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Posted by on Jul 6, 2015 in Crime | 0 comments

Some Alarming Facts Related to Internet Sex Crimes

Information and messaging in an instant no matter which part of the globe you are in – this is where today’s technology has brought us, to make communication and access to information faster, easier and much more convenient. However, like any other new invention, no matter how good the intent of its maker is, once it falls into wrong hands, then damaging results are most certainly to follow.

The Internet. While it has made every bit of information readily available through simple clicks of buttons, it has also enabled certain individuals, who intend to accomplish criminal activities, to hack into private government and personal records to commit cyber fraud, cyber-based terrorism, computer intrusions, espionage, and internet sex crimes.

Though it may be considered a less serious offense compared to the other criminal acts mentioned, internet sex crime, nonetheless, has become an alarming concern to the government due to the very damaging effects it causes in those affected and the perfect ease with which perpetrators accomplish it.

Through wired or wireless access to networks, sexual offenders are able to create and disseminate speedily different forms of sexually offensive and abusive materials and sexually-tainted messages, such as photos depicting child pornography and solicitation efforts, which often lead to contact offenses, like sexual assault or rape.

Data from the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA), a global, multi-disciplinary organization committed to preventing sexual abuse, show that trading and posting on-line of child pornography and sexual chats with children, adolescents or any vulnerable persons, first to convince them to produce or view pornographic images and, second, to arrange with them a face-to-face meeting (for the committance of the crime), are the most common forms of internet sex offenses. What is alarming, however, is the fact that many teenagers freely meet with an adult offender, sometimes more than once, and even describe such meetings as romantic occasions.

Equally disturbing are data from the US Department of Justice’s National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW), which say that:

  • A number of teenagers and young adults have, indeed, willingly shared with others online or through text messaging (“sexting”) naked pictures of themselves
  • Many of those who end up as victims of internet sex crimes openly talk about sexual topics even with people they do not know and have sexually provocative photos/videos posted online
  • Quite a large number of teenagers and young adults are open to, and have actually participated in, sexting (which means sending of sexually explicit messages, usually with images, from one mobile phone to another)

The extent and severity of harm against the victim and the continuous growth in the number of perpetrators of internet sex crime made the government mobilize legal and investigative teams with the major task of identifying and prosecuting, especially child pornography, offenders in order to reduce and eliminate this type of indecent, criminal activity. But how guilty can one really be judged if the identified victim willingly and voluntarily participated in the whole act, maybe even showed motive which led the accused into thinking that his or her sexual advances were welcome moves?

Unless proven guilty, an accused can never be treated like a criminal; however, it will be a tough task to prove one’s innocence, especially if the victim, or a witness, identifies him or her as the committer of the crime.

Anyone who is accused of any crime has a right to a fair trial and to a type of defense that may save him or her from a conviction or which may help reduce sentence if a conviction is imminent. Understanding one’s legal rights if charged with an internet sex crime is vital as this will help the accused know what steps to take to save him/herself from being convicted and his or her future from being ruined. Many websites (belonging to different law firms) offer vital information on the rights of an accused and his or her possible legal options. To learn more about criminal defense laws, visit this website.

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Posted by on Jun 16, 2014 in Crime | 0 comments

The Effects of a Criminal Conviction

A criminal conviction is a serious matter that can carry a lot of weight in the life of the person who has them. As a couple goes through a divorce and child custody is put on the table, a criminal conviction can have a significant role in determining the custody and visitation rights. Bottom line is, generally every child custody case are decided with the child’s best interest in mind. Those who have past criminal convictions can lose child custody and visitation rights, although there are still factors that the family court judge has to examine before making a decision.

The parents’ character and disposition are among the characteristics that the family court will consider when deciding child custody. If a parent has a criminal history, a number of aspects are looked into to check the possibility of child custody and visitation rights. Among these factors are the number and age of convictions, the victims involved in the offence, the type of offence made, and the nature of the penalties or sentence given.

The court usually grants limited custody and visitation rights once it is determined that the criminal conviction caused psychological and emotional injury to the child. Moreover, many courts in the United States have started to adopt the “domestic violence presumption”, where the possibility of being violent is very much probable once a history of domestic violence has been established. Convictions that can possibly affect these are those of assault, sexual abuse or life-threatening injuries, stalking, weapons offences, and many others.

Additionally, drug-related convictions as well as alcohol-related ones are often viewed as behaviors that are reckless and dangerous and which can potentially put the child’s life in danger. The age of the conviction can help in proving the conviction can be a one-time event only, or that actions have been made to better the person; however, recent criminal convictions may put the parent in a bad light and show poor judgment that could typically be difficult to overcome. Also, the frequency and the nature of these convictions are also taken into consideration. According to this Austin criminal defense lawyer website, a string of convictions can prompt the court to identify you as having difficulties following the law, and can become stability issues.

The presence of a criminal conviction can certainly be a great factor to determine whether you will lose child custody or visitation rights or not. Nevertheless, it helps to talk to an Austin criminal lawyer to know possible options in ensuring your right to be a parent to your child will not be disregarded.

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