The occurrence of internet sex crimes has dramatically increased lately due to the number of people using the internet and the ease of access to the internet for minors. The criminal defense team at Greenberg & Greenberg defends clients who are charged with internet solicitation crimes in San Bernardino & Riverside, California. Being charged with child pornography, prostitution, or other internet sex crimes is a terrifying experience. Our attorneys have experience in this area of California criminal law and they know the best legal strategies to use in order to minimize the damage to your reputation and to minimize the consequences you are facing if convicted of internet solicitation.
You do not have to be found guilty of internet solicitation or an internet sex crime to have your life ruined. Being accused of these crimes are enough to cause embarrassment, job loss, divorce, and other devastating consequences. If you have been charged with internet solicitation, it is vital that you do not speak with anyone until you have consulted with one of our criminal defense attorneys. Anything you do or say may be construed as an implication of guilt and can be used against you. Contact our office immediately, so that we can protect your legal right to be presumed innocent, and keep you from going to jail.
Solicitation vs. Prostitution and Engaging in Lewd Acts with a Child
You may believe that engaging in online conversations regarding prostitution or sex with a minor are not punishable as a crime in California; however, that assumption may result in prison time, fines, probation, and mandatory registration as a sex offender. Not all sex crimes require that the alleged perpetrator have physical contact with another adult or minor. While charges for prostitution and engaging in lewd acts with a child require some type of physical contact, internet solicitation does not require that the sexual act be carried out in order for a crime to be committed.
If you approach someone online to solicit sex in exchange for financial or other compensation, you can be charged with, and found guilty of, internet solicitation. The same is true with child sex crimes. You do not have to touch a child in order to be guilty of internet child sex crimes. The penalties for conviction of internet solicitation under the California criminal statutes vary depending on the severity and nature of the crime as well as whether the crime involved a minor. Because some of these criminal charges fall within the “strike” category of crimes, penalties for repeat or habitual felony offenders are quite severe.
Examples of internet sex crimes include but are not limited to:
- Use of the internet to commit any type of sex crime
- Internet or cyber stalking
- Internet solicitation of minors
- Internet solicitation for prostitution
Being accused of an internet sex crime such as internet solicitation does not mean that you are guilty. The prosecution must prove that you violated California sex crime laws as they relate to the internet. Our attorneys fully investigate the allegations against you, including illegally obtained evidence, mistaken identity, entrapment, and the illegal search and seizure of your property. The first step in protecting your rights and your freedom is to contact our office immediately.
Internet Sex Crimes Involving Children
One of the most common types of internet solicitation is child pornography and sex crimes involving minors. Potential charges related to this crime include:
- Sexual exploitation of a minor
- Possession of child pornography
- Distribution of child pornography
- The production of child pornography
- Distributing sexual or lewd content to a minor (i.e. sexting)
- Internet solicitation of a minor with the intent of initiating sexual contact online or offline
- Hosting or viewing websites containing child pornography
Internet solicitation involving a minor is a serious sex crime that is aggressively prosecuted in San Bernardino & Riverside, California. Adults meet, entice, and lure minors into sexual encounters, both online and offline, by visiting chat rooms, gaming rooms, and social media websites. Asking a minor to meet in person for sex or to take and send inappropriate pictures is a crime prosecuted under internet solicitation.
Law enforcement agencies routinely conduct sting operations involving undercover police officers posing as children online. Officers “bait” individuals by using suggestive remarks to entice adults to begin a conversation with the “minor.” When the conversation turns sexual in nature, the officer will not necessarily discourage the interaction. The adult believes he or she is conversing with a child not knowing that every email, text, chat room log, and image will be used as evidence against that person in court. Sting operations result in a significant number of arrests for internet solicitation of a minor.
Internet Solicitation for Prostitution
Child pornography is not the only type of internet sex crime under the California criminal statutes. Internet solicitation of a prostitute is also a crime. Offering to pay financial compensation or other consideration for sexual activity or agreeing to accept compensation for sexual activity falls under the California disorderly conduct statutes. While a first offender may only receive a minimal jail sentence, fines, community service, and up to three years probation, the penalties for repeat offenses can be much more severe.
Charges related to internet solicitation for prostitution include:
- Managing an internet prostitution website or ring
- Participating in a prostitution ring as the customer, prostitute, or facilitator
- Internet solicitation of a prostitute by offering money or other compensation for sexual acts
Prostitution is the receiving or giving of money or other compensation in exchange for sexual acts. Pandering on behalf of another person for sexual acts is charged as pimping. Both of these offenses are aggressively prosecuted in San Bernardino & Riverside, California.
Contact an Experienced California Internet Solicitation Attorney
If you have been charged with internet solicitation or if you are under investigation for internet solicitation, your reputation and your future are at risk. You need a criminal defense attorney with experience in the special field of internet sex crimes to defend your reputation and protect your freedom. The attorneys at Greenberg & Greenberg understand that this is a stressful and difficult experience for you. We are here to help you by aggressively defending you against these charges. Contact our office immediately for a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys to discuss your internet solicitation charge.