Defending Against Internet Sex Crime Charges
The Internet has provided a new avenue for state and federal governments to prosecute sex crimes. Even if you accidentally happened upon a child pornography site on the Internet or unintentionally viewed an improper image on your computer screen, you could be charged with possession of child pornography, even if you immediately deleted the image. If you arrange to meet someone who portrays him- or herself as a minor in a chat room or instant-message conversation, you could be charged with solicitation of a minor or attempted child rape.
My name is Christian Phelps, and I am a criminal defense lawyer in Spokane, Washington. If you have been charged with any Internet sex crime, you should contact a lawyer immediately. You could face a lengthy prison sentence for something you didn't even know was illegal. You could also face lifetime registration as a sex offender.
For a free consultation to discuss your case, contact my office today.
About Child Pornography Charges
In 2003, Congress passed the PROTECT Act, which provides very strict penalties for child pornography. Possession of child pornography can result in a mandatory five-year prison sentence. If you trade or post pornographic pictures of children, you can face a mandatory 10-year prison sentence. If you take a picture of a minor without his or her clothes on, you could be charged with creation or manufacturing of child pornography, and you will face a possible 15-year prison sentence. Ironically enough, it is legal to have sexual intercourse with someone who is 16 years old, but it is illegal to take pictures of someone without their clothes on until they are 18 years old.
There are defenses against Internet sex crime charges. In a child porn case, I can challenge the search and seizure of your computer. If the police did not obtain a proper search warrant, any images obtained from your computer can be suppressed. We can also challenge forensic evidence obtained from your computer by hiring experts of our own to determine if you actually opened the files or transmitted the pictures. If you were arrested based on a sting operation (like those commonly portrayed on Dateline and other news programs) or in a chat room or an on-line forum, entrapment is a common and effective defense.
Contact My Office Today
If you have been charged with an Internet sex crime in Washington or Oregon, DO NOT talk to police or anyone else until you have talked with me, criminal defense attorney Christian Phelps. For a free initial consultation, contact my office by email or by phone at 509-323-2420.