A funeral director from West Palm Beach was recently arrested and charged with obscene communication after allegedly using a computer to set up a meeting with an agent posing as a 15-year-old boy, The Palm Beach Post reports.
Facing West Palm Beach sex crimes can not only lead to the possibility of job loss, problems in the community and issues with family and friends, but it can result in years of prison time, if convicted.
Our West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyers realize that the Internet invites criminal activity and that local law enforcement continues attempting to bring charges against citizens who may violate the law. But we also recognize that being charged with a sex crime is a serious thing that can derail a person’s life.
There are obvious social consequences to being arrested for any charge, but sex crimes are among the most despised in any community. Even a misunderstanding with another person can lead to a person facing a sex crime. And what police often don’t take into consideration is that an arrest can sometimes do as much damage in the public eye as a conviction.
Many companies will fire a person if he or she gets arrested, let alone convicted. But often, showing that a person isn’t guilty of the charge through an acquittal at trial can go a long way toward repairing the damage.
In this case, according to the newspaper, police said the 49-year-old man was on a social networking site when he allegedly told a person he thought was a 15-year-old boy he would buy him a “foot long hot dog” and said they should meet at the movies to “kiss” and “cuddle.”
According to the newspaper account, officers disguised as the teen chatted with the man, starting in November and throughout December and January. The man allegedly told the “boy” he preferred boys even younger than 15. He asked whether he was “out” to his family.
After having sent a shirtless picture to the “boy,” the two set up a meeting spot recently and when the man showed up, detectives, not a teen, were there to greet him. The newspaper reports that the man admitted to doing the chatting and admitted it was wrong.
What’s important to note in cases like this is not to make any admissions or statements to police. When they conduct long-term investigations about computer-based crimes, they often have amassed lots of evidence that can be used against the suspect. Talking to the detectives can hurt chances for an acquittal, as it will be used against the suspect in court.
The best course of action is to call an experienced West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. He or she can assess the situation and figure out what the best course of action may be moving forward.
These computer-based sex crimes often are technical and the evidence may be more about the computer than the sex. That’s why an experienced lawyer — who has prosecuted these cases and worked with police on them — should be used to combat the charges.
If you are arrested in Fort Lauderdale or elsewhere in South Florida, contact Leifert & Leifert at 954-523-9600 or 561-988-8000 for a free consultation.
More Blog Entries:
New Sexting Laws Take Over in West Palm Beach, Statewide: October 7, 2011
West Palm funeral director charged with alleged obscene chats with ‘teen boy,’ Alexandra Seltzer, The Palm Beach Post