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The prosecution of computer and internet crimes has risen in recent years. Part of the reason is the widespread use and availability of computer and internet services, as well as the sophistication of law enforcement in detecting and locating computer and internet crimes. Increasingly, law enforcement is hiring forensic specialists and computer experts to help them on these types of cases, which means it is easier for them to build a case against you. That’s why you need to find a Central Florida computer crimes lawyer who has specific experience in this area to ensure you get the defense you need.
What Are Computer and Internet Sex Crimes?
This is a relatively new area of the law that is constantly changing. You want a lawyer who stays up-to-date on computer and internet crimes so that they can build the best strategy for your defense. Most computer and internet crimes fall into one of the following categories:
Child Pornography – the creation, distribution, or possession of photos, movies, digital photos, or digital movies, which contain child pornography or “kiddy porn.” If you download and view child pornography, this is a third-degree felony. Sharing the images will make it a second-degree felony. A new criminal statute easily enhances most possessions of child pornography from third degree felonies to second degree felonies.
Producing or promoting child pornography can be a 1st degree felony with a sentence of 5 to 13 years in prison. You should be aware that the prosecution will hire forensic specialists to locate data that you tried to delete from your computer, so you can’t just delete the evidence and hope the charges will go away. This is a serious matter which requires an experienced Florida child pornography criminal defense attorney.
Computer and Internet theft crimes – This includes cyber crimes such as computer fraud, credit card fraud, white collar crimes, internet fraud, and identity theft. One common case is people who sell an item on eBay but never provide the product. Some other examples include soliciting people for fraudulent online investments, pyramid scams, or offers to work from home. In some cases, the undercover officers who discovered the crime may actually have engaged in illegal entrapment, so this is one avenue that a good Florida computer crimes lawyer will investigate. Be aware that any files you have deleted from your hard drive may be recovered by a forensic expert hired by the government. Many of these crimes carry minimum prison sentences, which means you will serve time if convicted.
Solicitation of a minor for sex – This includes soliciting minors for sex in chat rooms, bulletin boards and other online locations. This includes soliciting a police officer who was posing as a minor or parent of a minor. If convicted, you face a minimum prison sentence of 21 months with a possible maximum of 5 years in prison, up to 5 years of sex offender probation, and up to $5,000 in fines.
Lewd or lascivious exhibition – This includes exposing yourself over the internet to a potential minor or undercover police officer posing as a minor. Other acts include masturbating or any other sexual act not involving actual contact with the victim. If the accused is over the age of 18, then he or she is facing a second-degree felony. If the accused is under the age of 18, then he or she is facing a third-degree felony. If convicted, the accused would also have to register as a sex offender, which is a penalty that will affect your life and chances of employment for years to come. There are two main defenses that are possible: a false allegation and lack of lewd intent.
Child Pornography Charges and Other Internet Crimes Are a Serious Matter
The creation, distribution or mere possession of child pornography is a very serious crime, so if you are being questioned, are arrested, or are under suspicion, you need to contact a qualified Florida criminal defense attorney with experience in defending child pornography cases right away. Internet and computer law can be very complicated since technology is constantly changing and evolving. You want a Florida criminal lawyer with the experience and knowledge necessary to handle your case properly.
If you are under investigation for or charged with a child pornography or internet crime, it is recommended that you contact an Orlando sex crimes attorney right away.
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