3 Mistakes To Avoid if You’re Arrested in an Internet StingPublished: Jul 07, 2021 in Sex Crimes
Internet stings are increasingly common. With so many people meeting up online, law enforcement may have good intentions in conducting these sting operations. They are trying to protect minors and individuals vulnerable to sex trafficking. But the fact remains, many people are wrongfully accused or shouldn’t have been arrested in the first place.
Often, people are caught up in something they had no intention of being engaged in. However, what they say and how they behave only complicates their situation.
Here are some of the most common mistakes you should avoid if you are arrested in an internet sting:
1. Trying to ‘Explain’ Things to Police
In sting operations, you must not try to explain or admit anything to law enforcement. Any explanation you give could be used against you later by the prosecutor at trial.
Many people assume that they can clear things up by working with the police and get back to their lives. But if you have been arrested in an internet sting, the police already made their determination.
The best thing you can do is not say anything and wait for your defense lawyer. Once you have legal representation, you can figure out what statements to give, if any.
2. Ignoring Your Right To Remain Silent
Under the law, you have the right to remain silent. One of the biggest mistakes people make when they are first arrested is to start answering questions. Police can ask you all the questions they want until you ask for a lawyer. But that doesn’t mean you have to answer.
On the contrary, you have the right not to answer their questions and protect yourself. The penalties associated with online solicitation can be high. You could be facing misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the circumstances.
If convicted, you could endure:
- Jail time
- Prison time
- Sex offender registration
- Suspension of professional licenses
- Temporary loss of gun ownership rights
- Damaged relationships
Do yourself a favor. If you are arrested in an internet sting, don’t say anything other than, “I’d like to speak to my lawyer.”
Waiting To Hire a Lawyer
Another common mistake people make after an arrest is waiting to hire a lawyer. The reasons for this vary, but trying to handle a solicitation charge alone or ignoring it is not wise.
You want to resolve things discretely and quickly, but doing so in your favor takes help. As soon as you have the opportunity to call an attorney, take it. Your lawyer may be able to work with the prosecuting attorney to reduce your charges, lessen any consequences, or even dismiss the charges entirely.
Contact a Houston Internet Sting Defense Lawyer
If you have been arrested as part of an internet sting, it’s essential to do everything possible to avoid the mistakes described above. It could mean an embarrassing criminal conviction and some pretty harsh penalties.
If you have made one of them already, it is even more vital that you hire a defense lawyer as soon as possible. Get help from The Law Offices of Ned Barnett to schedule your no-risk consultation.
You can call (713) 222-6767 or fill out our online contact form to get started. We offer free and confidential initial consults. We’ll go over what happened, what’s next, and how we can assist you.