Hit-and-Run Consequences and What Makes a Responsible Driver

According to a press release from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, “An average of 682,000 hit-and-run crashes occurred each year since 2006.” They also noted that “hit-and-run deaths in the U.S. have increased an average of 7.2 percent each year since 2009.”

From this report, we can see that many individuals lose their lives when people flee the scene. When people follow the steps of a responsible driver, they can save lives. We’ll look at the consequences of hit-and-run accidents below and discuss what protocols you should follow.

What is Hit-and-Run?

Hit-and-run accidents become an offense when an individual involved in a vehicular accident illegally leaves the scene of the crime—whether it be when two drivers collide or when a driver hits a pedestrian.

Most states have traffic laws which outline certain tasks a driver must undertake after an accident to ensure that everyone is safe and that they exchange proper information. It is important to note that there are two different types of hit-and-run accidents—misdemeanor and felony.

No matter which type, there are various hit-and-run consequences and penalties—we have outlined these below.

Penalties of Leaving the Scene of an Accident

The consequences of a hit-and-run accident can vary and may include one or all of the following penalties: criminal, administrative, and/or civil.

Criminal Penalties

As stated above, criminal penalties for hit-and-run accidents are either felonies or misdemeanors.         

A hit-in-run involving a driver who knowingly leaves the scene of an accident when there is property damaged is a misdemeanor. A driver charged with a felony hit-and-run is one who leaves the scene when the accident involves injuries—to either a pedestrian or vehicle occupant.

Leaving the scene when there is a death or serious injury to another person will typically result in significant jail time and fines. Hit-and-run felonies can fall under Class B or C, which means that the driver could serve up to 10 years of prison time. Leaving an injured person will not only bring about criminal hit-and-run punishments but civil punishments as well.

Administrative Penalties

When it comes to a hit-and-run, almost every state will impose administrative penalties to your driver’s license. Regardless if it’s a misdemeanor or felony, this will likely result in an automatic suspension or revocation of your license. In Oregon, license suspension will last up to a year; however, if an injury from the accident is serious or fatal, the revocation will happen for no less than 3 or 5 years, respectively.

Civil Penalties

A victim of a hit-and-run accident can pursue civil penalties against a driver for the harm that he or she experienced. These penalties can include medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. Punitive damages are also a possibility depending on remorse shown by the driver and whether or not the crime is egregious.

Driver Responsibilities in an Accident

To make sure that you don’t have to deal with any of these hit-and-run consequences and punishments, follow these guidelines.

  1. Stop immediately and move vehicles to a safe location
  2. Provide assistance to any injured person
  3. Call the police
  4. Exchange all necessary information. Leave notes if the owner is not available
  5. Evaluate any damage that has occurred—on property and individuals
  6. Wait for the police. Do not leave until they have spoken to you and allow you to leave

If you find yourself in a hit and run situation, make sure you get in contact with a Lake Oswego criminal defense attorney.  These situations are serious and call for reputable lawyers—speak with Jared Justice for more information.

The 5 Main Types of Domestic Violence


Many people incorrectly believe that physical abuse is the only form of domestic violence. There are actually many different types of domestic violence, and it is important to know what they are and the differences between each.

Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors in an intimate relationship used by one partner to maintain power and control over the other. According to a report by Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE), “In about 70% of cases, the allegation is deemed to be unnecessary or false.” Under this circumstance, you would want to enlist a Clackamas County criminal defense lawyer. However, no matter the claim, it is important to know what falls under the category of domestic violence and seek help from there.

That being said, there is a lot that falls into the category of domestic abuse, and there are many different categories because there are many different ways that someone can harm someone else.

Below is a list of the five main different types of domestic abuse as defined by the National Institute of Justice.

The 5 Main Types of Domestic Violence

Physical Violence

The most recognizable form of domestic violence, physical abuse involves the use of force against the victim. This can mean a variety of things—punching, kicking, stabbing, shooting, choking, slapping, biting, or forcing the victim to use drugs. Injuries do not need to be major, either. For example, a few slaps can still be considered domestic violence, even if the injuries do not require medical attention.

Sexual Violence

Sexual violence includes sexual assault, rape, and harassment. Defined as the violation of an individual’s bodily integrity, sexual abuse may involve verbal, non-verbal, and physical behavior. Sexual abuse also includes particular behaviors that would limit reproductive rights, like preventing use of contraceptive methods and forcing abortion.

Financial Abuse

Probably considered one of the least obvious types of domestic violence, financial abuse can take many forms. One such example is when one spouse prevents the other from obtaining a job outside the home. Another example, which is extremely common, is when a joint account is controlled by just one partner. One of the toughest aspects about financial abuse is that there is no outward showing of the abuse. When the victim has no access to money except from the abuser, the victim is completely at the mercy of the abuser.

Emotional Abuse

Typically, emotional abuse is combined with other forms of abuse and often involves the destruction of the victim’s self-worth. It is very common for emotional abuse to be lumped together with intimidation control, as the batterer typically wants to maintain dominance over the victim. This controlling and destructive behavior can include constant criticism, name-calling, and embarrassment.

Psychological Abuse

This is a catch-all term for intimidating, threatening, or fear-causing behavior that is persistent and significant. Similar to emotional abuse, psychological abuse may not, on its own, be enough to bring a domestic violence charge to court. One example of psychological abuse includes instilling fear in an intimate partner through threatening behavior, such as controlling who the victim talks to and what they do.

Other Types of Domestic Violence

Stalking

Stalking can be present in any of the various different types of domestic violence. Generally referring to harassing or threatening behavior, stalking is often the batterers way of controlling the victim. You can find out more about stalking on the National Institute of Justice’s website.

Verbal Abuse

Combined with a lot of the other forms of domestic violence, verbal abuse is any derogatory language that batterers use to denigrate or threaten a victim. This will include name-calling, threatening to hurt or kill the victim or people close to them, and/or yelling, screaming, or terrorizing the victim.

Technological Abuse

A form of verbal or emotional abuse, technological abuse is similar to cyber bullying. It occurs when a batterer uses technology, such as social media, to harass, stalk, or intimidate a victim. Those who perform technological abuse may also use technology to control a victim by controlling their various accounts and passwords.

Spiritual Abuse

Spiritual abuse falls under the emotional abuse umbrella. While it is not well known, that does not mean it is not prominent. Spiritual abuse is anything that gets in the way of the victim doing something that makes them feel good about themselves. If a partner does not let the other practice their own moral/religious beliefs or their own culture/values, that can be seen as spiritual abuse as well.

You can find more specific examples of domestic abuse at the Oregon Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence.

Important Domestic Violence Statistics

There is a lot to know and understand about domestic violence. Below are some statistics you need to know in order to better understand how heavily a domestic violence case can affect a person.

Across the Country

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) has a tremendous amount of statistics regarding domestic violence. Here are just a few of them.

  • About 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the U.S. This equates to more than 10 million women and men over the course of a single year.
  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner abuse—ranging from physical violence and sexual violence to stalking that leads to victim injury, fearfulness, or worse.
  • 1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime to the point that they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.

Domestic Violence in Oregon

  • Almost 1/3 of Oregon women reported experiencing some kind of domestic violence.
  • According to a study conducted by the Oregon’s Department of Services, Oregon domestic and sexual violence programs answered 139,580 calls for help in 2017. They also found that different domestic violence programs across Oregon educated over 75,620 community members.
  • Oregon’s mandatory arrest law states that any person accused of domestic violence will be immediately arrested, even if there is a possibility that the accusation is false.

Keeping Calm on the Stand | 7 Tips for Testifying in Court

If you have a court case coming up, chances are your stress levels are high. One of the most intimidating parts of going to court is taking the stand. There’s a lot to think about—how to present yourself, what to say, making sure you don’t say too much—it can become an overwhelming process. With the eminent scrutiny of testifying on your mind, here are a few tips for testifying in court to help you perform the best way possible.

1. Clothing is Important

No matter who you are, you’re going to want to dress in your best clothing. Come to court well-groomed and conservatively dressed—formal job interview garments are a safe choice when attending court. Your goal is to make a good first impression; you want to positively impact the jury’s thoughts of you. You want people to focus on what you’re saying and not on what you’re wearing.

2. Act Respectfully

A court ruling is not the time for you to promote your independence. You should avoid speaking out of turn, laughing, or using slang terms. Testifying at court means that seriousness is of utmost importance. Unless you’re talking to your Clackamas County criminal defense lawyer, refrain from speaking about the case unless someone directly asks you while on the stand.

3. Refresh Your Memory

Before you testify, do your best to recall all the details from the incident. Try to picture the scene, the different objects present, the conversations had—everything. The more detail you know, the better. However, you also need to make sure that you confirm your story about what happened. This way when either side asks you questions—and they won’t be easy—you can draw upon the things you’ve determined you remember.

4. Speak Slowly and Truthfully

Make sure to present your testimony slowly, clearly, and loud enough so everyone in the room can clearly hear you. Some courtrooms have microphones to help with volume, but even then, you’ll still need to speak up. It’s also important to note that when a lawyer is asking you questions, he/she may try to rile you up. Even if you’re upset, continue to respond as though you are talking directly to the judge or jury.

5. Answer Questions Only

It’s the opposing councils’ job to try and get you to provide them with more information than necessary. This is why it is important to only answer the questions that are asked. Refrain from over-explaining—lawyers will try to exploit these extra details you’ve shared. Remember to only answer the questions directly asked to you, and keep your responses concise to prevent the opposing council from getting more information than they need.

6. Avoid Absolutes

It’s extremely rare that someone would remember every little detail about an incident; that’s why it’s crucial you avoid talking in absolutes. For example, the phrase “that is everything that happened,” can actually bring harm to your case. Memory can be a tricky thing, and what you remember may be different from what someone else remembers. Circumstances may change, and when you use absolutes you don’t leave any room for mistakes.

7. Stay Calm

When it comes to testifying, the most important thing you can do is stay calm—do not lose your temper. Emotion is good, but too much of it can inhibit your case. Remember, “Oregon only incarcerates approximately 25% of its convicted felons, ranking it 39th lowest amongst the 50 states.” Almost every person who testifies is nervous—breathe slowly and keep in mind that a calm and courteous testimony is your best bet.

Questions To Ask Someone Before Hiring Them As Your Lawyer

So, you need a lawyer. You’ve compiled a list of lawyers you think will be good choices, and you’ve asked friends and family if they know anyone and taken suggestions. Now what? Now you need to sit down with these lawyers and interview them. With a list of pertinent questions as your guide, you can make a logical decision for your needs—even if you don’t have a legal background. While there are so many questions to ask someone before hiring them as your lawyer, go with your gut: ask them things that you’re most concerned about. You’ll also want to ask some of the following questions to someone before you hire them as your lawyer.

10 Questions To Ask Your Potential Lawyer

1. What’s your education and how long have you practiced law?

At a minimum, you want to know whether the lawyer is a novice or a veteran. For more important cases, you’ll want a lawyer with at least 10 years of experience.

2. Have you handled this type of case before?

Don’t settle for a yes or no. Ask them to expand on their general cases and how past cases have turned out.

3. Who’s your typical client?

This is an often overlooked question that you’ll be glad you asked. You may want to know the financial background of clients, so you can tell what you can afford and handle when compared to them.

4. What’s your track record with cases similar to mine?

Don’t be shy. Ask your potential lawyer whether your case is similar to anything they’ve handled in the past. You want to know if they’ll be able to support you and win your case. Some lawyers might even have their results posted online.

5. Have you ever been accused of, or sanctioned for, attorney misconduct?

You have a right to know about this. If they’ve violated or have been formally accused of violating the rules of professional responsibility, you’ll want to get an explanation of what happened.

6. What kind of special training or knowledge do you have that might apply to my situation?

For DUII and patent cases, you’ll want your lawyer to have some specialized training for effective representation. Ask if your case aligns with said specialized training, and ask if your potential lawyer is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

7. What are your attorney fees and costs and how are those billed?

You need to know whether you can afford their services. If someone else will be working on your case, ask about reduced costs.

8. What’s your approach to representing/winning a case?

If you’re looking for an amicable lawyer for a divorce case, you need to know whether your lawyers will be aggressive or peaceable.

9. What’s a challenge you’ve faced when working with a client, and how did you resolve it?

Interviewers everywhere use some version of this two-part question. This will give you a good look into how your lawyer handles different pressures and how creatively they solve them.

10. What’s the likely outcome of my case?

You’re looking for an honest answer here—not the “right” one. This will help you prepare for the road ahead as you go forward with your case.

Negative Effects of Prostitution on Society

Prostitution is something that has been around for centuries, and for the past few years there has been a debate as to whether it should be legalized or not. No matter a person’s legal leanings, it is difficult to refute the fact that prostitution has negative effects on society. Across different cultures and continents, the destructive consequences of prostitution are similar whether prostitution is legal, tolerated, or illegal.

People that are removed from the situation tend to think that the legalization will lessen the harm of prostitution. This is simply not true. For example, a legal Amsterdam brothel could have three different panic buttons in a single room because clients “regularly attempt to rape and strangle women.” Therefore, the harmful side effects of prostitution impact the individual and the society in which they live—regardless of the legality.

If you are still wanting some information about the effects of prostitution on society as well as the damaging side effects of prostitution on individuals, take a look below.

Effects of Prostitution on Society & Individuals

Prostitution contributes to the objectification of women: Just because someone pays does not erase the qualifications of what we consider sexual violence, domestic violence, and rape. However, people who pay for sex tend to think that what they do is acceptable. One man said, “he clarifies the nature of his relationship to the women he buys: ‘I paid for this. You have no rights. You’re with me now.’” Perhaps one of the most frightening aspects of this quote is the mirror it provides to the mindset from which it came. This possessive attitude moves from streets and brothels to schools, homes, and daily living.

Prostitution Normalizes Violence: Sexual violence and physical assault are the norm for women in legal prostitution. A Dutch study states that 60% of women in legal prostitution were physically assaulted, 70% were threatened with physical assault, and 40% had been coerced into legal prostitution. Legal or illegal, the longer someone is in prostitution, the more he or she is physically endangered and psychologically harmed. If the prostitute says no to sex, violence is often used to receive “consent” for something. This creates and reinforces the mindset that violence is the answer. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center gives plenty of statistics about how this violence transfers to society.

The Futile Effect: What will Legalization do? Some believe that legalizing prostitution will reduce the number of prostitution arrests. While that is a hope, legalization does not eliminate all the other negative elements that legalizing would bring about. Legalizing prostitution legitimizes the sale and use of humans and makes people think it is a “normal” job. This tells society that even though someone is constantly harmed, it is acceptable because it is a job.

“Rented organ.” “Paid rape.” “Voluntary slavery.” These are all phrases people have used to describe their experience with prostitution. Prostitutes start to believe in this objectification of their bodies and suffer immense mental debilitation from it. A prostituting woman in Vancouver said, “what rape is to others is normal to us.” Often, prostitutes do not want to live this life. Nevertheless, vulnerable human beings are hired and prostituted. These men and women are constantly battered at the expense of their own humanity. They are frequently tossed aside and shunned from society, given no help or aid—left to fend for themselves while experiencing horrible physical and psychological harm.

Not only are side effects of prostitution tremendous upon the prostitutes themselves, but there are also tremendous effects of prostitution on society as well. If someone is convicted of prostitution or sex solicitation crimes, they should hire an attorney. These crimes are not something to be left to chance in the courtroom.

Oregon’s DUII Diversion Program | What You Need to Know

A study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed 10,874 deaths were linked to drunk driving accidents in 2017. This is a jarring, but it just goes to show how something needs to be done about drunk driving.

While there are many programs that aim to highlight the dangers of driving drunk, Oregon’s DUII diversion program aims to combat repeat DUII offenders.

What is the diversion program?

Oregon’s DUII diversion program is a year-long program with classes on drug use, alcohol use, and sobriety. It is aimed at those who could be convicted of a misdemeanor drunk driving charge. If you complete the diversion program, you will not receive a conviction on your record. This makes it a great option for those who face a first time DUII charge.

Who is eligible for the program?

Your Clackamas County DUII attorney will let you know if you are eligible for the program—at least they should. If they do not, ask. It is important to note that if you have ever been convicted of a felony DUII offense, you will not be eligible for the program.

What are the requirements to complete the program?

In order to complete Oregon’s DUII diversion program, you must first complete an array of items. You will see these below, and depending on how the court decides your case, you may have to complete all of them or just a few.

  • You must first plead guilty or no contest to the DUII charge. You cannot challenge any aspect of the case.
  • You must pay the $490 diversion fee, restitution, and court-appointed attorney fees (if there are any).
  • You must complete an alcohol and drug abuse assessment. You may have to pay the agency that constructs the assessment.
  • You must complete a minimum of four sessions over four weeks and 12–20 hours of substance abuse education.
  • You must attend a one-day victim impact panel (VIP) and pay the fee ($5 to $50).
  • You must avoid using intoxicants, including alcohol and marijuana, during the term of the diversion agreement except for religious reasons and as directed by a valid prescription.
  • In most cases, you will have to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in all vehicles you operate during the term of the diversion agreement.

Talk to a lawyer

DUII laws are intricate, and drunk driving charges have very serious consequences. If you have been arrested for a DUII in Oregon, immediately contact Jared Justice, a Clackamas County DUII attorney.

Private Criminal Defense Attorney Versus Public Defenders

The Miranda Warning states that any accused person has the right to an attorney, and if they cannot afford one, the state will provide one. Public defenders—lawyers appointed to those who cannot afford one—might be free, but that doesn’t mean they are the best option. According to an article published by PBS, “In the most populous counties, 71 percent of publicly defended clients were incarcerated compared to 54 percent represented by private counsel.”

That said, here is a quick breakdown that highlights some advantages and disadvantages of private lawyers and public defenders.

Public Defenders

If you lack the necessary funds and cannot hire a private lawyer, a public defender is your next best option. Public defenders may be bogged down with work, but they will still do their best to get you a desirable outcome. Listed below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of public defenders.

Advantages

  • Free

Public Defenders are free. This can be an immense relief for someone who cannot afford an attorney.

  • Well-Rounded Experience

Public defenders have a lot of experience with different judges. They also have a lot of experience dealing with various cases. These two things can come in handy for different aspects of your trial.

Disadvantages

  • Large Caseload

The number of public defenders is much smaller than needed. As such, many have a massive caseload and are often incredibly overworked.

  • Limited Time

Since public defenders are so busy with their caseloads, they do not have as much time to meet clients in advance. Sometimes, a public defender may only meet a specific client minutes before the trial begins. When compared to a private lawyer, public defenders will have less time to research, formulate, and present the best defense.

  • Randomly Appointed

You do not get to assign your own attorney—this is one of the biggest issues people have with public defenders. Trusting a complete stranger is hard; trusting a complete stranger with your freedom is even harder.

Private Lawyers

Hiring a criminal defense attorney is one of the best things you can do for your case. Private lawyers will take the time to figure out the best way to help you—you are their priority. You will find just a few advantages and disadvantages of private lawyers listed below.

Advantages

  • Small Caseload

The great thing about private lawyers is how they get to pick and choose their cases. This allows them to focus on a single client and take the time to research and formulate a winning argument.

  • Good Availability

Since they have a smaller caseload there is more time for them to talk and meet if you have any questions. They are easier to contact than public defenders and make sure to be there for you.

  • More Resources

More money means more availability to resources—and, generally speaking, private lawyers make more money than public defenders.

Disadvantages

  • Expensive

Private lawyers can be quite expensive. The price will vary widely and depend on the type of charge you face as well as the work that they will have to undertake. If the case is serious, you can expect to pay your lawyer a substantial amount of money. Some of the best things in life might be free, but no amount of money is too much when it comes to your trial.

If you face criminal charges or have been falsely accused, contact a criminal defense attorney in Clackamas County—contact Jared Justice.

10 Common Rules to Follow During Your Probation

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Approximately 1 in 55 adults in the United States were under community supervision at year-end 2016.” Probation is quite common for people who’ve committed misdemeanor crimes. Your West Linn criminal defense attorney will do their best to get you the best probation terms possible. After that, it is up to you to abide by the rules.

Report to your probation officer

You must report to your probation officer as ordered. You must also listen to your probation officer and do what they say.

You cannot use or possess controlled substances

If you are under probation, you are not allowed to use or possess any controlled substances unless they are for a medical prescription.

You must submit to testing

You must submit to testing for controlled substance, cannabis, or alcohol use. If you have a history of substance abuse—or if there is reasonable suspicion that you have illegally used controlled substances—you will have to test.  

You must participate in a substance abuse evaluation

If there are reasonable grounds to believe that you have a history of substance abuse, you will have to participate in and complete a substance abuse evaluation.

You must remain in your state of residence

Unless you receive written permission, you will have to stay in the state that you reside in.

You may have to find and maintain full-time employment

If possible and physically able (as determined by the court), you may have to find and maintain gainful full-time employment, schooling, or both.

You must get permission if you change jobs or residency

Before changing jobs or residency, you must get permission to do so. You can do this through either the Department of Corrections or a county community corrections agency.

You must allow access to your home

You must let your probation officer enter your residence so that they may investigate the area. You must also allow the probation officer to search your person, vehicle, or premises if there is evidence of a violation.

You must obey all laws

Whether it be federal, state, or local, you must refrain from violating any law.

You must truthfully answer all reasonable inquiries

You must promptly and honestly answer all reasonable inquiries by the Department of Corrections.

You cannot possess weapons or dangerous animals

You are not allowed to have any weapons—such as firearms—or dangerous animals on your person, in your vehicle, or at your residence.

You may have to participate in a mental health evaluation

If directed by the supervising officer and following the recommendation of an evaluator, you may have to participate in a mental health evaluation.

These are some of the most common rules that you will have to follow during your probation. If you have been recently charged with a criminal offense, talk to a West Linn criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

What if I Can’t Afford A Lawyer for My DUII Charge?

Beaverton DUII lawyers can be expensive, and if you are in a tight spot financially, hiring a lawyer might not even be an option for you. If you have been charged with a DUII, the cost of finding a lawyer can be quite overwhelming. But, no matter what, if you face charges for driving under the influence of intoxicants, you should seek legal counsel. If you cannot afford a DUII lawyer, do not worry. You have options. According to a 2013 article published by The New York Times, “80 percent of state criminal defendants cannot afford to pay for lawyers and have to depend on court-appointed counsel.” With that said, if you cannot afford a lawyer, here are some possible solutions.

1. Public Defenders

In a lot of criminal cases, the defendants are considered legally indigent and unable to afford lawyers. The law does not allow courts to prosecute indigent individuals unless there is an attorney provided to them. Because of this, states are supposed to appoint public defenders to those who otherwise cannot afford a private attorney.

These licensed lawyers only represent defendants who seem particularly needy and who lack the necessary income to obtain their own lawyer.

2. Pro Bono Attorney

Generally speaking, an attorney will only do pro bono work for a DUII case if there is irrefutable evidence of mistreatment from the arresting officer. If you are not sure if your case will be considered pro bono, consider consulting with a lawyer who does a free first-time consultation. After reviewing your case, the lawyer will let you know if there is enough evidence for pro bono work.

3. Represent Yourself

You are well within your legal rights to represent yourself, but it is not recommended. A last case scenario, this will require a lot of research on your part. Gather documents that you think could support your innocence, such as medical history, similar court cases and their rulings, cash bail receipts, and more. There are some websites that can give you information about your DUII arrest, like this one. This will help you figure out how much your DUII will cost, the best DUII offense strategies, what medical conditions can alter your test, and more. A lot of people wonder what they will do if they cannot afford a lawyer, but with enough research, you can build a strong case and hopefully get your DUII charges dismissed.

It may be difficult, but it is always a good idea to find representation if you are ever charged with a DUII. Insufficient funds should not prevent you from defending yourself—talk to a criminal defense attorney today to see how they can help.

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.