Social Media and Solicitation: What’s the (Digital) Connection?

It used to be that prostitution and other sex crimes existed in an untouchable underworld. But in the digital age, it’s easier than ever to access or become involved in this kind of dangerous and illegal activity. Now, you can merely stumble upon a certain website or Instagram account and find yourself ensnared in a crime. In today’s post, we’ll discuss some examples of how social media is playing a more prominent role in prostitution crimes and some ways you can reduce your risk of ever needing help from a prostitution defense attorney.

How Social Media is Used to Engage People in Prostitution

Traditional prostitution ad platforms may be shutting down, but that doesn’t mean that these sex crimes are going away. In fact, they may be more prevalent than ever — and they’re hiding in plain sight. Over the last several years, there have been numerous reports of prostitution and sex trafficking rings being run by individuals who have no qualms about using social media to make contact with victims. In many cases, these victims may be underage children, though pimps have also been known to target others. Social media provides easy access into the victim’s world, allowing these criminals to discover what’s lacking in the victim’s life. They use this information to manipulate the victim and eventually force them (in one way or another) to perform acts of prostitution.

It’s not only pimps and prostitutes who are using social media to engage in this lifestyle. Those who wish to pay for these services often turn to these platforms, as well. While such activity may not be allowed under the platform’s terms of service, that doesn’t necessarily stop anyone from taking part. What’s more, law enforcement know this all too well. Police officers have been known to pose as prostitutes or even as minors to entice individuals to meet in real life and entrap them for their intended crimes.

How to Steer Clear of Social Media Sex Crimes

Considering that prostitution and solicitation are considered Class A misdemeanors (punishable by up to a year in prison and up to $6,250 in fines), any prostitution defense attorney will tell you that the wrong kind of social media activity has the power to derail your entire future. And with so much digital evidence, even the most experienced prostitution lawyers will have a more difficult time defending you if you don’t adhere to social media guidelines.

It should go without saying, but in case it isn’t clear: stay off of websites and forums that are in any way known for prostitution or illegal activity. You should also refrain from using certain apps or chat features that are associated with underage individuals or sex crimes in general. If you use online dating websites, ensure that the age parameters you set are appropriate and lawful. Discontinue communications with anyone who could potentially be underage or who promises the exchange of sexual favors for financial gain or any other valuable service. Parents should also monitor their children’s online activities to ensure they aren’t conversing with strangers or posting/engaging in inappropriate content. Essentially, if you worry that you could get in trouble for something you say (or that someone else has said), listen to your gut. Otherwise, you may soon need assistance from prostitution attorneys.

If you have been arrested and charged with this type of sex crime, it’s essential to hire a prostitution defense attorney right away. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact us today.

Can a DUII or Diversion Program Impact Your Car Insurance Premiums?

If you’ve been arrested for a DUII, chances are that you’re already pretty occupied with thoughts of spending time in jail, hiring a DUII attorney, and the possibility of paying fines, going to court, and dealing with the social, financial, and legal consequences of your actions. There is, however, another point you’ll need to start thinking about: your transportation.

After your arrest, your license will automatically be suspended for a certain period of time. Refusing to submit to sobriety tests can have this same result due to Oregon’s implied consent laws. However, the length of these suspensions may vary. And if you are subsequently convicted, even of a first offense DUII, you may have to endure longer revocation sentences of your driver’s license.

That may not be the end of your driving woes, though. Because the average drunk driver has driven 80 times under the influence before they’re first arrested, municipalities can enact harsh punishments on those who are charged with this crime. Even after you have paid fines and served time, you still may be forced to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle and comply with other requirements from the court. That said, the hardships you may face may not all stem from the criminal justice system itself. You may experience various financial difficulties as a result of your arrest (even if you’re able to take part in the DUII diversion process). Case in point: your car insurance premiums may increase significantly following your arrest.

Can My DUII Charges Affect My Car Insurance?

Unfortunately, yes. Depending on the circumstances of your case (for instance, whether your crime involved property damage, injuries, or is being treated as a felony), you may face more significant premium increases. But being convicted of a DUII will almost certainly increase the amount you’ll be required to pay for car insurance. Because you’ll essentially be seen by your insurer as a higher risk driver, even being arrested for driving under the influence of intoxicants can have a profound effect on what you’ll be forced to pay. In many cases, you’ll also have to file a specific insurance document made for problem drivers. While the premium increases may vary widely, some drivers who have been convicted of a DUII experience insurance premium hikes of three to five times higher than what they paid before their arrest.

Can Participation in a DUII Diversion Program Impact My Insurance Premiums?

If this is your first time ever being arrested and convicted of an alcohol-related crime, you may be entitled to take part in the DUII diversion process. The successful completion of this DUII diversion program can allow the charges against you to be dropped, which means you will not have a DUII conviction on your record. (If you fail to complete the program, however, you will be sentenced as if you had entered a guilty plea.) But whether completing the DUII diversion program will eliminate insurance hikes isn’t quite so clear. In some cases, your DUII arrest may have only a slight effect on your insurance premiums — or in rare situations, no noticeable effect at all. Others may still experience significant insurance increases due to their arrest and the circumstances of the crime, even if they are not actually convicted. It’s best to discuss the situation with your lawyer prior to making a final decision on which route to take in a court of law, particularly if insurance payments may be a big consideration for you.

Although insurance hikes may not be your first thought if you’re arrested for a DUII, this concern may have a significant impact on your quality of life later on. When you meet with your attorney to discuss your legal options (including the possibility of participating in a DUII diversion program), you may want to find out how the choices you make during this important period of time might affect your future.

Your First DUII: Common Questions Answered

Being arrested can be a terrifying experience for many people, particularly if they’ve never been in trouble with the law before. While you might be an upstanding citizen, you can make a single mistake that can change the course of your life forever. If you’ve made the decision to drink and drive and were subsequently charged with your first DUII, you might be inclined to believe you have nothing to worry about. But in actuality, you must take this situation seriously and dismiss what you think you know about first offense DUII charges and convictions. In today’s post, we’re answering some questions that many first-time offenders have in the hopes that you’ll feel more prepared if you find yourself in a similar situation.

I’ve Been Arrested For a DUII. What Should I Do Now?

You should first exercise your rights to remain silent and to hire a lawyer. A lot of people who are facing their first offense DUIIs think that by being forthcoming with police, they’ll be able to weasel themselves out of trouble. Unfortunately, you’ll likely end up making things worse. Contact your local DUII attorney as soon as you’re able to ensure your rights are protected and that you’ll have the best chance of a favorable outcome.

Is a First Offense DUII Really That Big a Deal?

You might assume that a first-time DUII arrest will come with a mere slap on the wrist, but that’s not often the case. You could potentially face some harsh punishments, particularly if your arrest occurred after an accident that involved property damage, injuries, or death. While only 10% of licensed drivers are under the age of 21, those minors are responsible for 17% of fatal alcohol-related crashes. Regardless of your age, being arrested for a DUII that involved harm to other people (or potential harm, if there was a child present in the vehicle) can result in major consequences. In short: it is a big deal and you need to treat it as such.

I Won’t Face Penalties Unless I’m Convicted, Right?

Actually, your arrest alone can set some penalties in motion. Even if you aren’t yet convicted of this crime, your license will likely be suspended and you may be forced to pay fines for your first offense DUII arrest. These two components alone can represent a huge hardship for many people. If you are convicted, of course, you can also face jail time, community service, substance abuse treatment, ignition interlock device installation, and even higher fees. Don’t assume that just because you haven’t had your day in court that you don’t have to worry about punishments.

What is a DUII Diversion Program?

First-time DUII offenders may be eligible for a diversion program, which requires you to plead guilty or no contest to your charges. However, if you successfully complete this program (which typically involves substance abuse treatment, victim impact panel participation, abstention from drug and alcohol use, ignition interlock installation, and payment of fees), the charges against you will be dismissed after a year. Your lawyer may recommend that you take part in this program unless there are specific reasons you would want to plead not guilty in court or go a different route.

A first-time DUII arrest is no laughing matter. You might assume that you’ll escape harsh punishment, but law enforcement now takes these crimes more seriously than ever. If you need help after being charged with a DUII, please contact our firm today.

2 Ways To Ensure You’ve Found The Best DUII Lawyer For Your Defense

Choosing to drive while under the influence of intoxicants comes with multiple risks; convictions and fines aside, getting behind the wheel of a multi-ton vehicle when you’re not in possession of all your faculties could cause bodily harm to you or an innocent bystander. No matter what your situation, if you get pulled over and charged with a DUII, you’re going to need a DUII attorney.

Hiring a DUII lawyer can be an overwhelming experience, but finding the right (and best) one for your case can mean the difference between a fine and the complete suspension of your license — sometimes for more than a year. Here are the two main ways to make sure you’ve found a DUII law firm that can confidently present your DUII defense.

  • Do your research. Good DUII attorneys are attentive, understanding, and experienced; they’re also, unfortunately, hard to find quickly. Try to avoid picking the first DUII lawyer you see, and take the time to research multiple firms and individuals. Your case may be unique and require a unique perspective or focus. With the Internet at your disposal, compiling a list of qualified and capable DUII lawyers is faster than you know. If you’re absolutely stumped, you can also try asking trustworthy friends and family for their suggestions and recommendations.
  • Meet face-to-face. Once you’ve made your list, it’s time to gauge the personal factor. Beyond being intelligent and successful, your lawyer should be trustworthy. If you feel comfortable and supported while discussing your case, you’ve found a good candidate; if you feel judged or unimportant, like they’re not taking your case seriously, it’s time to move on. The personal factor is arguably a more crucial component of finding the right fit than previous experience, so give it the attention it requires.

In this modern era of ride-sharing services, DUII convictions really should be a thing of the past. Unfortunately, what should be and what is are two very different things. If you’re going to take the risks associated with drinking or doing drugs and driving (like the 10.3 million who admitted to taking illicit substances and driving in 2012), you need to be prepared to deal with the consequences. Hiring a DUII lawyer with the experience and know-how necessary to successfully defend you is vital.

The Differences between Misdemeanors and Felonies

In most states, misdemeanors and felonies are the two ways to classify a crime. Some states use a third: petty offenses—otherwise known as infractions. The two major classifications can get confusing, and it can be easy to blur the line between the two. To help you make heads or tails of your predicament, here’s a quick breakdown of the key differences between misdemeanors and felonies.

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Potential Penalties of Domestic Violence Charges

What is Domestic Violence?

To put it simply, domestic violence is a crime committed by an intimate partner, a family member, or a household member, against the other partner or house member.

However, that is really putting it simply; there is a lot to know about domestic violence and its different levels. There are major differences between felony and misdemeanor domestic violence, and it’s important to note that Oregon does not make the distinction between domestic violence and criminal assault. In fact, they are often paired together. In Oregon, ‘Domestic Violence’ can be used as a modifier attached to criminal charges. Take, for example, a bar fight where one person punches the other—this would be considered “Misdemeanor Assault IV.” However, if a family member punches another family member, that is considered “Misdemeanor Assault IV—Constituting Domestic Violence.” We’ll continue to outline below the specifics of domestic violence and the potential penalties of domestic violence charges.

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Courtroom Etiquette: What to Wear & How to Act

There are a lot of things you should think about before walking into the courtroom. Etiquette is of the utmost importance; you will make a good impression, which ends up going a long way. Research shows that human beings form impressions of others in 1/10 of a second.

There are various stated (and unstated) rules of conduct for attendees, litigants, attorneys, and so on. Take a look at these important aspects of good courtroom etiquette.

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