INTERNET SOLICITATION OF A MINOR - Legal Defense and Computer Forensics Expert Witness Services.
The chain of events leading to a prosecution for Internet solicitation of a minor usually begins when a "minor" will come into a chat room. Most times, this "minor" is a police officer. After some chatting, the minor suggests a meeting in person.... setting up the police sting operation.
The police will obtain a warrant an arrest warrant and charge the person with using a computer communications device to solicit a minor and with attempted indecent liberties with a minor. The police will also confiscate the person's computers. At this point, you will not only need legal representation, but also computer forensics expertise to properly evaluate the case presented by the prosecution. Computer forensics expertise is available to Virginia attorneys representing individuals accused of using a communications device to facilitate certain offenses involving minors, also known as Internet solicitation of a minor. Most of these cases involve virtual interaction in chat rooms, with Yahoo as law enforcement's favorite tool.
In the absence of specialized legal representation, the presumption against bond may keep the person in jail for several months awaiting trial. A conviction may mean several years of jail time and lifetime registration as a sex offender, together with the social opprobrium associated with that term.
A person accused of this type of conduct requires the experience of an attorney who not only understands criminal defense but also has the technical experience to understand the underlying Internet technology. Similarly, attorneys representing individuals accused of solicitation of a minor are better served through retaining a competent computer and information technology forensics expert. Legal teams with both excellence and technology competence are necessary to effectively represent individuals accused of computer crimes in Virginia
The Virginia statute addressing Internet solicitation of a minor states as follows:
§ 18.2-374.3. Use of communications systems to facilitate certain offenses involving children.
A. As used in subsections C, D, and E "use a communications system" means making personal contact or direct contact through any agent or agency, any print medium, the United States mail, any common carrier or communication common carrier, any electronic communications system, the Internet, or any telecommunications, wire, computer network, or radio communications system.
B. It shall be unlawful for any person to use a communications system, including but not limited to computers or computer networks or bulletin boards, or any other electronic means for the purposes of procuring or promoting the use of a minor for any activity in violation of § 18.2-370 or § 18.2-374.1. A violation of this subsection is a Class 6 felony.
C. It shall be unlawful for any person 18 years of age or older to use a communications system, including but not limited to computers or computer networks or bulletin boards, or any other electronic means, for the purposes of soliciting, with lascivious intent, any person he knows or has reason to believe is a child less than 15 years of age to knowingly and intentionally:
1. Expose his sexual or genital parts to any child to whom he is not legally married or propose that any such child expose his sexual or genital parts to such person;
2. Propose that any such child feel or fondle the sexual or genital parts of such person or propose that such person feel or fondle the sexual or genital parts of any such child;
3. Propose to such child the performance of an act of sexual intercourse or any act constituting an offense under § 18.2-361; or
4. Entice, allure, persuade, or invite any such child to enter any vehicle, room, house, or other place, for any purposes set forth in the preceding subdivisions.
Any person who violates this subsection is guilty of a Class 5 felony. However, if the person is at least seven years older than the child he knows or has reason to believe is less than 15 years of age, the person shall be punished by a term of imprisonment of not less than five years nor more than 30 years in a state correctional facility, five years of which shall be mandatory minimum term of imprisonment. Any person who commits a second or subsequent violation of this subsection when the person is at least seven years older than the child he knows or has reason to believe is less than 15 years of age shall be punished by a term of imprisonment of not less than 10 years nor more than 40 years, 10 years of which shall be a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment.
D. Any person who uses a communications system, including but not limited to computers or computer networks or bulletin boards, or any other electronic means, for the purposes of soliciting, with lascivious intent, any child he knows or has reason to believe is at least 15 years of age but less than 18 years of age to knowingly and intentionally commit any of the activities listed in subsection C if the person is at least seven years older than the child is guilty of a Class 5 felony. Any person who commits a second or subsequent violation of this subsection shall be punished by a term of imprisonment of not less than one nor more than 20 years, one year of which shall be a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment.
E. Any person 18 years of age or older who uses a communications system, including but not limited to computers or computer networks or bulletin boards, or any other electronic means, for the purposes of soliciting any person he knows or has reason to believe is a child less than 18 years of age for (i) any activity in violation of § 18.2-355 or 18.2-361, (ii) any activity in violation of § 18.2-374.1, or (iii) a violation of § 18.2-374.1:1 is guilty of a Class 5 felony.
Cybercrime defense is the the area of criminal law where attorneys without knowledge of the Internet will not excel. Old school criminal defense lawyers with no technical experience will be unable to effectively question Internet evidence. We have effectively defended these crimes and have a successful track record.
Defending against accusations of Internet solicitation of a minor (use of communications system to facilitate certain offenses involving minors) in Virginia, including:
Henrico, Richmond City, Chesterfield, Colonial Heights, Amelia, Dinwiddie, Nottoway, Petersburg, Powhatan, Albemarle, Charlottesville, Culpeper, Fluvanna, Goochland, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Orange, Fairfax, Prince William, Alexandria, Arlington, Fauquier, Loudoun, Rappahannock, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Newport News, Hampton, Portsmouth, Isle of Wight, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Caroline, Essex,, Hanover, King George, Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond County, Westmoreland, Charles City, Gloucester, James City County/Williamsburg, King William, King and Queen, Mathews, Middlesex, New Kent, Williamsburg/James City County, York County, Poquoson.
Virginia Internet solicitation of a minor defense lawyer and defense computer forensics experts.
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