If you’ve been suspected of traveling to meet a minor for the purposes of engaging in any sexual activity with that minor, you could face some severe penalties as a result. The crime is defined as traveling any distance within, from, or to Florida for the purpose of engaging in unlawful sexual conduct with a child after using an online service or electronic device to solicit, lure, seduce, or entice the child to engage in said behavior. It is often accompanied by the charge of Soliciting a Child for Unlawful Sex Through a Computer.
If you are sentenced for the charge, it is considered a 2nd-degree felony. The punishment includes up to 15 years in prison, up to 15 years of probation, and a $10,000 fine. It is a Level 7 offense, which means a judge is required to sentence a person convicted of the charge to 21 months in prison minimum.
Likewise, each separate use of a computer, Internet service, online service, or electronic device can be charged as a separate offense. For example, if you use a computer and a smartphone to both keep in contact with the minor to arrange the travel, you would be tried on 2 counts of the crime.
Florida law enforcement has been successfully using the technique of posing as a child or a parent of a child in order to get potential criminals to “take the bait.” In an Internet sting operation, police will pose as a minor or a parent/ guardian/ family member who wishes to arrange sexual encounters for 3rd parties with their children. Be aware it is not a defense to argue the person posing as a child was actually an undercover officer. The accused’s intent to meet an actual minor is what will count against him or her in a court of law.
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Make sure your rights are protected. If you’re facing this charge, you could stand to lose a significant amount of money and time. You may even be listed as a sex offender in the state of Florida, a status which lasts a lifetime. Our firm offers more than 150 years of collective legal experience. We are dedicated to representing the legal rights of our clients, and we do so with tenacity. Trust our experienced Florida sex crimes attorneys with your case.
To get started on a case, contact us at (888) 484-5057 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today.