Justice

Internet Sex Crimes

The internet is a great place to get all types of information. However, this landscape of never-ending information at our fingertips has created many new avenues for criminal charges. The most common internet sex offense is sexual exploitation of a child, or possession of child pornography. Many times with this type of offense, the user is using a peer to peer sharing software and an image has been tagged by law enforcement. Once the person downloads that image, law enforcement will proceed with getting the IP address and a search warrant. While this type of case is fairly common, there are other internet sex crimes that exist that are a little less common.

Dissemination to minors under the age of 13 and dissemination to minors under the age of 16 is another sex offense that has become more common with the internet. A typical scenario where someone could be charged with this offense involves internet messaging or chat, where one party shares either a personal explicit picture or other images/videos to entice the other party to send an explicit picture. Age is paramount to the nature of these charges and ultimately this charge is the legislature’s way of trying to protect children from “harmful” material online.

Disclosure of private images has been a relatively new issue facing society. States all over the country, including North Carolina, have had to enact laws to protect people from their private images being shared online. Unlike other offenses, this offense is usually done by someone that was once a trusted friend or partner. Private images were shared with that person and then, perhaps when a relationship sours, these private images get posted online. Getting charged with this offense is serious; it is a felony charge and the age of the person involved is what dictates what level of felony. The elements of this charge are that the image has to reveal the person's identity, be images a person would have taken with the thought of them remaining private, and that the images were released without the consent of the person shown. Each one of these elements has to be met and would be an area your attorney would look at when evaluating your case.

A less common but more discussed charge is solicitation of a child by computer or certain other electronic devices to commit an unlawful sex act. The statute itself seems pretty self explanatory, however age is an essential element of this offense. In order for this offense to occur, the person being solicited would have to be under 16 years age and at least five years younger than the person soliciting them. This is also an offense if the person believes the person to be someone under the age of 16, so intent and knowledge can play an important part in defending this particular charge.

Internet sex crimes are growing in numbers and our firm is dedicated to representing people facing all types of these criminal charges. We have experience successfully defending cases like these and would be glad to discuss your charges and your particular circumstances during a free consultation*. Call our office today to speak to one of our experienced attorneys.

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