Due to the serious penalties and negative reputation associated with child enticement charges, it is important that if you are charged you consult with a DC federal child enticement lawyer to help build the strongest defense possible for your case. Below is information on some of the ways that a defense can be built. To learn more call and schedule a consultation with an attorney today.
The first thing to look for when building a defense is the evidence that the government is actually going to present, especially the electronic evidence. It’s important to look for anything that could be arguably construed and the client’s attempt to actually convey something whether it’s money, a toy, some sort of gift to the actual minor, not just to the intermediary.
Now if there’s alleged communication between a client and a fictitious or actual minor where that’s what supposedly occurring in this conversation, you look for the same thing, is it talk about sexual activity or are there promises or inducements being made, that’s what you want to look for first and foremost in these cases.
In regard to refuting the evidence, what an attorney is going to try and show is that there is reasonable doubt, that the client committed the offense. You do this by dissecting the government’s evidence here and if necessary, bringing your own evidence to bare. For example, if you have a client who has the substance abuse issue and is being preyed upon by law enforcement agent, then an attorney would want to bring evidence to bare highlighting the substance abuse.
Sometimes what a lawyer will do is bring in an expert, a psychologist or psychiatrist to talk about the types of chat that’s typically going on in the internet and someone who can say, well listen, there’s a lot of talk on these websites. There’s a lot of people who talk about their fantasy, but it doesn’t mean you’re actually going to do it. You can also have clients evaluated by psychologist or psychiatrist which sometimes can actually say, this client is not attracted to children in real life.
Maybe they indulged for whatever reason, in some chat they regret at this point but they are not really attracted to children. What we’re battling here is the jury’s perception that if we find this person not guilty, then we’re allowing a predator to go back on the street. So you have to overcome that perception because that’s really what’s going on in the back of people’s mind is, “what am I doing here if I let this person go even if I don’t think that there is actually persuasion, inducement, coercion, or enticement of a child.” So that’s a big part of the preparation or a big part of the refutation of the government evidence as well.
A lot of very, very detailed work looking at the government’s evidence, extensive conversations with your client and with witnesses to gather information that could be brought to bear in the case and extensive research on the law as it exists in the particular court outs that you are litigating in. Those are the main things.
It’s not a common defense because when you’re dealing in the context with someone who is an undercover officer, then it’s going to be explicit. So it’s not really a viable defense to say you didn’t know someone, but it’s not a defense anyway. It’s not a valid defense.
So you don’t know if someone’s on it.
Yes, that would be a defense. If the person is over the age of 18, sure, then you’re not committing a crime, so at least you’re not enticing a child.
There are a fair number of search and seizure issues that can come up depending on how the investigation has progressed. There are constitutional issues related to Fifth Amendment and potentially Fourth Amendment when you’re talking about people who’ve talked to law enforcement, so that could potentially be an issue. There are certain issues regarding the mandatory minimum sentences and whether those constitute and unusual punishments of the violation of the Eighth Amendment, but that’s not an issue that has gained any real prominence to date, but those are the main issues that arise in a child enticement case.
When facing child enticement charges or any other type of criminal charge you want a criminal defense lawyer that has experience dealing with that specific type of case and that litigates these cases with the energy and the passion that’s required to litigate any criminal case. Someone who meets this criteria and is willing to put in the effort and communication for you, is who is going to be able to provide the best possible result.
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