Are Most Internet Crimes Sex Offenses?

man sitting in front of a computer screen, facing away from the camera

The Internet has opened up an opportunity to do things like never before. You can view anything online, talk to anyone, and conduct all of your online activities in the privacy of your home. This perceived sense of total privacy has also led to increased crimes occurring online. Our defense team at The Law Office of Justin Rosas is here to discuss the frequency of sex offenses online, as well as other internet-related charges that can result in severe penalties.

Common Online Sex Crimes

Most internet sex crimes have to do with pornography. In this blog, we’ll discuss child pornography and revenge pornography charges.

Child pornography is defined as material showing minors engaged in sexual activity or minors portrayed in sexual ways. It is any material depicting children that is used for sexual pleasure. In Oregon and at the federal level, it is a crime to possess, distribute, or create child pornography. Violating child pornography laws can result in serious felony or federal charges.

If convicted of a child pornography offense, you risk:

  • Decades of prison time
  • Expensive fines
  • Mandatory sex offender registration
  • A lengthy period of probation

Not only do you face criminal penalties, but a child pornography conviction can affect numerous other aspects of your life. When others find out you’ve been convicted of a child pornography offense, you may face difficulties in your personal life involving:

  • Your job
  • Your housing situation
  • Your family relationships
  • Your romantic relationships

You may also face criminal charges for offenses involving revenge pornography. Revenge pornography involves sending inappropriate or sexual content of an adult without said adult’s consent or knowledge. When this started to occur, there were no laws on the books that penalized this activity. Now, however, there are serious consequences for this offense.

A first-offense revenge pornography charge is typically a misdemeanor, and any repeat offenses are felonies. Depending on the severity of the offense, you could face enhanced charges and penalties or even additional charges, like identity theft. Another risk of committing revenge pornography is the civil penalties that often come as a result. This is when the victim of the offense seeks financial compensation for damages caused by the defendant.

Another common online sex crime is the solicitation of a minor. This is not a pornography-related offense. Instead, solicitation of a minor occurs when an adult knowingly manipulates or tries to convince a minor into sending sexual content or meeting up in person for sexual activity. Like revenge pornography, this can be a misdemeanor or felony offense.

Additional Online Offenses

Online crimes that aren’t sexual in nature often involve a financial component.

Common financially-motivated online crimes include:

  • Fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Gambling
  • Phishing
  • Hacking

Many of these types of crimes can result in wire fraud charges. Wire fraud encapsulates any fraudulent activity that occurs using the Internet. This is often a federal offense if the fraudulent activity affected people in two or more states or internationally.

Federal wire fraud charges are punishable by:

  • Up to 20 years in prison
  • Up to $250,000 in fines
  • Additional restitution payments
  • Probation
  • Life-long restrictions

If You’ve Been Accused of a Sexual or Financial Online Crime

The Internet feels private– but it isn’t. All of your online activity can be traced and/or monitored. Numerous law enforcement agencies focus on investigating online crimes, and thousands of individuals are charged with these offenses each year. If you believe your online activity is being investigated, if you’ve recently been contacted by law enforcement, or if you’ve been arrested, contact a defense attorney immediately. You need someone who understands the law and justice system by your side as you fight these accusations.

Southern Oregon Criminal Defense

When your back is against the wall, we’re the team to call. Our defense team at The Law Office of Justin Rosas has had major success handling some of the most complicated, serious cases. When it’s time to start your defense, we’ve got your back. Reach us at (541) 933-5972 or click here to request a case consultation.