In federal court, there is what is called a presumption in the law where if you’re charged with an offense such as enticement, that carries more than the maximum of 10 years in prison. There is a presumption that you should not be released and you as the person charged with that have to overcome that presumption or gained early. So you start with a strike against you when you’re charged with child enticement because the maximum penalty is over 10 years. As a result it is even more important that you consult with a DC federal child enticement lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case and begin building a defense.
When the judge is making a decision, the judge is looking at two factors:
(1) are you a risk of flight and
(2) are you so dangerous that there is no condition or combination of conditions that makes you safe to release into the community.
It’s a dangerousness calculus and a flight calculus.
Normally, the flight calculus is not the issue. It’s the dangerousness calculus. There are all sorts of arguments that an attorney can make that the person can be monitored such that the judge can feel confident that there are conditions or a combination of conditions that would assure that they would stay in the community if they were to be released.
Those range from electronic monitoring, to computer monitoring, to having a third party custodian such as the parent remain with the person, or have that person live with someone who will act as a third party custodian. For example, one can have someone under house arrest with electronic monitoring so they have to be in the house in their home essentially 24 hour a day.
One of the biggest issues is the internet because judges are very concerned about people who are charged with this getting back on the internet and using internet to try and meet people. That is a big concern and that often is what keeps people locked up during the pendency of their cases.
There are host of things that your lawyer can do. One is you gather a lot of information about, for example, the flight issue, which means the lawyer will want to gather information about how stable the relationships are in the community. Do they have a lot of family? Have they gone to school in the area? Is there something to show that there is no reason for them to want to leave the area? You can use that information to help with the dangerousness. You can show, for example, while this person can live with their father who is retired in his home all day and who is willing to remove the internet connection from their home. That is one way.
Another measure that can be used is to propose having monitoring software placed on the computer such that every key stroke is tracked, every website is tracked. That way, there is no way a person can get on any website and they are restricted on their web usage. There is no way that they can get on without someone knowing, that they are on a site that they shouldn’t be on. Those are some of the ways to address those areas of concern that judges often express.
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