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Sex Crime

Arizona Sex Crimes Lawyer and the Interstate Commerce Element of Child Pornography

A sex crimes lawyer in Arizona defending clients charged with receipt or possession of child pornography faces unique challenges. Aside from the mental health issues their clients may be facing, as well as the visceral reaction judges and juries have to these types of cases, many pornography charges are fraught with damaging admissions, forensic reports from government computer experts, as well as garner draconian penalties. However, a sex crimes lawyer can gain leverage by focusing on the frequently overlooked interstate commerce element of the receipt and possession statutes.

It is important to understand that the interstate commerce defense a sex crimes lawyer can make has nothing to do with the power of Congress under the Constitution interstate commerce clause to criminalize receipt or possession of pornography, as that authority cannot be easily disputed. Rather, the defense can make an argument based on the interstate jurisdictional elements in the statutes themselves.

For example, the prosecution must prove that the pornography crossed state lines. In the case of Internet pornography, proving that is open to debate. It is in this blurred area of distinction that a sex crimes lawyer can use to his advantage.

Congress’s narrow jurisdictional element
It is important to recognize that by requiring that elicit images were moved or transported across state lines, Congress enacted a relatively narrow jurisdictional element that is of interest to the sex crimes lawyer. If Congress was chiefly interested in extending federal authority to prosecute as far as possible, it would have adopted wording that merely required proof that the defendant used “an instrument of interstate commerce” while committing a receipt or possession offense. If this had been the wording, merely downloading the images on the Internet would have been enough to prove the interstate element.

Congress probably realized that most states already had child pornography statutes in place, and only sought to create legislation that covered pornography cases across a large region that involved a multitude of states and jurisdictions where interstate activity is clearly involved.

Nevertheless, regardless of Congress’s intentions, the court is required to interpret and construe judicial elements in a narrow light. When it comes to proving interstate activity, prosecutors often offer no proof that the visual depictions were transmitted onto the defendant’s computer from a different state or other location in the country.

For this very reason, a sex crimes lawyer should focus on the sufficiency of proof related to the interstate elements. Most interstate evidence, or lack of, that is offered by the government is typical. In more cases than not, the shaky evidence won’t stand up under scrutiny in court.

The challenges of a sex crime lawyer in Arizona are great. Often, there is little to work with as the evidence presented can be quite conclusive. In addition to the stigmatized nature of sex crimes, the client faces increased prejudice from the jury as well as the bench. It is only in the interstate commerce clause that an attorney gets much leverage to give his client any favor. By hiring a lawyer specialized in sex crimes and the unique issues involved, a client can get a better judgment from the court that results in a more desired outcome.

About the Author
David Michael Cantor is an AV rated (the highest possible rating) lawyer and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. For more information about an Arizona sex crimes lawyer, visit our site.


How an Arizona Sex Crimes Attorney Client Can Be Affected by the Adam Walsh Act

Ask any sex crimes attorney in Arizona. The Adam Walsh Act, enacted in 2006, is the most complex, progressive and punitive sex offender law ever enacted. It was done in response to the public outcry as well as political outcry over sexual offenders and the threat they present to society. The law was grounded in conception by several noteworthy child sexual homicides, and in fact, names a handful of these children. In essence, the statute enhances penalties for already existing sexual federal offenses as well as creates new federal sexual offenses that the client of a sex crimes attorney may be charged with.

Most importantly, the act establishes the Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act, creating a national registry of sexual offenders that law enforcement officers may use to access information about sexual offenders in order to efficiently track them throughout the country. The law delineates risk levels for community registration and notification on a 3 tiered system that is offense based rather than risk based.

Essentially, the AWA requires stricter juvenile sexual offender notification elements that can conflict with the rehabilitative process of the client of a sex crimes attorney. The law also restricts the ability of a sex crimes attorney to access evidence regarding computer pornography crimes, which can affect their ability to prepare for trial.

AWA Sexual Offender Civil Commitment Statute

The AWA also created the Jimmy Ryce Civil Commitment Program that established civil commitment procedures for federal sexual offenders. This may be in fact the most castigating feature of the law, considering the reality of life commitment for some sexual offenders. The commitment clause had 2 primary objectives: assist funding for states that don’t have such legislation, and mandate the civil commitment of sexually dangerous federal offenders.

About 20 states entertain civil commitment statutes to confine sexually violent predators. Many states reject such legislation, primarily for funding reasons. The AWA provides grants for states to meet these financial needs.

AWA Limitations

The AWA managed to leave many areas unresolved, much to the frustration of many a sex crimes attorney in Arizona. It failed to establish a standard or burden of proof for risk to reoffend and does not permit a jury trial. The law does not conclude whether the respondent has the right to remain silent, nor does it compel him to participate in a court ordered examination. It also does not provide for a provision that compromises the possibility that disclosures about sex offending behaviors during treatment will not be used against the offender by the government to procure more commitment.

The AWA also fails to resolve discovery procedures related to the client of a sex crimes lawyer.

Most civil statutes include a “likely to reoffend” component. The AWA fails to have such a distinction. Instead, the law incorporates a volitional mandate. The definition only calls for a “serious difficulty restraining from sexually violent conduct or sexual molestation if released.”

The AWA is a harsh law that can impose significant confinements on the client of a sex crimes lawyer in Arizona. Most importantly, it presents roadblocks in the road to rehabilitation. Punishment becomes the solution while rehabilitation becomes an impossibility.

About the Author
David Michael Cantor is an AV rated (the highest possible rating) lawyer and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. For more information about an Arizona sex crimes attorney, visit our site.


A Child Pornography Lawyer Can Help with Legal Issues and Treatment Plans

If you need the services of a child pornography lawyer, you must first understand that you are not alone, nor are you hopelessly untreatable, explains Arizona criminal lawyer, David M Cantor. Though society stigmatizes sex crimes, not everyone accused of them is the child snatcher in the van. A child pornography lawyer often works with clients who are otherwise successful family men, who often due to life stresses and circumstances, chooses a socially deviant outlet for their stress. The good news is that these people are very treatable and can go back to living healthy, functional lives with the help of a sexual therapy program.

The last decade has seen an escalated media focus on the problems of Internet child exploitation and online sexual predators, creating a public fear and anger towards sexual offenders. This attitude has created a “lock them up and throw away the key” attitude towards those who need the services of a child pornography lawyer, even for those accused of noncontact crimes.

Yet there are many varying ranges of those who would need the services of a child pornography lawyer. Although “snatch and grab” offenders make up the smallest percentage of all perpetrators (less than 3 to 5 %), these are often what people picture when they think of child pornography. Lawyer offices most often deal with more run of the mill offenders, including those who haven’t even hurt or offended anyone such as the case of someone accused of possessing child pornography.

Importance of a Psychosexual Evaluation
When you need the services of a child pornography lawyer, it’s important to be able to present yourself to the court as a treatable case. By undergoing a psychosexual evaluation, you can better present yourself to the judge, prosecution and probation staffers to receive an appropriate sentence disposition. Talk it over with your child pornography lawyer.

It is critical that you be as open and honest as you can with the psychosexual evaluation. You must provide full support and transparency, full documentation about all current and past reported concerns, and interviews with family members. Honesty and cooperation are being gauged as part of the process.

The clients of a child pornography lawyer
Those accused of child molestation or other sex crimes come from all walks of lifestyles. The most common is the regressed or situational child sex offender. These types of offenders pose the best hope for treatment. They come from all races, cultures and social classes. Often, his offending is a poor attempt to cope with social stresses, relationship conflicts or losses.

About 10 to 15% of those who need the services of a child pornography lawyer are the fixated or dedicated type. These offenders are sexually oriented to children. These sort of offenders seek the company of children not only out of sexual interest, but because they socially feel more comfortable among children. This type can be treated through hormone treatments and other sexual treatments that can reduce sexual desire.

Treatment possibilities
Despite the social stigma attached, sexual offenders are not the monsters they are made out to be in the media. Often, these are otherwise normal individuals who can be successfully treated through therapy. If you seek the services of a child pornography lawyer, don’t focus purely on the legal issue. Seek treatment so you can put this whole thing behind you and get back on track to a healthy life again.


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