When Using Dating Apps Leads to a Criminal Charge

Dating apps offer a convenient platform for meeting people, but pose serious dangers for meeting sexual predators and people with a history of violent behaviors.

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Are Dating Apps Safe?

Dating apps are causing a rise in sexual assaults across the country. According to law enforcement officials, sexual predators are using popular dating apps to target potential victims through online dating sites such as Bumble, Grindr, Hinge, and Tinder. Reports of rapes and sexual assaults on women of all ages who use these sites are increasing in numbers every year.

Although online dating sites are now used by millions of people looking for relationships or fun-filled nights, dating apps pose safety risks for users. Most dating apps require users to reveal a lot of private information such as their name, address, occupation, place of employment, yearly income, activities, places they like to hang out, and traits they’re looking for in a partner. Some online dating profiles even allow nude or sexually provocative photos. This private information gives sexual predators an easy way to set up an online profile that lures a victim into a dangerous situation.

Investigations of online dating apps show that some allow sexual predators to figure out a user’s real identity behind their screen name based on data provided by the user. Bumble, Happn, and Tinder allow anyone to see a user’s specified place of employment or study. Armed with this information, it is possible to find a user’s real name and social media accounts. Some dating apps indicate the actual distance between people communicating. Predators often use this information to locate and stalk a potential victim.

When online dating habits were first studied by the Pew Research Center in 2005, most Americans did not approve. A 2020 Pew research study shows that 3 in 10 adults in the U.S. say they have used online dating sites and dating apps. Today’s research shows that 40 percent of Americans use online dating as a way to meet new people, and 27 percent use online dating sites and mobile dating apps on a daily basis. In the last few years, criminal defense attorneys Minneapolis have seen a steady rise in college campus rapes and sexual assaults in Minnesota and throughout the country. Young adults and college students make up a large percentage of dating app users, because they provide a quick, easy way to meet up with someone without a prior plan.

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Stay calm and compose after getting accused of a crime but not charged in Minneapolis, MN. Do not discuss the facts of your case with anyone, including your relatives and family members. Hire a criminal defense attorney with a demonstrated record of winning cases like yours. Your attorney will discuss your rights, guide you on how to cooperate with law enforcement within the legal boundaries, and build a solid defense strategy to fight the charges you could face in the future.
Expungement and sealing of records in Minnesota affect how your criminal history appears to government agencies and the public. The main difference between the two legal actions is that expungement permanently removes past arrests, criminal charges, or convictions from private and public databases, while sealing hides the criminal record from the public. Courts, government entities, and law enforcement agencies can access sealed criminal records.
Minnesota recently passed a public safety bill that brings sweeping changes to the state’s juvenile justice system. While minors sometimes run afoul of the law, the juvenile justice system seeks to account for the differences between children and adults. Therefore, while the penalties for adults convicted of crimes focus on punishment, those for juveniles are aimed at diversion and restorative practices.