Traveling to Meet a Minor
The state of Florida’s Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act makes traveling to meet a minor a felony crime. Under this Act, traveling to meet a minor or anyone who is thought to be under the age of 18 for the purposes of engaging in sexual activity is recognized as a criminal act.Explanation of the Offense
With the addition of programs like NBC’s To Catch a Predator, where undercover officers work with the news program to catch people attempting to have sex with a child, this type of sex crime has become highly publicized within the last few years. As a result of this widespread media attention, law enforcement agents on the federal and state level have increased their efforts to catch so-called predators through undercover sex traps or computer stings. Police will often pose as someone looking for sexual activity through social networking sites, classified sites and even classified ads. The decoy will often masquerade as a minor or a parent or guardian of a minor that is seeking a sexual relationship. Once communication hints at sexual undertones, either through phone calls, text messages, social networking sites, chat rooms or email, a meeting location is usually planned. Once the suspect arrives with the intentions of meeting a child or teenager, police will arrest the person for traveling to meet a minor.
If you have been arrested for traveling to meet a minor or any other type of Internet sex crime, it is imperative to seek the experience of an aggressive sex crimes defense attorney who can protect your rights and freedom. When you are caught in the midst of a sex trap, any comments you make can and will be held against you by police and prosecutors alike. Furthermore, anything you have in your possession or on your being can be used against you as well. It is important to be aware that any photographs, messages, videos, phone calls or emails that you may have exchanged with the undercover agent may have been recorded.Possible Defenses
The Florida Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys can thoroughly examine the facts associated with your case and identify strong possible defenses, including:
- Lack of Intent- the State must prove that you traveled to meet a minor for strictly sexual purposes. You may have been traveling to meet a minor for other reasons that cannot clearly be defined as sexual.
- Entrapment- when a government agent lures a person to commit a crime that they otherwise may not have committed. We can closely examine the following to see if Entrapment can be a viable defense for your unique situation: Who initiated sexual communications? Was law enforcement persistent in their efforts to entice unlawful sexual behavior? Did the accused show any signs of reluctance?
In addition to the above defenses, the Florida Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys can seek motions to suppress evidence if your Fourth Amendment Rights were violated at any time information was obtained.Potential Consequences
The state of Florida takes charges of traveling to meet a minor quite seriously and consequences of this crime can be severe. Traveling to meet a minor is a second degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of $10,000. The statutory minimum for this crime is 21 months behind bars, unless there is a lawful reason to impose a lesser sentence. Any person convicted of this crime will face mandatory registration as a sex offender which can have a lasting impact on your future.
Moreover, any individual that travels across state or county lines to meet a minor for sexual purposes could be subject to charges in multiple jurisdictions.How We Can Help
The Florida Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys can vigorously fight your charges in Florida State Court as well as Federal Court, depending on the facts pertaining to your case. We can work towards reducing any charges you face and even arrange an agreement to potentially minimize penalties. If you have been accused of or charged with Traveling to Meet a Minor anywhere in the state of Florida, please contact the Florida Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys immediately.
Your initial consultation is completely free and confidential. We are available 24/7 to advise you on what steps to take to influence the best possible outcome for your charges. Contact us today online or statewide and toll-free at 866-608-5529 for your free case evaluation.