In today’s society, internet-based crimes are becoming increasingly prevalent across a variety of different formats. While internet crimes can vary, law enforcement channels many resources into preventing and solving internet sex crimes, especially those involving minors. The federal government spends millions of dollars each year on its ICAC program (Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program). This program was created to catch and penalize adults that use the internet to abuse minors sexually.
At The Law Offices of Benjamin Nadig, we’re not just the top-rated DUI lawyers in Las Vegas. We also help our client defend themselves from a number of crimes, including internet sex crimes. Let’s take a look at what you can do if you’ve been unfairly accused of an internet sex crime.
Legally Defining Internet Sex Crimes
If someone uses the internet to interact with a minor for sexual gratification, this is defined as an internet sex crime. That person may encourage sexual acts in a forum or chat room. However, one of the most common internet sex crime charges is the viewing of or possession of child pornography.
The United States Department of Justice website states that it is a federal crime to distribute, produce, receive, import, or possess any images depicting child pornography. The federal statute considers anyone under the age of 18 to be a minor. Pornography is defined as any visual depiction of a sexually explicit act.
Penalties for Possessing Child Pornography or Carrying Out Internet Sex Crimes
An individual can be penalized via the following methods for committing internet sex crimes.
Internet sex crimes are federal crimes. Therefore, any incarceration as a result of a charge will be carried out in a state prison rather than county jail. Those convicted will typically face a minimum of one year in jail.
The cost of penalty fines for internet sex crimes varies under several factors. These include the content of any child sexual abuse images, their quantity, and where they were distributed. It’s also at the discretion of the judge to decide just how steep a fine should be. That said, most people convicted of an internet sex crime can expect to be fined at least $1,000.
Sex Offender Registration
Anyone convicted of an internet sex crime will automatically be placed on a public sex offender list. Once on this list, people struggle to gain employment, rent specific living spaces, or be approved for loans. In severe cases or with repeat offenders, this registration can be permanent.
Defending an Internet Sex Crime
As many online videos or pictures that show sexual acts will not list the age of the people depicted, somebody arrested for possessing such material may not believe there is a minor involved.
A virus is defined as an unwelcome file or program downloaded automatically to a victim’s computer. For this reason, it is feasible a virus may have transferred child sexual abuse images to a defendant’s computer without their knowledge.
If images are proven to be for artistic appreciation as opposed to sexual gratification, this can be a line of defense for a person facing an internet sex crime.
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