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Internet Stings for Sex Crimes

Pittsburgh Sex Crimes Attorney

Internet Stings for Sex Crimes

Internet sting operations to catch sex criminals have exploded onto the scene in recent years. This is like the Wild West of criminal investigations. Often it seems there are no rules and no two investigations that are conducted in similar fashion. Blaine Jones is a Pittsburgh internet sex crime attorney with the knowledge and experience to protect your rights in the wake of an investigation into online activity. These are often very serious charges, particularly when children are involved. A defendant may face years behind bars and mandatory lifetime sex-offender registration if convicted.

The Internet and You

Studies continue to show many people have fewer inhibitions online than in the real world – it's why so many find themselves in trouble at work or with a friend or family member over something they posted on a Social Networking site. But it's a phenomenon that can have devastating consequences when a defendant is implicated as part of an Internet sting operation. Whether illicit images are involved, or a defendant is found to be participating in illicit conversations with underage participants, the penalties are severe.

Many of these so-called "sting operations," are little more than referrals from third-party agencies, such as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which is active in seeking out those believed to be committing crimes online. These organizations have an agenda. And while there is nothing wrong with that – and certainly nothing wrong with their mission – it does impact their view of what is occurring. Unfortunately, law enforcement too often takes these third-party referrals as gospel and an "investigation" is quickly followed by arrest.

In other cases, an undercover officer or volunteer may be posing as a teenager online. When such a scenario results in the arrest of a suspect, an entrapment defense may be pursued. Again, even when an officer or volunteer attempts to act in good faith, the fact is they are online looking for someone to talk dirty to them. Typically they find it. No surprise. And often no criminal intent on the part of the defendant.

Online Sex Crimes in Pennsylvania: Right to Remain Silent

The fact of the matter is these charges can be defended against. But what often sinks a client's case is his statements to investigators. Police know you are embarrassed. And they know you are likely to do or say whatever you can to keep yourself from being arrested. As one final indignity, they use that shame against you by recording whatever you say and then using it against you in court. Once an investigation reaches this stage, you are not going to talk your way out of trouble. 

Your best bet is to remain silent and consult with an experienced Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyer. Your best defense will be an aggressive offense.

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