Internet Sex Crimes Attorney in Kansas City, MO

Cybercrime is an ongoing threat. If you need an internet sex crimes attorney in Kansas City, MO, contact Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center for help. Call us!

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Author:

Kimberly J. Benjamin, Founder & Managing Attorney

December 26. 2022.

Internet Sex Crimes Lawyer Kansas City, MO

 

It is impossible to imagine life today without the internet and all its services, from e-mail and social media to entertainment and productivity tools. Regrettably, there’s also a dark side to this ease of connection, as the internet is increasingly being used as a channel for wrongdoing, especially in the area of felony sex crimes.

Internet Sex crimes are also referred to as internet-facilitated sexual offenses and refer to different sexual offenses that are perpetrated on or with the aid of the internet. These offenses include sexual solicitation, production, possession, or distribution of child pornography, and criminal (sexual) conspiracies using online technology.

Many internet offenses are committed against children and young adolescents. So there is an increasing awareness about such offenses, with some states enacting specialized legislation to prosecute such internet offenders. In most states, though, internet sex crimes are prosecuted under the regular sexual offense laws.

Regardless of the specifics of the law in this area, convictions for sex crimes tend to have a more negative stigma than those for other types of criminal behavior in addition to the criminal law penalties. An accusation alone may harm a person’s image irreparably. 

So, if you’re facing charges for internet sex crimes, it is essential that you defend yourself rigorously in court, as that might be the only way to secure your freedom and clear your name. To do so, you would likely need to secure the services of a criminal defense attorney with significant experience in internet sex crime defense.

Keep reading to learn more about these types of sex crimes and how an internet sex crimes attorney might be able to help you.

Types of Internet Sex Crimes in Kansas City, Missouri

Missouri criminal law does not have separate provisions for internet sex crimes; as such, those offenses would likely be prosecuted under the regular criminal law provisions. The internet, in such cases, would only be regarded as a tool for the commission of the offense, which doesn’t necessarily change the nature of the offense itself.

According to the US Department of Justice, offenses classified as internet sex crimes include sexual conspiracies, solicitation of minors, and child pornography when facilitated by the internet. Here, we’ll examine the nature and implication of these offenses under Missouri criminal law.

 

Child Pornography

Missouri criminal law defines child pornography as any obscene performance or material that involves sexual conduct or the performance of a child. It includes any photograph, film, video, digital image, or computer-generated image of a minor engaging in or observing sexually explicit conduct.

Having identified what constitutes child pornography, the law goes ahead to criminalize the promotion and possession of child pornography.

Promotion of Child Pornography

A person promotes child pornography in the first degree if they knowingly make, transfer, distribute or circulate such material involving a child less than 14 years old by any means, including a computer. The crime of promoting child pornography in the first degree is categorized as a Class B felony. It becomes a Class A felony when the promotion is to a minor.

A Class B felony in Missouri can result in fines and imprisonment for up to 15 years. Class A felonies could result in imprisonment for up to thirty years. Additionally, those convicted of promoting child porn in the first degree are ineligible for probation, parole, or conditional release until they have served their sentence for three calendar years.

­­Possession of Child Pornography

Possession of child pornography is a Class D felony if the person only has one still image in their possession. It becomes a Class B felony if they possess a video or more than twenty images of the offensive sexual act (s) or have previously been convicted of the same offense.

 The penalty for possession of child pornography includes imprisonment and fines based on the felony classification. Also, the person would receive separate punishment for each piece of child pornographic material they possess.

Solicitation of Minors

This offense is known as the enticement of a child under Missouri law. The law makes it an offense for anyone over 21 to solicit, coax, lure or entice a child less than 15 years old by words and actions or through communication via the internet to engage in any sexual conduct. A conviction for this offense or its attempted offense carries a minimum five-year sentence and a maximum of thirty years. Convicts are also ineligible for probation, parole, or conditional release until after five years.

Sexual Crime Conspiracies

If two or more persons agree to commit a Class A, B, or C felony or certain uncategorized felonies, then they are guilty of conspiracy.

Thus, when multiple persons are involved in the offenses of child pornography or solicitation of a minor, as explained above, they can also be charged with a conspiracy to commit the said offense.

However, a mere agreement to commit a crime is not enough to ground a conspiracy charge. One or more of the conspirators must have taken steps to further the actual commission of the crime.

Promoting Online Sexual Solicitation

Missouri law also prohibits the promotion of online sexual solicitation. As such, anyone who knowingly permits their website or web-based service to be used by individuals to make advertisements that promote prostitution, enticement or solicitation of a child, or sexual trafficking shall be guilty of a felony if they fail to take down the said adverts after receiving a notice to that effect from the attorney general.

The penalty for this offense is a five thousand dollar fine for each day that the offending ad remains on the website after the 72 hours compliance period expires.

Other Internet-Facilitated Sex Offenses

 

The list of internet sex offenses mentioned above is not exhaustive. Other sexual offenses, such as sexual misconduct, or sexual trafficking of a child, may fall within this category of sexual offenses if they are committed via the internet.

Crimes such as rape and sodomy require physical contact to occur, so they may not qualify as internet sex crimes.

 

Sex Offender Registration for Internet Sex Crimes

 

In Missouri, all convicted (internet) sex offenders must be listed on the state’s sex offender registry.

These details are available to the public and could remain for as long as twenty-five years. This is in addition to the other penalties that are available upon conviction.

If you have been charged with an internet sex crime, a criminal defense lawyer will help you avoid a conviction.

How a Sex Crimes Attorney Can Help You

The necessity of having an experienced criminal defense attorney represent you cannot be overemphasized. With their experience and knowledge of sex offender laws, your internet sex crimes attorney can assess your case and help you come up with a suitable defense strategy.

Your attorney will meticulously examine all details of your case, from the arrest to the allegations, to ensure that your rights were not violated and that the police and the prosecutor followed the correct procedures at every stage. Ideally, they will try to help you avoid a conviction or at least reduce the charges against you.

Fighting your sex crime charges with an experienced sex crime defense attorney offers you an excellent chance to get your freedom and life back. Consider hiring one as soon as possible.

If you have further questions about defending an internet sex crime charge in Kansas City, Missouri, contact us at the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center.

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