Individuals are charged with Internet sex crimes in Michigan under a variety of circumstances. Some of the most common sex crimes involving the Internet prosecuted in Michigan include:
- Possession or Distribution of Child Pornography;
- Solicitation of a Minor; and
- Solicitation of a Prostitute.
Internet sex crimes come with stiff fines, years of imprisonment, and a negatively affected reputation. If you or someone you know has been charged with an Internet sex crime in the state of Michigan, we highly suggest you seek legal representation as soon as possible.
Michigan Internet Sex Crime Lawyer
Have you been accused of an Internet sex crime in the Michigan Bloomfield Hills area? Find competent and aggressive legal representation with the skilled legal team at Dallo Law, P.C. Attorney J. Dallo and his legal team have years of experience defending individuals facing sex crime accusations. He will do everything in his power to ensure they obtain the best possible outcome for your case.
Call us now at (248) 283-7000 to set up your first consultation for free. Dallo Law, P.C. accepts clients throughout the Oakland County and Macomb County area including Bloomfield Hills, Sterling Heights, Roseville, Pontiac, Troy, Royal Oak, Birmingham, Utica, Rochester, Novi, and St. Claire Shores.
- Common Internet Sex Crimes in Michigan
- Penalties For Internet Sex Crimes In Michigan
- Registration As A Sex Offender
- Defenses To Internet Sex Crimes Charges
- Additional Resources
Common Internet Sex Crimes in Michigan
Child Pornography: Under Michigan law, a person is guilty of possession of child pornography if they knowingly possess material that includes sexually abusive depictions of a child under the age of 18 years old. Possession of depictions or images on a computer is often tied to downloads or internet searches. Similarly, promoting, distributing, or attempting to promote or distribute child pornography can easily lead to charges under Michigan law.
Solicitation Of A Minor: When the internet is used to solicit or entice a minor child under the age of 16 to engage in sexual activity or other immoral acts, then the user is guilty of the solicitation and of use of the internet to solicit the child. A defendant can still be found guilty of this offense even if the defendant did not know the child was under the age of 16.
Solicitation Of A Prostitute: A person over age 16 who solicits or invites another person to commit prostitution or another lewd or immoral act is guilty of solicitation of a prostitute.
Penalties For Internet Sex Crimes In Michigan
Penalties for internet sex crimes can be extremely severe. Not only can defendants be convicted and penalized for sex crimes, but Michigan penalties often increase when the internet is used to commit or attempt to commit the crimes.
Possession of Child Pornography: If convicted of possession, a defendant could face up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Possession is a felony-level offense. For more severe cases, penalties can include up to 10 years in prison and up to $50,000 in fines.
Distribution of Child Pornography: If convicted of distribution, a defendant could face up to seven years in prison and up to a $50,000 fine. For more severe distribution cases, defendants can spend up to 15 years in prison and be ordered to pay fines of up to $75,000. In either case, the distribution of child pornography is a felony offense.
Solicitation of a Minor: If convicted, a defendant faces up to four years in prison and a fine of $4,000. If the internet is used to solicit a child, then the penalty may increase to up to 10 additional years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. Solicitation of a minor is a felony offense.
Solicitation of a Prostitute: If convicted of solicitation of a prostitute, potential penalties heavily depend on whether it is an individual’s first offense. If there are multiple convictions, the defendant could serve up to two years in prison, pay fines up to $2,000, and have a felony added to their criminal record. If it is their first offense, then the defendant risks prison time of up to 93 days and a fine of up to $500. This offense is generally classified as a misdemeanor.
Registration As A Sex Offender
Perhaps the greatest penalty associated with a conviction of an internet sex crime is the requirement of registration as a sex offender. The Michigan Sex Offender Registry ranks offenders under Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III. Tier I offenders, including those convicted of possessing child pornography, must remain on the registry for 15 years. Tier II offenders, including those convicted of distribution of child pornography and solicitation of a minor or solicitation of a prostitute, must remain on the registry for 25 years.
Registration requires offenders to update extremely personal information regularly, much of which is made available to the public. In addition to being “seen” publicly, offenders will likely have difficulty finding stable housing and employment.
Defenses To Internet Sex Crimes Charges
Under the United States Constitution, criminal defendants are legally considered innocent until they proven guilty. This means it is the prosecutor’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution can meet this burden by producing evidence of a defendant’s guilt. Under the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney, defendants have many opportunities throughout their cases to build a solid defense against the charges they’re facing.
Defenses can be affirmative, like the defenses of entrapment or false accusation. For example, suppose a defendant committed a crime as part of a government sting operation. In that case, the entrapment defense may be available for defendants who can prove that they would not have committed the crime had they not been induced to do so by law enforcement.
Under the false accusation defense, defendants who can provide counterevidence that shows they were falsely accused may be successful in having the charges against them dropped. They could also be found not guilty by virtue of a successful defense strategy.
Lack of knowledge can sometimes be a defense to possession of child pornography. A person may escape charges if they took reasonable precautions to determine the person’s age depicted in the images.
Sometimes, a solid defense involves finding holes in the prosecution’s case to create reasonable doubt. This can be done through witness testimony and calling out witnesses’ character defects and credibility. Other times, the facts and evidence against a defendant are strong, and the best defense is aggressively negotiating with the prosecution to obtain the best outcome possible.
Michigan Sex Offender Registry | Michigan State Police — Michigan State Police require certain offenders to register under the registry. Anyone required to register should review the site’s FAQ section and discuss the registry’s requirements with their attorney.
Finding Housing as a Registered Sex Offender | How To Justice — Finding safe and affordable housing is one of the biggest obstacles that registered sex offenders endure. Learning more about the process and obstacles before formally registering can make a significant difference for both offenders and their families.
Bloomfield Hills Internet Sex Crimes Lawyer | Oakland County, MI
If you’ve been charged with an Internet sex crime or are under investigation for one, reach out to Dallo Law, P.C. to secure the competent legal representation of a defense lawyer. J. Dallo at Dallo Law, P.C. is passionate about criminal defense and works hard to treat every individual case as a priority. He can help you form a strong defense for your charges.
Set up your first consultation free with Mr. Dallo by calling (248) 283-7000. Dallo Law, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Oakland County and Macomb County, Michigan area.