It is becoming a common occurrence. In an Internet chat room, a minor will come in and request to chat privately with someone. Only that there is no such minor, but a police officer typing away through the night. Many have followed the bait. As the chat with the “minor” progresses, the conversation turns sexual in nature. After some chatting, the minor suggests a meeting in person…. setting up the police sting operation.
At this point, the psychology of Internet chatting comes in. Only a few subjects will actually attempt to meet this “minor.” The large majority of chatters have no real interest or desire to actually meet a minor. We have had clients that have chatted with “minors” but utterly refused meeting them. Despite this refusal, the police will obtain a warrant for the person’s arrest for several felony charges. The police will also confiscate the person’s computers. In the absence of specialized legal representation, the presumption against bond may keep the person in jail for several months awaiting trial. A conviction may mean several years of jail time and lifetime registration as a sex offender, together with the social opprobrium associated with that term.
A person accused of this type of conduct requires the expertise of an attorney who not only understands criminal defense but also has the technical expertise to understand the underlying Internet technology. Cybercrime defense is the the area of Internet law where attorneys claiming to be super lawyers but lacking substance and relevant courtroom success will not excel. Similarly, old school criminal defense lawyers with no technical expertise will be unable to effectively question Internet evidence.
Our Internet sex crime defense team consists of a Computer Engineer and associated attorneys. We have effectively defended these crimes and have a unique track record and expertise.