges
Several defense strategies can be used in internet sex crime cases, depending upon the specific situation and the evidence produced by the prosecution. These include:
- Innocent of the charges – a challenge to an element of the state’s case, such as having the necessary intent or knowledge as required by the criminal statute
- Arguing consent of the alleged victim to the actions
- Prosecution unable to meet their legal burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt – evidence inadmissible or unlawful search or seizure
- Establishing entrapment (coercion)
- Mental incapacity or mental illness at the time of the event
Use of Computer Forensic Experts in Internet Sex Crime Defense
Due to the technological nature of any internet sex crime case, a criminal defense lawyer may require the assistance of an expert in computer forensics to help. These experts may be called to testify at trial on computer-related and online-specific issues.
Computer forensic analysis can be useful in collecting data and information from computer hard drives, networks, and storage devices and analyzing the complicated information collected by the government in support of the charges. A review of the prosecution’s file by forensic experts may even result in the defense’s ability to challenge the authenticity or admissibility of part or all of the government’s case.
Call Barbieri Law Firm to Speak with an Internet Sex Crimes Attorney
If you are under investigation for a possible internet sex crime by federal agents or Texas law enforcement, you need to immediately contact an experienced sex crimes criminal defense lawyer to advocate on your behalf. Even a rumor that someone is being investigated for an internet sex crime can permanently damage their reputation, destroy relationships with family members and friends, or cost them their job. Take any suggestion or insinuation of an internet sex crime violation very seriously. If charges have been filed, an aggressive and thorough criminal defense is essential.
When you need a tough defense for sex crime charges, call the skilled legal team at Barbieri Law Firm. Call 972-424-1902 or contact the firm online to request a free, confidential consultation.