Federal agents can prosecute almost anything they want to, but in order to technically prosecute someone, the federal government must prove that they committed an act involving interstate commerce. If someone is on the internet, then they can reach anywhere in the world, which means interstate commerce is involved. Federal agencies take these types of cases because they have the laboratories and forensic experts necessary in order to examine computers and various other pieces of evidence.
The more pornographic images or videos involved in a case, the more likely it is that federal agents will get involved. If someone only had a few images, then their case would be prosecuted at the state level. If someone is facing this type of charge at the federal level, then they should definitely contact a federal sex crimes attorney who has dealt specifically with internet-based charges.
What Is Illegal According To The Computer Fraud And Abuse Act When It Comes To Sexual Contact Or Communication?
Any attempt to convince an underage individual to engage in a sexual act is illegal. It is also illegal for someone to meet with an individual who they know is underage or who they reasonably suspect is underage. Sending or asking for nude pictures from an underage individual can also result in a lot of trouble for someone. Authorities will often pose as minors on sites such as Craigslist in order to entice people to agree to engage in a sexual act, send nude photographs, or meet up in person. If the person agrees to meet up in person, the authorities will be waiting to arrest and prosecute them. If someone finds themselves in this sort of situation, they should contact a criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible in order to begin damage control.
Is Sexting A Federal Offense?
Sexting can be a federal offense if the exchange occurs with someone who is under the age of 18 and if the purpose of the exchange is to become involved with them in a sexual manner. If any photographs are exchanged, then that would certainly qualify as a federal offense. Federal agents don’t usually handle sexting cases unless there is some level of sophistication involved or the exchange occurs across state lines or internationally. Sexting cases that don’t involve photographs would probably be passed off to the state government.
I Had Sexual Communication With An Individual Online And Later Found Out She Was A Minor. Is Not Knowing A Defense?
If someone had sexual communication with someone who they did not know was underage, then that could be used as a defense. However, pretending to have not known is not a defense. Oftentimes, it will be clear through the communication that a minor was involved. If someone was speaking to an individual who stated that they were underage or if there was reason to believe that the individual was under the age of 18, then that may be grounds for law enforcement to proceed with prosecution; this is true even if the communication occurred on a site that requires all members to be 18 years or older.
For more information on Federal Internet Cyber Sex Case, a free initial consultation is your best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 542-0994 today.