Sexting Criminal Defense Lawyer in California
Illegal sexting can take on several different forms. In most cases, it will involve someone who sends or receives photographs depicting genitalia from a person under 18.
Adults are permitted to send information back and forth as long as it is consensual and no one is paying for it. The unauthorized posting of a person's nude or intimate photographs online is also illegal and often referred to as revenge porn.
Suppose you are being investigated for an illegal sexting act or a criminal case pending against you? In that case, you should immediately obtain an attorney and refuse to answer any of law enforcement's questions until advised to do so by your attorney.
One of the most significant issues, from a defense standpoint, in these cases, relates to whether or not the defendant had a reasonable belief that they were sexting with a minor. Most of the time, I see law enforcement posing as a minor and eventually arresting the person they trap into committing the crime of sexting on the Internet.
However, I see more and more that my clients are not on sites that should have minors. In other words, they are on adult sites looking for contact with an adult, not a child. I see the exchange taking place, and at the last second, the police throw in that they are underage. That puts the person on the other end in the wrong position of not knowing what to do or react.
In California, a person could go to jail for sexting someone under the age of 18 or requesting photographs from someone they know or reasonably should know is under the age of 18. If someone is caught for illegal sexting, the authorities will obtain a search warrant, enter the person's home, seize all of their computers and devices, and search for child pornography and evidence of a sex crime.
Chatting with an Alleged Minor
Some people freeze up and go through with the exchange of photos and continue to talk with the person who has revealed that they are under 18. Some people continue to chat with the alleged minor chat with the suspected minor is because they are not sure if the person on the other end is telling the truth, and it does not seem real to them that they have just taken the first step in potentially destroying their life.
Your sex crime defense attorney has the job of showing the prosecutor and the judge that the police did not handle the investigation appropriately. If there is a trial, they will likely have trouble proving you guilty of the crime of sexting because the police entrapped you into becoming involved with the subject's behavior.
And this is behavior that you would have never engaged in but for the police cajoling you into something you did not intend to happen.
In other cases that I defend, an adult sends nude photos to a minor, and the minor's parents find the photographs and call the police. Under these circumstances, the police must show that the adult knew they were dealing with a minor.
Suppose it is not clear by the language in the exchanges, then many times. In that case, I will see the police do a pretext phone call where they have the minor or the minor's parents confront the suspect and try and get them to admit on tape that they knew they were dealing with a little and sent or received the nude photos anyway.
Another issue that can crop up in these cases is whether the authorities can prove that the defendant sent or received the nude photographs in question. This will spin on the specific facts of the case.
Most laws related to sexting minors are based on common sense and protecting children. If you are charged with sexting, your best first move is to consult with a criminal defense attorney who has been down the road you are about to travel and had success and knows how to watch out for the pitfalls related to these cases.
If an 18-year-old is caught sending sexual photographs of himself to someone under 18, he could be arrested and prosecuted for illegal sexting. In many criminal sexting cases, the parents are the ones who discover the texts and alert the local authorities.
Other times, law enforcement agents will go on the internet with the intent of catching people who are targeting underage individuals and sending or requesting nude photographs.
If anyone suspects that a sex offense victimizes a child on the internet, the child's phone should be taken away, and the authorities should be alerted. If a parent suspects that their 18-year-old is engaged in illegal sexual activity online, their phone should be taken away, and the parent should immediately contact a criminal defense attorney.
Suppose the police begin asking the individual questions? In that case, they are not likely to have the wherewithal to answer all of those questions appropriately, and they will probably say something to incriminate themselves, which will lead to an arrest.
When I sit down with a client to discuss their case, one of the first things we evaluate is how a jury will view the prosecutors' evidence against them and whether they will believe it or question it. Once we have the answer to this question, we can begin to develop the defense strategy in your case and what we will do to protect your rights, freedom, and criminal record.
The Law on Sexting in California
Are you or someone you know being charged with a new rising crime, sexting? Contact our Los Angeles sex crime defense attorneys to get on your case to ensure that you have the best possible defense.
When we sit down to develop our plan, we are looking to guard your rights and do everything possible to keep you out of prison and prevent you from having to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life.
When it comes to being charged with a sex crime, our defense attorneys know and understand the approach to be taken. We have a combined 75 years of experience, and we have handled thousands of sex crime cases, sexting being among those cases.
What Exactly is Sexting?
Sexting is sending sexual or pornographic images via text or email. If the sender or receiver is a minor, a crime has occurred. If the photos are of someone under 18 years old, the sexting charges may turn child pornography. Therefore, sexting charges can have severe repercussions.
California Penal Code 288.2 PC prohibits sending a message to a minor if the message is intended to arouse or seduce the minor sexually. This applies to text messages, emails, letters, phone calls, and other forms of communication.
Section 288.2 can be charged with a felony or misdemeanor and result in a sentence of up to three years in prison and mandatory sex offender registration as required by California Penal Code section 290.
As sex crime defense lawyers, we aim to assert any defenses on your behalf to get the charges dismissed or reduced. We use all our skills, knowledge, and aggressive legal strategy to achieve the best results possible. Protecting your legal rights, freedom, and reputation is a top priority for our Los Angeles defense lawyers.
If you or someone you know faces sexting or other sex crime charges, do not hesitate to contact our sex crime defense attorneys to set up a free face-to-face consultation. I also encourage you to read my book on sex crimes, which will answer many of your questions and lay the foundation for you to make the right moves in defending yourself.
What Is Revenge Porn Under California Law?
Revenge porn under California Penal Code 647(j)(4) involves someone putting another person's explicit photographs on the internet to embarrass that person or exact revenge. In some cases, people will even send clear pictures of a person to their place of work as a form of revenge.
If someone is caught doing this, the revenge porn penal code section will prosecute them, and they could face jail or prison time.
If you are being charged under the revenge porn section of the penal code, you should immediately contact an attorney; don't try to handle it yourself, and don't communicate with the person whose information you sent because they may have the police listening in on the other line.