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How to Legally Handle Allegations of Internet Crimes 

 Posted on May 02, 2024 in Criminal Defense

Fort Worth Criminal LawyerIf you find yourself facing allegations of an internet crime, it is normal to feel uncertain about what to do next. The legal system can be intimidating, especially when your future is on the line. However, remember that you have rights and that there are steps you can take to protect yourself legally. A Texas lawyer can provide you with the steps to follow so you can handle these allegations.

First, What Should You Know About Internet Crimes in Texas?

Under Texas law, internet crimes cover a wide range of offenses, including online solicitation of a minor, possession or distribution of child pornography, identity theft, and computer hacking. Law enforcement and prosecutors take these crimes very seriously, and they carry severe penalties, including hefty fines and lengthy prison sentences.

Secure Legal Representation Immediately

If you are accused of an internet crime, the first and most important step is to seek the assistance of an attorney who specializes in internet crimes. Do not attempt to handle the situation alone or discuss the allegations with anyone other than your attorney. Your lawyer will protect your rights, advise you on the best course of action, and develop a strong defense strategy specific to your case.

Gather Evidence and Maintain Silence

When facing internet crime allegations, preserve evidence supporting your defense. This includes electronic devices, such as computers, smartphones, and tablets, as well as relevant emails, chat logs, and other digital records. However, do not attempt to alter or destroy any evidence, as this can be considered tampering and may lead to additional charges.

Make sure you always use your right to remain silent. This means to avoid discussing the allegations with law enforcement, friends, or family members. Anything you say can be used against you in the courtroom. Always let your attorney handle all communications for you.

Understand the Investigation Process

Law enforcement agencies, such as the Texas Attorney General’s Office or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), may be involved in investigating internet crime allegations. There may be a need to execute search warrants, seize electronic devices, and attempt to interview you or your acquaintances. If you are contacted by law enforcement, politely decline to answer any questions and refer them to your attorney.

Your lawyer will work to gather information about the investigation, assess the strength of the evidence against you, and identify any potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. This information will be crucial in developing an effective defense strategy.

Explore Legal Defenses

There are several legal defenses that may be applicable in internet crime cases, depending on the specific circumstances. These may include:

  • Lack of knowledge or intent

  • Mistaken identity

  • Entrapment

  • Violation of constitutional rights (e.g., unlawful search and seizure)

  • Insufficient evidence

Your attorney will thoroughly review the facts of your case to determine which defenses are most viable and develop a comprehensive strategy to challenge the allegations against you.

Consider Plea Bargaining

In certain circumstances, your attorney may advise you to consider plea bargaining as a potential strategy. Plea bargaining is a process in which your lawyer negotiates with the prosecution to reach an agreement that reduces the severity of the charges or the potential sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. This approach can be advantageous when the evidence against you is substantial, and the risk of a conviction at trial is high.

Contact a Fort Worth, TX Criminal Defense Attorney

Facing allegations of an internet crime can be one of the most stressful experiences you will ever encounter. However, by understanding your rights and getting some insight from a Tarrant County criminal defense lawyer, you can take the steps to potentially overcome this challenging situation. Call The Dameron Law Firm at 817-222-0624 to begin with a free consultation and see which step you should take next.

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