Our law Firm aggressively defends people falsely accused of internet sex crimes in Burbank, Pasadena and Los Angeles County
The Law on Internet Sex Crimes in California
California criminalizes certain conduct over the Internet which is
directed towards children.  E-mails which initiate contact with
children under 18 years of age can evolve into a felony if the
conversations discuss sex or sexually explicit conduct.  Local  Los
Angeles police agencies frequently will stage sting operations which
target individuals seeking young girls.  These undercover operations
are often refereed to as "child predator" task forces or Internet
predator task force stings. The typical sting involves an adult police
officer posing as a young girl in a on-line chat room.  The officer will
engage the suspect in conversation and will bait the individual to start
discussing sex or sexual talk.  In some instances the chats will
progress to the sending of explicit photographs or other arguably
obscene content.  The undercover police officer will then attempt to
get the suspect to meet him or her at a specific location for the
purpose of lewd or sexual acts.  If the suspect takes the bait and
travels to the meeting point, he is usually met by a team of law
enforcement ready to arrest him for a PC 288 offense.

The law on this subject is codified in the California Penal code as
follows:

Penal Code § 288.2. Sending harmful matter to minor by telephone
messages, electronic mail, Internet, or commercial online service;
Defenses; Exemption of carrier, broadcaster, or transmitter

(a)  Every person who, with knowledge that a person is a minor, or
who fails to exercise reasonable care in ascertaining the true age of a
minor, knowingly distributes, sends, causes to be sent, exhibits, or
offers to distribute or exhibit by any means, including, but not limited
to, live or recorded telephone messages, any harmful matter, as
defined in Section 313, to a minor with the intent of arousing,
appealing to, or gratifying the lust or passions or sexual desires of that
person or of a minor, and with the intent or for the purpose of
seducing a minor, is guilty of a public offense and shall be punished
by imprisonment in the state prison or in a county jail.

A person convicted of a second and any subsequent conviction for a
violation of this section is guilty of a felony.
(b)  Every person who, with knowledge that a person is a minor,
knowingly distributes, sends, causes to be sent, exhibits, or offers to
distribute or exhibit by electronic mail, the Internet, as defined in
Section 17538 of the Business and Professions Code, or a
commercial online service, any harmful matter, as defined in Section
313, to a minor with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying
the lust or passions or sexual desires of that person or of a minor, and
with the intent, or for the purpose of seducing a minor, is guilty of a
public offense and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state
prison or in a county jail.
A person convicted of a second and any subsequent conviction for a
violation of this section is guilty of a felony.
(c)  It shall be a defense to any prosecution under this section that a
parent or guardian committed the act charged in aid of legitimate sex
education.
(d)  It shall be a defense in any prosecution under this section that the
act charged was committed in aid of legitimate scientific or
educational purposes.
(e)  It does not constitute a violation of this section for a telephone
corporation, as defined in Section 234 of the Public Utilities Code, a
cable television company franchised pursuant to Section 53066 of the
Government Code, or any of its affiliates, an Internet service
provider, or commercial online service provider, to carry, broadcast,
or transmit messages described in this section or perform related
activities in providing telephone, cable television, Internet, or
commercial online services.

§ 288.3. Arrangement of meeting with minor for purpose of engaging
in certain lewd and lascivious behavior; Punishment

(a)  (1)  Every person who, motivated by an unnatural or abnormal
sexual interest in children, arranges a meeting with a minor or a
person he or she believes to be a minor for the purpose of exposing
his or her genitals or pubic or rectal area, having the child expose his
or her genitals or pubic or rectal area, or engaging in lewd or
lascivious behavior, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding five
thousand dollars ($5,000), by imprisonment in a county jail not
exceeding one year, or by both the fine and imprisonment.

(2)  Every person who violates this subdivision after a prior
conviction for an offense listed in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2)
of subdivision (a) of Section 290 shall be punished by imprisonment
in the state prison.
(b)  Every person described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) who
goes to the arranged meeting place at or about the arranged time, shall
be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or
four years.
(c)  Nothing in this section shall preclude or prohibit prosecution
under any other provision of law.

The typical type of arrest for this crime occurs when the police set up
an Internet sting operation with undercover detectives posing as a
fictitious 13 or 14 year old girl and initiate Internet contact with a
suspect.  The contacts often lead to a prearranged meeting, when the
adult shows up he is confronted by police, arrested,  and forced to
post bail (usually $50,000, but as high as $100,000).  The Los
Angeles County District Attorney then files felony charges and the
individual is given a Court date.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for, are being
investigated or are now charged with an Internet sex crime, contact
our team of
criminal defense lawyers for a free no obligation case
review and consultation.  We can explain your options and provide
critical information to allow you to make intelligent choices.

We are experienced in exonerating innocent individuals wrongfully
accused of these life altering crimes, we FIGHT:

  • False Allegations of 288 crimes
  • False Police Reports
  • Entrapment
  • Illegal Search and Seizure
  • Fabricated Evidence
  • Constitutional Rights Violations

The consequences of a conviction for this type of crime is severe and
can often involve mandatory
290 sex offender registration for life, jail
or prison, and a
felony conviction on your record.  Over the last few
years our criminal defense attorneys have successfully defended
persons accused of 288 charges through the use of accepted legal
defenses such as entrapment, lack of intent, mistake, factual
innocence and many others.

Call us at 1-877-617-4485 for a free discreet consultation with a Los
Angeles Defense Lawyer that will actually handle your case.

California law on internet dating, prostitution, underage criminal acts,
etc.  is highly complex and ever changing,
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Toll Free at 1-877-617-4485
Matthew J. Ruff, Esq.
Attorney Matthew Ruff