Local, state and federal investigators are now entering chat rooms and posing as minors in an effort to crack down on child pornography and other sex crimes. In most cases, an online conversation begins innocently but may eventually turn sexual in nature. Sometimes, pornographic pictures are exchanged after one person requests them or indicates an interest in sending them.
Experienced Defending Against Sex Crime Allegations
In other cases, a conversation leads to an online solicitation for sexual favors from someone believed to be a minor. Investigators then track the Internet service provider (ISP) address of the chat room participant, obtain his or her home address and begin an investigation.
At the law office of J. Michael Price II, we represent people indicted or under investigation for chat room luring and the online solicitation of a minor. We intercede immediately for our clients to limit and restrict an investigation and ensure a "rush to judgment" doesn't result in the carte blanche approval of overreaching search warrants, property seizures and intrusive surveillance.
If you're facing charges for the online solicitation of a minor in Dallas, Collin County and surrounding areas, contact sex crimes criminal defense attorney J. Michael Price II. We provide free, confidential consultations fully protected by the attorney-client privilege.
Investigation Of Internet Chat Room Crimes
In state and federal investigations involving Internet chat room luring crimes, evidence is typically collected over several months. Generally, warrants are obtained in order to monitor email accounts and a suspect's online activity. Transcripts of online conversations are archived in order to be used as evidence at trial.
If a suspect attempts to set up a meeting with an individual he or she believes to be a minor, law enforcement will stakeout the agreed upon meeting place and photographically record the suspect's arrival. Eventually, when investigators believe they have enough evidence, a search warrant is used to seize a suspect's computer hard drive and any other evidence investigators believe is pertinent to their investigation — including cellphones, CD ROMs and flash drives.
Defending Those Charged With Internet Chat Room Crimes
Since Internet chat room crimes usually involve law enforcement officers pretending to be a minor, the issue of entrapment can arise. While the courts have typically upheld the constitutionality of police officers posing as criminals in order to conduct sting operations, investigators often walk a fine line between attracting criminal activity and actually promoting or encouraging it.
In Texas, the law does not require that the prosecution prove a defendant actually had the intent to engage in the sex act itself. It also doesn't require an actual meeting even take place. Lastly, people who are victims of sexual abuse themselves may have psychological and medical reasons for their behavior. While this alone may not be enough to have the charges against you dismissed, it may play a role in convincing prosecutors to reduce the charges or sentence against you. As your attorney, Mike consults psychologists and psychiatrists in developing defenses for you.
Fighting For The Best Outcome For Our Clients
Internet chat room crimes are serious criminal offenses in Texas and under federal law. While it may not always be possible to avoid a charge or conviction, reducing the sentence or charges against you is essential. Attorney Price will always fully and effectively advise you at every step of the criminal process and inform you of all your options and the full consequences of each.
Mr. Price is board-certified in both criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and in criminal trial advocacy by the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification, an achievement that can only be reached through years of skilled and dedicated service to one's clients. This dedication is also reflected in the high rankings attorney Price has received from peer review organizations Martindale-Hubbell and was named in Texas Super Lawyers®, a Thomson Reuters service, from 2005-2019, as published in Texas Monthly Magazine.
Contact Our Office For A Free Consultation
If you have been accused of a sex crime in North Texas, our law firm is prepared to defend your rights and your freedom. To schedule a consultation with attorney J. Michael Price II, contact us online or call 214-765-8000.