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Common Internet Sex Crimes

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding | Aug 23, 2017


Whenever someone goes on the Internet and views child pornography, they trigger several potential crimes that can be filed against them both at the state and federal levels.  Typically, once the authorities realize you are involved with child pornography, they will obtain a search warrant for your home and come to execute the warrant, search your home and personal devices and attempt to obtain an incriminating statement from you.

Most people are in such shock from the police coming to their home that they fully cooperate and give the authorities everything they need to charge them with several very serious Internet-related sex crimes.  The officers then will seize your computers, iPad, and phone and have them analyzed in their laboratories to determine if they contain Child Pornography.

If the person who is the subject of the warrant has images or videos containing Child Pornography, they will be charged with Possession of Child Pornography.  Further, if they have shared them with anyone or moved the subject files anywhere, they can be accused of the Distribution of Child Pornography.

And, if they had anything to do with the images being created, they can be charged with Production of Child Pornography and be facing a significant amount of time in federal prison.  If you are the subject or target of a federal investigation involving Child Pornography or any sex-related offense, the best thing to do is hire an attorney right away and let them do the talking for you.


One of the most common crimes charged relating to Internet sex offenses is Possession of Child Pornography.  As serious Internet sex crimes go, this is probably the best to be accused of because it does not carry with it a mandatory minimum sentence.

Therefore, if you are found guilty, the judge does not have to send you to federal prison but can instead consider other alternatives to an extended stay in federal prison.  This gives you a fighting chance to provide some mitigating facts about your life and minimize your exposure to federal prison.

The crime usually involves the subject person downloading files from the Internet that contain images or videos of child pornography.  The federal government will typically not get involved with this type of prosecution against someone unless the person has downloaded a substantial amount of child pornography.

Unfortunately, in today's day and age, it is straightforward to download a significant amount of child pornography without much effort on your part.  If you find yourself facing a federal sex crime case, your best bet is to hire a federal criminal defense attorney who has been down this road and had success.


When someone shares child pornography with another person or has a file-sharing program associated with it, the consequences can be life-altering. There is a five-year mandatory minimum for this type of offense at the federal level, and a person can quickly find themselves facing some pretty severe consequences.

The bottom line is that the government is trying to guard against the exploitation of children, and the more you are perceived as being involved with that exploitation, the harsher the system will be.

Fortunately, the federal prosecutors will usually permit a person to plead to a possession charge and dismiss the distribution charge if they have no prior sex offenses on their record and if certain other factors line up in the defendant's favor.


If someone is tied to Child Pornography, they will face a 15 year mandatory minimum of 85%.

If you are producing child pornography for others to see, this starts to put you in an area of threat that the federal prosecutors and judges will punish to a severe degree.  Even if you ask a minor to take a nude picture of themselves and send it to you over the Internet, you could be charged with Production of Child Pornography and face many years in federal prison.

Whenever you evaluate a sex offense on the Internet, you should consider the level of danger there is to children in specific and the public at large.  The more egregious the behavior, the more likely the federal government will punish the offender.

About the Author

Ronald D. Hedding

What Makes Ronald Hedding Uniquely Qualified To Represent You? I've been practicing criminal defense for almost 30 years and have handled thousands of cases, including all types of state and federal sex crime cases. All consultations are discreet and confidential.

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