It will be to your benefit to have the best counsel possible. You should expect cost to be around a $7k-15k flat fee (typically). If you go to trial you should expect another $10-25k in costs. Some lawyers do charge hourly in the $200-$400 range. You may also need to have a polygraph done ~ $200-$500 and Psychosexual Evaluation which is going to be another $1-4k. Additionally you may want to examine having the support of an expert witness and/or forensic linguist either of which will chew up another $200-$400 an hour. I suppose the minimum cost to fight these Sting Operations will be around $30k, not including any Bail Bond. Bottom line is THIS WILL COST YOU in more ways then dollars.
- Do a search on “Sex Crime” lawyers in your area to help narrow your search (you want expert in this area if possible). Ideally a defense lawyer specializing in Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) if you happened to get caught in one of these sting operations.
- Avvo – Use this great website to help research any potential lawyers.
- Use Yelp and Google reviews to help you do some research as well.
- Schedule consultation. Be careful about talking only to gatekeepers (paralegals). If you can’t talk to the lawyer who will be on your case be wary.
- Find out who will handle your case. Some firms have several lawyers and your case may jump between various lawyers. Recommend avoiding these places.
- If there have been other Sting operations in the area, try to check those cases for any potential successful lawyers.
- Be sure to ask about charges up to a trial (plea out) and including trial (daily or hourly).
- Don’t be afraid to change lawyers (requires Motion in court) midstream if your current lawyer isn’t working out. This is costly but sometimes it will be the best option.
Here is a list of some more popular Sex Sting Lawyer websites:
- Peter Aiken – Very knowledgeable lawyer on Sting operations out of Fort Meyers, Florida. Also has great blog.
- D. Scott Rieth – Search for ICAC sting lawyer and his is the first page that comes up. He is near the Tampa, FL area where a lot of sting operations occur.
- Flesch Law – Out of Denver Colorado (Has some Sex crime specialists).
- H. Michael Steinberg – Another Criminal Defense lawyer out of Colorado with a good blog.
- Maryhew Law Group – Out of Seattle, Washington area. Lots of law detail on website. He seems to be the go to lawyer in King County for all the prostitution stings they have (200+ in 2016, 110+ in 2017).
- Zach Wagnild – Out of Seattle, WA Zach is a former prosecutor who worked on ICAC cases.
- Law offices of Amy Muth – Another lawyer out of Washington with law details on her website.
- Tim Baldwin – Out of Montana with Billings Legal. Wrote good article on sting operations.
- Lorandos Joshi Trial Lawyers – Lawyers out of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Has some videos and details on website.
- Neal Davis – In Houston, Texas. Has some good information on his blog including a discussion of ICAC funding encourages sweeping child sex sting operations ($200M+ financial rewards for these sting operations).
- Innocence Legal Team – Out of California. Claims to have a high win rate (> 45%) in Trials. Generally sting cases will have a 20% success rate.
- Brody Law Firm – In Atlanta, Georgia. Apparently a good but expensive firm that has expertise in these internet sting operations.
Other potential help/assistance maybe needed from Linguist to Psychosexual Court Evaluations; below are some websites:
- Robert Leonard Associates – Robert Leonard is a Forensic Linguist whom can help decoded and explain chat conversations as an expert witness. He can also advise on strategies and tactics to fighting these cases. Advise doesn’t come cheap. Pending your case you are looking at several thousands to tens of thousands of dollars.
- International Association of Forensic Linguists – An organization which maybe able to help you find expert in your area.
- James Fitzgerald (FBI) – A retired FBI agent and linguist whom helped capture the Unabomber.
- Roger Shuy – A well known retired forensic linguist. Has written several books and articles. Robert Leonard is whom he refers potential clients to.
- CSOM on Evaluations – The Center for Sex Offender Management has some details on psychosexual evaluations.
- Common Questions – Common questions on Psychosexual Evaluations.
- Preparing a Client for a Psychosexual Evaluation – An article published by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers publication “The Champion” in March 2017. Written by the Meryhew Law Group, PLLC.