The internet is a potent tool that changed the face of the world and our culture a thousand times over. Within the internet are countless tools for learning, ways to communicate and share, but also many different kinds of dangers.
Sex crimes are not a new idea, but internet sex crimes add a wide net of concerns that can catch you off guard. If you don’t tread with caution, you can end up with major allegations against you.
How do you protect yourself from falling into a messy lawsuit? The most important key is to understand the pitfalls. We have the guide on what you need to know.
Understanding The Basics of Internet Sex Crimes
At the core, internet sex crimes are not too different from regular sex crimes. Physical sex crimes cannot occur through the internet. Instead, the majority of internet sex crimes cover all the manipulation that leads to these abuses.
The combination of charges focusing on manipulation combined with the anonymity of the internet can make for a large portion of allegations.
What you thought was an innocent chat with an adult, could become evidence against you when you discover that adult was a child in real life. The internet is a large space with a lot of freedom to share and reply to anyone around the world.
The Common Cases on The Internet
The internet, and social media in particular, has become an integral part of our life. With it, we can showcase almost any aspect of our lives for millions to see. The average person will have personal information and photos on several websites.
With so much information going around, there have been many cases of internet sex crimes. This can put more officials alert to criminal activity.
To avoid getting wrapped up in the wrong place at the wrong time, you should know the basic forms of internet sex crimes, where they can occur, and why.
These common cases are far from a perfect representation of all internet sex crimes. In general terms, most cases fall into these 3 purviews.
1. Sex Offenders Targeting Children
One of the largest areas of internet sex crimes are those targeted at children. Targeting children refers to communication with a child in an attempt to pursue sexual relations. This crime is often motivated by pedophilia or darker measures.
Many would think that it is easy to avoid allegations of pedophilia and such, but the dangers can be very real.
You can never verify who you are talking to with 100 percent accuracy. Until you can, treat anyone on the internet as underage.
Sex crimes with children are often done with the sexual offender posing as either a trusted authority figure or a peer. This is often done through secure chat networks such as e-mail or private forums.
Avoiding forums that are more targeted to children is an easy step. You should avoid anyone who has a profile listed as a minor, which is 17 years old or younger. Soliciting a minor is a common sex crime.
After that, approach anything adult-oriented with extreme caution. Your best bet is to go for those who you have met in person.
2. Sex Offenders Targeting Adolescents
On a similar but different note, many sex offenders instead target adolescents. While many consider this an act of pedophilia, it does not fit the clinical definition of pedophilia. Most adolescents have some signs of sexual maturation.
Due to puberty and strong hormones, a sexual predator may use sex as a motivator for an adolescent to lure them into a sexual act. As well, authority figures are less of a motivating factor for adolescents in general, so sexual predators may pose as peers.
Instead, this core of cases takes a similar technique toward targeting children but with a few major changes. As such, you can avoid the dangers similar to the previous example by being mindful of who, and how, you interact on the internet.
3. Public Sexual Harassment
The third general category of internet sex crimes comes from sexual harassment. This can range from inappropriate comments on social media to targeted stalking through more private messages.
These can be the easiest to avoid depending on how you interact online. Most of the time, sexual harassment charges come from persistence, so if someone asks for you to stop, step back.
Losing yourself to emotions is often the key reason people get caught up in sexual harassment charges. If you find yourself having trouble with this, there are solutions.
What to do When Facing Allegations
No matter how careful you were, facing allegations of internet sex crimes is a terrifying time. You need to keep a level head and take the right steps to ensure you do not face a damaging sentence.
First, do not act or speak without a lawyer present. While this applies to any legal incident, internet sex crimes come from communication and the wrong type of communication can endanger your case.
Second, ensure that your lawyer has access to all of the documents crucial in the case. A single sentence can change the context of a message.
You want to ensure that your defense has every inch of your communication so the truth can come out. If you have sent explicit sexual material to other people who are not minors, make sure your lawyer is aware of this.
While this act is legal, knowledge of it helps keep it from ending up against you in court. It may reveal how a minor became involved in your case.
Dealing With Fallout
During and after the case, you may face fallout from allegations. While proving your innocence in court gives you a legal defense against firing and prejudice, it cannot protect you from private concerns.
Dealing with the fallout of allegations like this depends on how fast you can react to and win your lawsuit case.
The Right Legal Defense For Your Protection
Understanding internet sex crimes is a key defense towards avoiding them. When faced with an internet sex crime, what you need then is a legal defense to ensure that justice is on your side.
For all your legal issues, from internet sex crimes to DUIs, Madrid Law has your best interests in mind. When you need guidance and defense, we have you covered. Contact us today for more information.