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Can Sex Offenders Use The Internet?

man looking at computer with reflection in his glasses

A person who is convicted of a sex crime may be limited in how he or she can use the internet. For instance, that individual may not be allowed to access certain websites, communicate with their victims through social media sites or use a phone that is capable of connecting to the internet. Although these restrictions are intended to protect society from someone who has been found guilty of a serious crime, they could violate that person's right to free speech.

There Are Various Levels of Sexual Offenses

As a general rule, the law recognizes that some sexual offenses are more harmful to their victims than others. For instance, exploiting children is typically seen as more serious than exposing yourself to an adult on the street. If you have committed a crime against a child, it's unlikely that a judge will agree that restricting your ability to use a computer, smartphone or other electronic device is an excessive punishment. However, if you have committed a crime against an adult, your attorney may be able to argue that you should eventually be freed of any restrictions placed upon you at sentencing.

Agreeing to Restrictions Could Result in a Lighter Sentence

It's possible that agreeing to use the internet on a restricted basis could help you obtain a lighter sentence. This is because it may be seen by a judge as taking responsibility for your actions. Furthermore, your attorney may assert that accepting a plea deal spares the victim of having to talk about what he or she experienced during a public trial. Therefore, it may be another point in your favor when negotiating a favorable outcome in your case.

You Have the Right to Appeal a Judge's Ruling

There is a chance that you will lose your right to use a computer, tablet or other electronic tools before your case goes to trial. In such a scenario, it may be possible to ask the judge to reconsider his or her ruling. Your attorney would likely argue that it's not proper to be stripped of your rights before the state proved that a crime occurred.

If you are charged with a sexual offense, it may be in your best interest to contact the legal professionals at the Law Offices of Jed Silverman. We can also help you appeal a conviction or take other steps to ensure that your due process rights are protected.