Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Common Internet Sex Crimes in California

Posted on: February 28, 2018 at 10:35 p.m.

Have you been accused of possession, distribution, or sale of child pornography, or contacting minors on the internet for the purposes of soliciting sex or other deviant sexual activity?

A conviction for a sexual related crime that involves children will have a life-long impact on your future. Not only will you typically face years in a California state prison, but relationships will be destroyed and there will be a lifetime stigma attached to Megan's Law sex offender registration. Any evidence seized from your computer hard drive could be sufficient for the prosecutor to obtain a conviction, especially if you don't have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Internet technology makes it possible to exchange communicate anonymously. There has been a sharp increase in people using the internet to send messages to minor in chat rooms in order to view sexually explicit pictures and find sexual partners. When minors become involved, this type of internet activity is often illegal in California. Sex crimes refers to criminal charges involving prohibited sexual activity. This includes a wide variety of offenses, including indecent exposure, statutory rape, and sexual assault, among others. When prohibited sexual activity involves the use of the internet, it's typically referred to as an internet sex crime. These criminal offenses often involve minors and a conviction will frequently change your life forever. It means you will find it difficult to find employment or live in certain neighborhoods.

If you have facing allegations or are being questioned about an internet sting operation, possessing child pornography, arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes, you need to immediately consult with an experienced Los Angeles sex crime lawyer at Eisner Gorin, LLP. Our law firm will protect your legal rights and start preparing an effective defense strategy. The most common Internet sex crimes in Los Angeles include the following:

Child Pornography – California Penal Code Section 311

California Penal Code Section 311 prohibits anyone from sending, transporting, duplicating, exchanging, advertising, or possessing, or persuading minors to participate in making child pornography. Child pornography is legally defined as any material depicting sexual conduct by someone under 18 years old. This material includes pictures, film, or even slides. Under PC 311, sexual conduct includes sexual intercourse, anal intercourse, masturbation, oral copulation, or any exhibition of genitals or rectal area for the purpose of sexual stimulation. In order for the Los Angeles County prosecutor to obtain a conviction, they must be able to prove you knew the nature of the sexual related material, and also knew the material showed a minor participating in or simulating sexual conduct.

Distributing Harmful Material to Minors – California Penal Code Section 288.2

California Penal Code Section 288.2 prohibits sending harmful materials over the internet. This law is commonly known as harmful matter sent with intent to seduce a minor. What is considered “harmful material?” Under PC 288.2, the harmful material must show or describe sexual conduct that any reasonable person would consider offensive. Therefore, harmful material includes sexual related pictures, videos, books, or even magazines. In order for the Los Angeles County prosecutor to obtain a conviction, they must be able to prove, beyond any reasonable doubt, you knowingly sent harmful matter to a minor, knew they were a minor, and you had the specific intent to arouse the sexual desire of yourself or the minor to seduce them. California Penal Code 288.2 is a “wobbler,” meaning it can be filed as a misdemeanor or felony crime. This decision is typically based on the facts and circumstances of the case, and your criminal history. A felony conviction for violating PC 288.2 could carry a California state prison sentence of up to three years, and lifetime registration as a sex offender under California Penal Code Section 290.

Arranging a Meeting with a Minor for Lewd Purposes - California Penal Code Section 288.4

California Penal Code Section 288.4 prohibits arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes. This type of internet sexual related crime typically occurs during a law enforcement internet “sting,” where a police officer will pose as a minor in a chat room. It’s legal definition states “Every individual who, motivated by an unnatural sexual interest in children, arranges a meeting with a minor for the purpose of exposing their genitals or pubic or rectal area, or engaging in lewd or lascivious.” This legal definition means it’s a crime just to arrange the meeting. It does not matter if the meeting actually occurred. Typically, these meetings are set up through chat rooms, text messages, or social media sites like Facebook. Again, this offense is a “wobbler.” If you are convicted of a misdemeanor crime, you could get sentenced to one year in a county jail, a $5,000 fine, and registration as a sex offender. If you have a prior conviction under this legal statute, or showed up at the meeting location, you will probably face a felony offense. If convicted of a felony crime, you could be sentenced to up to 4 years in a California state prison, a $5,000 fine, and registration as a sex offender.

Why You Need an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer

In internet sexual related criminal cases that involve child pornography, or online solicitation of minors, the critical evidence is any material seized from your computer hard drive. It’s important to remember that even if you believe the material was deleted, forensic experts may be able to recover the material from your computer's memory that can prove very damaging to your case. The memory on your computer will save websites you have visited, downloaded pictures or videos, emails you sent or received, and chat room conversations. If the Los Angeles County prosecutor is able to recover this significant computer evidence, you are facing an uphill battle. Therefore, if you are facing criminal charges that involve internet solicitation of a minor, possession of child pornography, you must have a highly skilled Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer who has the experience and expertise in defending cases with this type of extensive evidence.

Contact a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer

At the Los Angeles criminal defense law firm of Eisner Gorin LLP, we have the experience and resources to effectively challenge the evidence seized in internet sexual related cases. Our law firm can use our own independent forensic experts to analyze the prosecutor’s evidence against you. Our lawyers will thoroughly review all the facts and circumstances to discover how this critical evidence was saved on your computer hard drive. Our criminal attorneys will also closely examine how the evidence was collected by law enforcement. If any search and seizure laws were violated, this means the evidence can’t be used against you. This could force the prosecutor to reduce the criminal charges or even dismiss the case. Contact our law office at 877-781-1570.

Eisner Gorin LLP
1875 Century Park East #705
Los Angeles, CA 90067

Tagged as:
los angeles child pornography defense attorney, los angeles sex crime defense attorney, sex crimes

Technology, A New Expert Witness in Los Angeles Child Pornography Cases

Posted on: April 29, 2010 at 6:08 p.m.

When a Los Angeles Child Pornography Defense Attorney defends someone charged with possession, distribution or making child porn, he has to fight some very strict laws. Now, with new technological developments, defendants in child pornography cases are facing even more difficult circumstances. Law enforcement officials, such as the FBI and Los Angeles Police Department, are constantly creating new technologies to find sex crime offenders. These law enforcement tactics require the skill and experienced of a highly qualified Defense Lawyer.

A new program designed by Columbia University uses algorithms to find child pornography on people’s computers. A computer science professor said “It uses machine-learning algorithms to distinguish child from not-child." The program allegedly measures the distance between a person’s eyes and nose (as well as other facial features) to separate children from adults. When a Attorney has to defend against such technology, he needs to be able to combat such a high level of technology. Supposedly, the program is 70 percent accurate in identifying children, which means the program has at least a 30 percent margin of error! Someone could be sent to jail for possessing child pornography because a program that gets things wrong at least 30 percent of the time accuses them.

Spotting child pornography is incredibly difficult. However, law enforcement officials are still employing digital sex crime evidence detectives that are 60 percent accurate because they are doing whatever they can to catch potential criminals. Unfortunately, when someone is accused of possessing child porn, it is as damning to the public as if the individual was actually convicted.

Computer crimes and Internet crimes are causing law enforcement to develop new levels of technology in order to prove the guilt of the accused. However, with technology come all sorts of problems in terms of determining the accuracy of the technology in question. Only a skilled, experienced Los Angeles Child Pornography Lawyer will understand how to effectively defend someone charged by a computer program. Being able to dissect the technology used by the prosecution requires a defense lawyer who knows the laws, the technology and is a tirelessly legal advocate.

If you or someone you love has been charged with a child porn violation, contact the team at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin. Our criminal defense experience and they have worked for District Attorney’s Offices, giving them an insider’s perspective on prosecution tactics.

Tagged as: los angeles child pornography defense attorney

Serious Challenges for Those Charged with Child Pornography

Posted on: April 26, 2010 at 9:38 p.m.

Anyone charged with possession, distribution or making child pornography is facing possibly the most serious legal fight of their lives. However, new develops in the criminal justice system could make any potential legal fight that much more difficult, increasing the need for a skilled Los Angeles Child Pornography Attorney.

Men and women accused of a child pornography charge face serious consequences, such as imprisonment, mandatory counseling, inclusion on the Sex Offender list and much more. New developments in the use of technology have made legal battles easier for the government and harder for the accused. New software has been developed by the Polytechnic Institute of New York University allows investigators to find photographs deleted from the user’s computer. Meaning that even if something is deleted and put into the “trash" a government sex crime evidence detective can still find old files.

While some may feel this is a good thing, it creates potentially dangerous situations for anyone who buys an old computer. For example, if someone downloads a file onto their computer that is child pornography and then sells the computer, the new owner could be charged with a criminal child pornography violation. It could be potentially impossible for anyone charged with child pornography violations to be found innocent if there are thousands of images on their computer, even if it was not their computer originally. In such cases, only a skilled Child Pornography Defense Lawyer will have the knowledge, experience and skill necessary to create the best defense possible.

Defending against the government’s accusations requires a lawyer with a unique understanding of the law. For example, for an image to be unlawful, the image must not be digitally created. The government must also prove that the accused was aware of what was on his or her computer. In the case of this new kind of digital investigation, it might be easy to prove a person had images on his or her computer, but impossible to prove if they knew it was there. However, without a skilled Attorney on your side, government scare tactics and heavy handed interrogation could get you to give up on your rights.

If you or someone you love has been charged with possession, creation or distribution of child pornography, contact Kestenbaum Eiwner & Gorin. Our attorneys understand Penal Code Section 311.11, have over 50 years of combined legal experience, and have a long, successful track record of keeping our clients out of jail and free from fines. Our number is 877-781-1570 and we are standing by to hear your case 24 hours a day.

Tagged as: los angeles child pornography defense attorney

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