This past weekend Governor Snyder announced his plan to crack down on cyber crime. With an emphasis on protecting against identity theft, espionage and internet sex crimes – including child sex crimes – the governor has set up a new website concerning internet safety and is starting a task force to be under the control of the Michigan State Police.
While it is important to protect ourselves from cyber crime, it is equally important that the government to protect innocent individuals from being charged with internet crimes. Potential consequences for internet sex crimes – such as downloading child pornography – are serious. Not only do those charged with sex crimes face jail time, but also potential damage to their reputation and being required to register as a sex offender for lengthy periods of time. Registration on the Michigan sex offenders registry can create a stigma that lasts a lifetime and may lead to difficulties obtaining employment, living in the location of your choice and even attending the college you desire. It’s critical to have an experienced Michigan internet sex crimes attorney on your side if you’re under investigation or have been charged with child pornography or related offense such as internet solicitation of a minor.
Many times, those charged with internet sex crimes have inadvertently downloaded the child pornography or don’t know they are sharing files of a minor. Similarly, often adults are legitimately trying to engage in conversation and meet another adult, only to be ensnared by a police officer posing as someone they’re not and charged with solicitation of a minor. Many people don’t realize but in Michigan it is illegal for police and FBI agents to use stings to entrap honest people in the acting of sharing files or soliciting a minor.
It is almost like a game police and prosecutors play – especially in the areas of child pornography – seeing how people law enforcement can charge for using their computers in the privacy of their own home for legal purposes.
Some of the sex crimes associated with internet usage include:
• Soliciting a minor in a chat room
• Cyber prostitution and solicitation
• Downloading and sharing child pornography
• Indecent exposure
In addition to sex crimes, other internet crimes are equally as serious and consequences include fines and potential jail time. Charges such as identity theft and fraud may involve complex financial matters requiring the help of a Michigan criminal defense attorney with knowledge of accounting and financial matters to expose invalid allegations and charges.
Charges involving your computers are complex and require a high level of technical sophistication. Starting early to investigate and prepare a defense is necessary to protect yourself against overzealous police and prosecutors.
None of us want to be to be victims of cyber crimes. However, with increased efforts to “crack down” on internet crimes, the likelihood of police and prosecutors overstepping the boundaries increases, leading to innocent people being charged for alleged crimes committed in the privacy of their own homes. It is critical to fight back to protect your future and your freedom. If you are under investigation or have been charged with any internet crimes, contact the experienced Michigan internet crime defense firm of Grabel & Associates for an immediate consultation.