Internet Sex Crimes in Lansing
If Lansing law enforcement officials find any traces of illegal sexually explicit images, videos, or chat room feeds, you could have an Internet sex crime charge brought against you, and you will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, facing serious charges that could damage your future as well as your reputation.
At Grabel & Associates, our sex crimes attorneys feel that the first step to fighting Internet sex crime charges is to fully understand them and how you can better protect your computer from downloading illegal material without your knowledge. Here are a few common Internet sex crimes you could be charged with and the penalties they carry.
Child Exploitation/Solicitation of Minors
Whenever you meet someone new in a chat room or through social networking sites, you cannot be certain who you are really talking to. You might think that you are chatting with an adult when in reality, you are actually chatting with a minor whom you are treating as an adult.
Lansing lawmakers are working hard to protect minors from predators on the Internet, but in their sweep, they often catch unsuspecting men and women who had no idea they were chatting with minors. That is why if you are charged with child exploitation or solicitation of a minor, you need to call Grabel & Associates immediately.
According to Section 750.145a of the Michigan Penal Code, any person who accosts, entices, or solicits a child under the age of 16 to commit an immoral act or submit to an act of sexual intercourse or gross indecency can be charged with a felony. The law also states that the accused does not have to have known that the person was a minor. The punishment can include up to four years in prison or a $4,000 fine. In some cases, both are given to the accused.
If you have already violated section 145a and are charged once more, the penalty will be much more severe. You can be imprisoned for up to 10 years and/or face a fine of $10,000. The prosecutor may call for both penalties in your case or he or she may go after an enhanced sentence.
In to go after and enhanced sentence, the prosecutor will present information about your prior conviction, and it will be up to the court to determine whether the conviction warrants an enhanced sentence. This can be done by a court at sentencing or in a separate hearing. Both are done without a jury. The prosecutor must present evidence of your prior conviction, such as:
- A copy of the judgment of conviction
- A transcript of a prior trial, plea-taking, or sentencing
- Information contained in a pre-sentence report
- The defendant's own statement
Facing any child exploitation or solicitation of minor charge is a difficult and often confusing process. You need a skilled attorney with an intimate knowledge of the law who will be by your side to guide you through this process. Call Grabel & Associates and get started on your defense right now.
Downloading, Possessing or Distribution Child Pornography
Child pornography is one of the most heavily punished offenses in Lansing, and lawmakers strive to make sure that those who produce, distribute, or download child pornography are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Section 750.145c outlines the laws regarding child pornography. If you are charged with persuading, inducing, enticing, coercing, causing, or knowingly allowing a child to engage in a child sexually abusive activity for the purpose of producing any sexually abusive material, you could face up to 20 years in prison, a fine of $100,000, or both. Those who arrange for, produce, make, copy, reproduce, or finance any child sexually abusive activity or child sexually abusive material for personal, distributional or other purposes will face similar punishments.
If a person distributes or promotes; finances the distribution or promotion of, or receives for the purpose of distributing or promoting; or conspires, attempts, or prepares to distribute, receive, finance, or promote any child sexually abusive material or child sexually abusive activity, that person will be charged with a felony and face up to seven years in prison, a fine of $50,000, or both.
A person who knowingly possesses or seeks and accesses any child pornography will be found charged with a felony and can be sentenced to four years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. In all of these cases, it must be proven that you had reasonable evidence to show that you knew that the person depicted in the pornographic image or video was a child.
In some cases, however, your computer may have downloaded child pornography without your consent or knowledge. Without firewalls or other anti-virus software, malicious software can download itself from certain websites and install itself on your hard drive. You may never know until a computer technician investigates and finds child pornographic images or videos, and by then, you may charges already filed against you.
If you think you may be charged with producing, distributing or downloading child pornography, call Grabel & Associates immediately.
Contact Grabel & Associates
A conviction for Internet sex crimes could change your life forever. Whenever you apply for a job, your conviction will show up during a background check, making it difficult for you to get work. You may also have to register as a sex offender, which will follow you long after you serve your time.
Do not hesitate. If you are being charged with an Internet sex crime, call Grabel & Associates immediately. Our attorneys know the law, and they will help you review all the facts of your case to help you build a strong defense. Contact Grabel & Associates for a toll-free 24/7 emergency consultation at 1-800-342-7896 or online here.