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Florida Internet Solicitation Charges, Laws, Definitions, Penalties, and Potential Defenses

Today, most forms of communication are conveyed by apps, email, social media direct messaging, and text messaging. We use cell phones, laptops, desktop computers, and mobile tablets every day to send out these types of electronic communication. As these technologies evolve, so do the types of crimes committed by electronic device. Internet sex crimes are especially serious when a child is solicitated for sexual conduct by an adult. Florida Internet Solicitation Laws are designed to severely punish anyone convicted of an internet solicitation charge. However, punishments such as fines, and time in prison, are only temporary.

The grave consequences of a sex crime conviction include life-long consequences such as a damaged reputation, public humiliation, lifetime registration as a sex offender, joblessness, and an overall lower quality of life. This is why the accused must fight their criminal charges. Often times, the punishment does not fit the crime. If you or someone you know has been arrested for Internet Solicitation of a Minor, do not delay and contact our firm at (888) 484-5057.

Florida’s Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act

The Florida Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act punishes the actions that involve computer sex crimes against children. A charge of Internet Solicitation of a Child for Sexual Conduct can lead to search warrants that may open the door to other charges such as, possession of child pornography, purchasing or selling child pornography, and transmission of child pornography. In Florida, sex crimes involving minors are severe, and if convicted, an individual can spend years in jail.

Internet Solicitation of a Child for Sexual Conduct

According to Florida Statute Section 847.0135(3)(a), “any person who knowingly uses a computer online service, internet service, local bulletin board service, or any other device capable of electronic data storage or transmission to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice, or attempt to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice a child or another person believed by the person to be a child to engage in any unlawful sexual conduct with a child or with another person believed by the person to be a child” is committing the crime of Internet Solicitation of a Child for Sexual Conduct. This Florida statute also details several other related sex crimes, including, among others, child abuse, sexual battery, lewd and lascivious acts.

Internet Solicitation of a Parent, Legal Guardian, or Custodian to Allow Sexual Conduct with a Child

According to Florida Statute Section 847.0135(3)(b), “any person who knowingly uses a computer online service, internet service, local bulletin board service, or any other device capable of electronic data storage or transmission to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice, or attempt to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice a parent, legal guardian, or custodian of a child or a person believed to be a parent, legal guardian, or custodian of a child to consent to the participation of such child in any act” including, among others, lewd and lascivious acts, sexual battery, child abuse, or to otherwise engage in any sexual conduct will be charged with the crime - Internet Solicitation of a Parent, Legal Guardian, or Custodian to Allow Sexual Conduct with a Child.

What The Prosecution Must Prove To Obtain a Guilty Verdict in a Florida Internet Solicitation of a Child Criminal Trial

In order for the prosecution to convict the defendant of a charge of internet solicitation of a child, the prosecution needs to prove and convince the jury hearing the case that the following is true beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The defendant willfully and purposefully used an electronic device to communicate with a child;
  • The defendant was communicating with a child, or the defendant believed he or she was speaking with was a child; and
  • During the communications between the defendant and the child, the defendant “seduced, solicited, lured, or enticed” or “attempted to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice” the child to engage in illicit sexual conduct such as sexual battery, child abuse, lewd and lascivious acts, and similar unlawful acts.

To convict the defendant of "Internet Solicitation of a Parent, Legal Guardian, or Custodian to Allow Sexual Conduct with a Child," the prosecutor in the case must prove to the jury, beyond a doubt, that the:

  • defendant willfully and purposely used an electronic device to send communications to an individual they believed to be the parent, guardian, or custodian of the child; and
  • during the course of the communication between the defendant and the parent, legal guardian, or custodian of the child, the defendant “seduced, solicited, lured, enticed,” or “attempted to seduce, solicit, lure, and entice the parent, legal guardian, or custodian” to permit the child to engage in illegal sexual conduct such as Child abuse, sexual battery, or lewd and lascivious acts.

The Consequences of an "Internet Solicitation of a Child for Sexual Conduct" Conviction Under Florida Law

If the defendant has been convicted of "Internet Solicitation of a Child for Sexual Conduct" or "Internet Solicitation of a Parent/Legal Guardian/Custodian to Allow Sexual Conduct with a Child," the defendant is going to be charged with a third-degree felony. A third-degree felony conviction is punished with prison time of up to five (5) years, and a fine of up to $5,000. If the defendant was untruthful about his/her age while committing the act of Internet solicitation, the criminal charge is elevated to a second-degree felony. A conviction of a second-degree felony is punishable by up to fifteen (15) years in prison plus a fine of up to $10,000. Convicted individuals will also be required to register with the sex offenders registration and receive years of probation.

Convicted Individuals Also Become Registered Sexual Offenders in Florida

The punishments of jail time, expensive fines, and probation are difficult enough. However, when a person is convicted of internet solicitation is forever labeled a sexual offender. As such, all sex offenders are placed on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s sex offender website.

Also, a criminal conviction, of any kind, will make more difficult to find a job, attend school, or rent a home. Even after the individual convicted of a sex crime has served out their punishments, being labeled as a sexual offender makes it very difficult for individuals to obtain employment or have a somewhat normal life.

Free Case Review

At Musca Law, our legal professionals routinely represent clients in serious felony criminal matters that have the potential to land our clients in jail. Our team of lawyers understand what is at stake. We fight hard to weaken the prosecution’s case against our clients. Our Florida Criminal Defense Lawyers will seek to attain the best result possible in your case. Contact Musca Law today at (888) 484-5057 for a free consultation with one of our Florida Internet Solicitation Defense Attorneys.

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