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Being arrested in an "Internet sting" operation

When New Jersey residents are alleged to have committed sex offenses against children, they face the prospect of becoming a lifelong outcast among everyone they have ever known. The sad fact is that this can be true even if the charges are eventually dropped. Just being arrested - or even investigated - is oftentimes enough to result in a stigma that can last a lifetime. And, as almost any would probably be able to tell our readers, conducting "Internet sting" operations is one of the primary investigative strategies that law enforcement agencies use to catch people who are alleged to be engaged in this type of illegal conduct.

Interaction between millions of people who have Internet access is hard to police. People can post content anonymously, or they may even hold themselves out to be someone they aren't. How can you tell that someone you are communicating with via the Internet is a certain age or, more specifically, that the person is over the age of 18? That is one of the keys to defending against criminal charges involving alleged Internet-based solicitation of a minor: the prosecution must show that the alleged perpetrator knowingly engaged in criminal activity.

In an Internet sting operation, a police officer will usually create an online profile that specifically states that the person in the profile is underage. From there, the police officer will go into online communication hubs, pretending to be someone they aren't, specifically attempting to engage individuals who may be trying to find underage children for sexual purposes. The endgame is usually to set up an in-person meeting, at which time the suspect will be arrested.

At our law firm we know what it takes to defend against these types of criminal charges. For more information on our law firm's efforts in cases involving Internet sting operations.

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