Naples Online Solicitation of a Minor for Sex Defense Lawyers

Internet Sting Operations in Naples, Florida, FL

Law enforcement and state prosecutors deem sex crimes such as "Solicitation of a Minor for Sex" as the most aggregious criminal offenses to commit in the state of Florida.  As a result, the Florida legislature have enacted some of the most severe and draconian punishments. For example, when an individual is accused of a sex crime against a minor within 1,000 feet of a school, state attorneys are permitted to enhance the punishments of that crime to include steeper monetary fines and longer prison sentencing. Over the past ten years, the Internet has become a primary means to entrap people who are allegedly committing solicitation of a minor or other sex crimes. Florida state prosecutors aling with other law enforcement agencies continue to work with the Florida legislature to enact new stricter laws and increase the severity of penalties for computer-related sex crimes. Our Naples Online Solicitation Defense Attorneys believe these laws and punishments are very harsh and we see how these laws open the door to the entrapment of many innocent people.  Law enforcement agencies in Naples, Florida, have turned to "Internet sex sting operations" to deliver a clear message to residents that computer-related sex crimes will be treated as severely as sexual assault and homicide crimes.

If you, a friend, or a family member have been charged with sexual solicitation of a minor using the Internet, computer, or electronic device, call Musca Law to discuss your legal options and potential defenses. Musca Law offers free consultations by telephone or in-office visits. Call 24/7 at 239-793-5297 or visit us at our local law office location at 2650 Airport-Pulling Rd Suite G
Naples, FL 34112.

Internet Solicitation of a Minor Charge in Naples, FL

In the state of Florida, it is illegal for an adult to meet a minor following their solicitation of the child to commit sexual acts. If an adult travels to meet with a child after he or she has made a solicitation offer or the adult has the intention of committing consensual or non-consensual sexual activity with a child, the accused will typically face a second-degree felony criminal charge. If the defendant is convicted of second-degree felony Internet solicitation of a minor, the defendant will be punished with up to 15 years in prison, mandatory sexual predator registration on both the Florida, and the national sex offender registries, and be required to pay substancial fines.

Internet Sex Sting Operations in Naples, Florida

At Musca Law, our Internet Sex Sting Defense Lawyers in Naples, Florida, know the tactics law enforcement officers use in Internet child solicitation sting operations. Our lawyers have the knwoledge and trial experience necesary to thoroughly defend those caught in an online child solicitation sting operation in Naples, Florida.

What is an Internet Child Solicitation Sting Operation?

Online sex sting operations, also called as "sex stings," are law enforcement operations designed to catch sex offenders or sex predators in the act of violating the law while online.  Sex Sting operations may include child pornography, transmitton child pornography, prostitution, or solicitation of a minor for sex. In Internet solicitation of a minor sting operations, law enforcement officers often pose as young children, impersonate parents with children offering Illegal sexual encounters with their kids, child pornography manufacturing, and many other sex crimes. These online sex sting operations are usually carried out on chat rooms, dating websites, social media, instant messaging apps, and other Internet platforms.

One perfect "real world" example of an online child solicitation sting operation was the television show "To Catch a Predator," which ran online and on national television for many years. Each episode showed adult men soliciting young children for sex, and then making arrangements with the children to meet-up and carry out on the solicitation. The children were undercover police officers posing as children as young as 12 years of age.  However, when the adults arrived at the agreed-upon location to meet the children for sex, the alleged sexual predators were then confronted by the television show's host and police officers. After speaking with the host, the adults would leave and police would place the adults under arrest.  The charges included traveling to meet a minor for the purposes of sex, exposing pornographic content to children, Internet solicitation of a minor, and many other sex crimes. Although the television show was popular and was deemed "good television entertainment," other people recognize the show destroyed many lives and lead to at least one suicide.

Internet child solicitation sting operations in Naples, Florida are conducted in the same way as the television show. Law enforcement officers pose as young children and engage in chats with unsuspecting adults. In many of these cases, the conversations between the adult and the "child" progress to a sexual nature.  Sometimes the conversations lead to the adult sending, who they believe to be a child, explicit images and/or videos. As the "Internet relationship" between the adults and children progress, at some point, the two will agree to meet at a place and time for the purpose of engaging in sex or sexual acts. Not every Internet child sex solicitation sting will turn into a meeting, but most of these cases do reach this stage. When the unsuspecting adult arrives at the agreed upon location, law enforcement officers rush in to apprehend and arrest the alledged "offender." It is important to know that, the adult has already committed a felony without following through on the sex soliciation and law enforcement are able to identify a suspect's location to make an arrest.  

Using Sting Operations in Naples, FL 

Law enforcement throughout Florida have built a reputation for initiating undercover sting operations to lure, entice and arrest adults who are online looking for children to engage in sexual activities. Since November 2019, police in Central Florida arrested 17 men who were engaging with law enforcement officers posing as young children online. The sting operation was highly publicized due to the men caught up in the online child solicitation sting, including two workers from Disney World and a former middle school assistant principal.

Online sex solicitation stings are normally conducted in large cities, but draw adults from all over the state of Florida and across state lines. Our online child solicitation defense attorneys in Naples, Florida, know how police and prosecutors use sting operations, and how these operations are carried out. This experience and knowledge helps our legal professionals defend our clients caught in an Internet solicitation sting operation. In some circumstances, detectives involved in Internet sting operations push the limits and lure people into committing acts, such as Internet Solicitation of a Minor for Sex. In many cases, those who would've not otherwise committed a crime were seduced, enticed, and lured by police ingo committing a criminal offense. Opponents to online sex crime sting operations believe law enforcement officers overstepped their bounds and their authority leading to good people into a bad legal situation.

If you or a loved one would have been charged with online solicitation of a minor in Naples, Floirda, or anywhere in Floirda, contact our dedicated Naples Internet sting operation defense attorneys for your free case review. The Musca Law team will help you understand and protect your legal rights.

Criminal Charges and Penalties Associated with Online Solicitation Sting Operations in Naples, FL

There are several types of criminal charges that stem from online child sex sting operations. State prosecuting attorneys often ask law enforcement officers to look for every opportunity to tack on additional criminal charges.  In many cases, defendants are over-charged. This can be extremely devestating to the accused who faces years to decades in prison. In addition to punishments such as prison time or hefty legal fines, most people who are convicted of a sex crime in Florida will be required to register as a sex offender.  This includes both the national sex predator registry and Florida's sexual predator registry.

Solicitation of a Minor (Lewd and Lascivious Conduct) Criminal Charges in Naples, Florida

People who are caught up in the Internet sting operation will often face several charges such as Internet solicitation of minor, lewd and lascivious conduct, traveling to visit a minor for sex, transmission of child porngraphy, exposing a child to pornography, or any other sex crime. According to Florida statute section 800.04, lewd or lascivious conduct includes soliciting a minor to engage in a lewd or lascivious act or intentionally touching a minor in a lewd or lascivious way.  Although the Florida Criminal Statutes do not define the terms "lewd "and "lascivious," Florida's jury instructions define those legal terms as lustful, sensual, and wicked.

Solicitation of a Minor or Lewd or Lascivious Conduct with a Minor is charged as third-degree felonies or second-degree felonies in the state of Florida under state statute section 800.04. The actual criminal charges and penalties will also depend upon the age of the defendant, the age of the victim, the criminal history of the accused, and the acts that have taken place. If the accused is18 years or older, the defendant will be charged with a second-degree felony, which carries a prison sentence of up to 15 years in a $10,000 fine. If the accused is under the age of 18, the crime is charged as a third-degree felony and carries a punishment of up to five years in prison plus a $5,000 fine.

Traveling to Meet a Minor for Sex in Naples

It is a crime in Florida for an adult to travel any distance and by any means to meet a child for the purpose of engaging in any sexual behavior. This crime is often perpetrated online. 

According to Florida Statute Section 847.0135, "traveling to meet a minor" includes:

  • Traveling.
  • Causing another individual to travel.
  • Attempting to cause another to travel to meet a child to engage in a sexual act.
  • Attempting to travel.

The crime of traveling to meet a minor with the intent of committing a sexual act typically follows acts of soliciting, luring, enticing, or seducing a minor to engage in sex or sexual behavior.  The means by which the crime is committed is by using online chat rooms, computer services, bulletin service, Internet service, electronic devices, or dating apps.

Florida criminal code does not require a "real" minor be involved act of solicitation for a crime to be committed. Florida statute section 847.0135 states that it is a crime in Florida for an individual to solicit or travel to meet a minor for sex even if the accused was speaking to an adult posing as a child.  Also, it is not necessary for sexual acts take have taken place to violate this law.  

"Traveling to Meet a Minor" is a second-degree felony and is punishable with a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 15 years in prison.

Solicitation of a minor using a computer or electronic device criminal charge in Naples

Under Florida Statute Section 847.0135, an individual may not use an electronic device with storage and transmission capabilities, such as an Internet connected computer, Internet service, dating app or bulletin board service to solicit, entice, lure, or seduce a minor to engage in sexual conduct. Florida law also states that it is a violation of the law in Florida to attempt to do the same.  In other words, a suspect does not have to actually "follow through" with the soliciation to break the law. 

Solicitation of a minor through an Internet service or computer is charged as a third-degree felony of the state of Florida and is punished with up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Lewd and Lascivious Battery Charges in Naples

Florida section 800.04 states that an individual has commited lewd and lascivious battery when engaging in sexual conduct with a minor between the ages of 12 and 15, or forces, entices, or encourages a child who is under the age of 16 to engage in sexual acts such as bestiality, sadomasochistic abuse, or prostitution.

Lewd and Lascivious Battery is charged as a second-degree felony in the state of Florida and is punished with a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 15 years in prison. However, if the accused has prior convictions, those criminal charges might elevate the current charges to a first-degree felony. Those previous charges include:

  1. Traveling to meet a minor
  2. Sexual battery
  3. Computer Pornography
  4. The kidnapping of a minor involving sexual battery
  5. Lewd or Lascivious offense on a disabled or elderly person
  6. False imprisonment of a minor involving sexual battery
  7. Lewd or lascivious offenses involving children under the age of 16

A first-degree felony in Naples, Florida is punished by a fine of up to $10,000 and a prison sentence of up to 30 years.

Child Pornography Charges in Naples, Florida

In child sex solicitation sting operation in Naples, offenders could be charged with other sex crimes. The following are different sex crimes often filed against an individual caught in an online child sex sting operation:

Distributing Child Pornography in Florida - It is against Florida and Federal law to knowingly advertise, sell, distribute, or disperse videos or images of children of an explicit or pornographic nature. Distribution of child pornography is a second-degree felony in the state of Florida and is punishable with a prison sentence of up to 15 years plus monetary fines of up to $10,000.

Possession of Child Pornography - Possessing child pornography is a third-degree felony in Florida and is punished with up to five years in prison and a monetary fine of no more than $5,000.

Manufacturing of Child Pornography - If an individual films or takes photos children engaging in pornographic activities, that individual has committed the crime of manufacturing child pornography.  This criminal charge is often combined with "soliciting children for the purpose of creating pornographic material. Manufacturing child pornography is a second-degree felony in Florida and is punished with up to a 15-year prison sentence and a fine of up to $10,000.

Exposing a Minor to Pornography - It is a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida to expose a minor to pornography such as explicit videos or images. The penalties for exposing a child to pornography include up to one year in jail plus a fine of up to $1,000.

Florida child pornography charges are often brought when adults are caught in an online child solicitation sting operation. These types of child sex solicitation sting operations often lead to individuals selling or manufacturing child pornography to undercover law enforcement officers.

Legal Defenses to Online Child Solicitation Charges in Florida

There are many legal defenses available to those who have been charged with an online child solicitation crime. The most notable include "entrapment" by law enforcement. This is because online sex sting operations create an opportunity for law enforcement officers to overstep their boundaries and authority and lure people into committing crimes they would not ordinarily have committed outside of the Internet sting operation. Other potential legal defenses include insufficient evidence, a lack of intent, or illegal search and seizure.

Entrapment Defenses in Naples Child Solicitation Cases

Entrapment occurs when police officers induce a person to commit a criminal offense that the individual would not have likely not committed. The entrapment defense has evolved throughout the years during criminal trials.  There are two competing tests that exist to determine if the defendant was entrapped: the objective and subjective tests. The objective test examines the government's conduct in the criminal case. Entrapment may have existed when the actions of police would have induced any law-abiding citizen to commit the crime.  In the subjective test, the defendant's state of mind is evaluated to determine if the defendant had a predisposition to commit the criminal offense.

Illegal Search and Seizure Defenses in Naples Child Solicitation Cases

All United States citizens are protected from unlawful searches and seizures under the U.S. Constitution's fourth amendment. When a police officer conducts a search or seizure without first obtaining a search warrant, the defense could motion the court to suppress any evidence that was obtained during the unlawful search and seizure. Without the necessary evidence, the defense attorney will move for a dismissal. 

Free Case Review with Our Best Naples Online Solicitation of a Minor Defense Attorney

If you or a family member are accused of child sex solicitation, it's important that you speak with our best solicitation of a minor defense attorney in Naples, Florida, as soon as possible. Sex crimes are punished severely in Florida and sex crimes involving children are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. A sex crime conviction carries penalties that can last a lifetime, including prison time, public humiliation, lifetime registration on both the Florida and National sexual predator registries, difficulty in obtaining work, and difficulty obtaining housing. Sex offenders are prevented from being able to enter public parks, schools, theme parks, and many other places. To receive your free case review, call us 24/7 at (239) 793-5297 or visit our law office located at 2650 Airport-Pulling Rd Suite G, Naples, FL 34112.

Musca Law
2650 Airport-Pulling Rd Suite G
Naples, FL 34112
Phone: (239) 793-5297
Hours: Open 24 hours

46HM+V6 Naples, Florida