New Jersey Internet Sex Crimes Lawyer
In recent years, prosecutors have turned to the internet in an effort to catch sex offenders. Many police departments in New Jersey have set up online sting operations. The goal is to find potential sex offenders, lure them in and then punish them for these dangerous and inappropriate activities. While such efforts have been of use in capturing those likely to cause problems, these efforts have also led to the arrest of many innocent people. It’s important to understand what kind of stings are being used right now and how each one may play out in the court system for those accused.
In general, internet sex crimes fall into four specific categories: child pornography, cyberstalking, cyber harassment and revenge porn. All of these accusations are serious. If convicted, the accused can be sent to prison and fined.
Modern technology has made it possible to share images of children engaged in sex acts online. Viewing child pornography falls under the heading of endangering children. Those accused can face felony charges. Child pornography falls into three separate degrees. Third degree charges typically stem from owning the material. Those who distribute child porn are considered second degree offenders. Forcing a child to participate in sex acts can lead to a charge of first degree child pornography.
Cyberstalking is another common internet sex crime charge. These charges can be brought when people use the net to keep in touch with someone against their will. Under New Jersey laws, people can be charged with fourth degree cyberstalking for these activities. Doing so while on parole or against a court order brings it to a third degree offense.
Harassing someone via the use of the internet is another violation of the law. Making online threats such as threatening to hurt someone, scare them or harming their property is a fourth degree crime. If the harasser is an adult but pretends to be a minor to hurt a minor, they can be charged with this crime in the third degree. Minors accused may be sent to classes to help them understand better online behavior.
Revenge porn is when someone watches another person engaging in a sex act or getting nude without their permission. This is considered an invasion of privacy under the New Jersey Revised Statutes. An act of revenge porn can fall under a fourth degree offense or rise to the third degree if the porn is distributed to another party for money.
All sex crimes can lead to life changing penalties. Even fourth degree conviction can lead to up to eighteen months in prison and a ten thousand dollar fine. A first degree conviction can lead to over a decade in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. In addition, the person may be required to register as a sex offender. Given the havoc a conviction of this kind can create, it’s imperative to speak to a professional. Legal help is vitally important. Skilled assistance can help anyone confront these charges, develop a plan of defense and ensure the accused has a chance to avoid unnecessary penalties. Speaking with a lawyer as soon as possible can also ensure the accused has options.