Solicitation of a Minor Defense Lawyers in Jacksonville, Florida (FL)
Jacksonville Solicitation of a Minor Attorneys
Dedicated to Defending Clients Against ALL Florida Solicitation of a Minor Charges
Have you or a member of your family been charged with Solicitation of a Minor in Jacksonville, Florida? If so, you must understand that Florida Prosecutors and law enforcement investigate and aggressively prosecute crimes that target children. Soliciting a minor or child for unlawful sex is defined as using an Internet service, online service, electronic device to lure, seduce, solicit, or entice a minor, or individual believed to be a minor, to engage in unlawful sexual behavior.
"Online Solicitation of a Minor" is a prevalent form of Solicitation of a Minor criminal offense that will incur charges whether or not a minor was actually harmed or engaged with.
If you or a loved one have been charged with Solicitation of a Minor, you could face severe punishments if convicted and might be registered as a sex offender. Contact us at (904) 610-6545 today.
Solicitation of a Minor Charges in Jacksonville, Florida (FL)
According to Florida Statute § 800.04, an individual commits "lewd or lascivious conduct" if they are over eighteen years of age and they solicit a child under the age of 16 to commit a lewd or lascivious act. The statute does not define "lascivious" or "lewd," but according to Florida's Jury Instruction 11.8, "lascivious" means something lustful, unchaste, wicked, sensual, or licentious.
Note: In Child Solicitation cases, the lewd or lascivious act did not have to occur for the prosecution to file criminal charges. Simply soliciting or asking the child to engage in the lewd or lascivious act.
Soliciting a Minor with a Computer or Electronic Device Charges in Jacksonville, Florida (FL)
Florida charges people accused of Solicitation of a Minor differently if the defendant used an electronic device or computer to solicit a minor or if the accused traveled to meet with the minor. According to Florida Statute § 847.0135, an individual will be charged with a third-degree felony if they knowingly use a computer or internet service, a bulletin service, app, or electronic device to solicit or attempt to solicit a minor child to engage in any sexual activity.
Solicitation often transpires through the use of internet chatrooms, instant messaging, social media, direct messaging, text messaging, personals ads, or classified ad websites, like Backpage or Craigslist. In 2018, Craigslist shut down its website's personals section when it was accused of facilitating child sex trafficking and child sex abuse.
It is also a third-degree felony in the State of Florida to solicit or attempt to solicit the guardian or parent of a child to allow the child to engage in a sexual act. The law states that an individual may be criminally charged even if the alleged victim is not "actually" a child. If the accused believed the victim was a child, that satisfies the requirement to file Solicitation of a Minor charges.
Traveling to Meet a Minor Charges in Jacksonville, Florida (FL)
In the State of Florida, criminal charges increase when a defendant traveled anywhere to attempt to meet with a child with the intention of engaging in sexual activity. If an adult travels any distance to meet a child or an individual believed to be a minor child after using an electronic device or computer to solicit the child to engage in a sexual act, the criminal charges are elevated to a second-degree felony in Florida.
The criminal charges are the same regardless of whether the defendant traveled inside the State of Florida, traveled into the State of Florida, or traveled to another state after soliciting a minor. Moreover, it does not matter how the accused traveled to the child- by automobile, by bus, by air, or by walking.
Florida law enforcement have been very successfully using Internet sting operation whereas a police officers pose as minors or parents of a child offering sexual encounters to lure and get potential criminals to "take the bait." Even though the "victim" is a law enforcement officer posing as a child, a defendant can still be charged with a sex crime because the accused's intention to meet a child for sex is what will count against the accused in a court of law.
Penalties for Solicitation of a Minor Charges in Jacksonville, Florida (FL)
Lewd and lascivious conduct and Solicitation of a Minor are usually charged as second- or third-degree felonies in Florida, depending on the criminal case's circumstances. A second-degree felony in Florida conviction is punished with up to 15 years in prison, plus 15 years of probation and a $10,000 fine.
If the accused is under the age of 18, lewd and lascivious conduct are charged in Florida as a third-degree felony and is punishable by up to five years in prison, five years of probation, and a fine of up to $5,000.
If the defendant uses several devices or services to make contact and solicit a minor, each device or service one will count as a separate criminal charge. By way of example, if you use your computer, cell phone, and tablet all to contact and solicit a minor, you could face three separate counts of Solicitation of a juvenile and receive up to 45 years in prison.
A defendant could face additional criminal charges for merely traveling to meet that underage child. Florida Statute § 847.0135(4)(a) outlines the criminal charge and what the state prosecutors must prove when trying to secure a conviction: a prosecutor needs to prove that the defendant traveled and attempted to engage in unlawful sexual conduct with a child or with a person who is believed to be a child after using electronic devices, he or she might be facing "traveling charges." This crime is punished with a prison sentence of up to 21 months in a Florida prison or longer if you have a previous criminal offense conviction plus mandatory registration as a sex offender.
Sex offender registration affects where a convict may live, where a convict may go, and where a convict may work. Even if homes or jobs are not near schools, playgrounds, or parks, a convicted sex offender will often have significant trouble finding gainful employment and secure housing. A conviction of this type outlast the prison sentence and can make people feel depressed and isolated.
Defenses to Charges of Soliciting a Minor Charges in Jacksonville, Florida (FL)
Soliciting a Minor Defense Lawyer in Jacksonville will analyze your case for every available defense. Some criminal defenses available in your case could be uncommon to the crime of child solicitation, while others could be more general. The specific circumstances and facts centered around your case will determine which defense strategies should be used and how those defenses should be raised during the course of the trial.
Entrapment by Sheriff's Deputies, Jacksonville Police, and Other Law Enforcement Officers
If your Solicitation of a Minor Defense Attorney can successfully prove that the defendant was induced to commit the crime, the case could be dismissed for entrapment.
The Court will consider the following:
- How much time did the defendant engaged with online interaction with a police officer.
- Who started the sexual conversations and meeting for a sexual act.
- Whether the defendant ever expressed reluctance to engage in explicit discussions.
- How much the undercover officer persisted in inducing or encouraging communication of a sexual nature.
- Whether the defendant traveled to the area was immediate or incidental, or another planned travel circumstance.
Lack of Criminal Intent
If the defendant and his or her lawyer can prove the defendant lacked criminal intent in the sex crimes case, the prosecution will have no ground to stand on. Guilt requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt and the defendant intended to break the law.
According federal law, a person can't be punished twice for the same crime. If Solicitation and traveling happened too closely together, they must be yoked under one heading. It may also be possible to file a Motion to Dismiss based on Hartley v. State, and this might substantially reduce a defendant's prison sentence.
One of the most common defense strategies in criminal cases is the argument that the state's attorneys do not prove their case. The burden of proof rests on the shoulders of the prosecuting attorneys, and if it has not established the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant should not be found guilty.
Solicitation of Parents, Custodians, and Guardians of Minor Children Charges in Jacksonville, Florida (FL)
According to Florida Section 847.0135, Solicitation of Parents, Guardians, and Custodians of Minor Children for sexual acts is a crime. It is also a crime to solicit or attempt to Solicit a Minor's legal guardian, parent, or custodian into granting consent for the child to engage in a sex act. The crime may be charged as a second-degree felony or third-degree felony, depending on the circumstances associated.
Musca Law: Aggressive Jacksonville Advocates for Clients Accused of Sex Crimes in Florida
If you, a friend, or a loved one have been accused of a Solicitation of a Minor in Jacksonville, Florida, you need an aggressive and skilled Jacksonville Solicitation of a Minor Defense Attorney from Musca Law. Together, our attorneys have over 150 years of combined criminal defense experience. Our criminal trial attorneys represent those accused of the most serious criminal offenses, including murder and sex crimes.
Many of our attorneys have received top national honors such as:
- Listed on The National Trial Lawyers – Top 100 Trial Lawyers;
- 2012 Florida Super Lawyers® for criminal defense representation; and
- Have a Perfect 10.0 Superb AVVO.com rating.
Musca Law’s record of success both out of the courtroom and inside the courtroom speaks for itself. Do not wait to contact us, as your freedom and livelihood are at stake.
A conviction can carry with it heavy, life-altering consequences. Don’t risk your future. Reach out to a Jacksonville defense lawyer as soon as possible to protect your name and reputation.
Our lines are open 24/7. Call Musca Law today at (904) 610-6545.
Jacksonville Office Location
630 W Adams St #205
Jacksonville, FL 32204
88HM+PM Downtown, Jacksonville, FL, United States