Met someone online? Making plans to go meet him or her in person? Is that person a minor or did he or she turn out to be a minor without your knowledge? If you are accused of a criminal charge related to traveling to meet a minor for sexual relations in anywhere in Florida, you need an experienced Orlando criminal defense attorney who passionately believes that everyone deserves a second chance.
Travelling to Meet a Minor Charges
Florida law states that anyone who attempts to solicit or lure a minor to engage in sexual activities through the use of the internet or other electronic device may be arrested an charged for soliciting or traveling to meet a minor. Anyone travelling within, to or from the State of Florida with the purpose of engaging in sexual misconduct with minor may also be arrested for these charges.
At The Umansky Law Firm, our sex crimes defense attorneys know that many of these cases involve trained police officers who pose as a child and reach out to unsuspecting people through Internet chat rooms, Craigslist, Backpage, text messages and social networking sites. The officer in Orlando will use suggestive language and suddenly you are taking action that you had never before considered.
Florida Penalties for Traveling to Meet a Minor
Traveling to Meet a Minor charges are classified as a Second Degree Felony under Florida Law. The severity of this offense requires a judge to enforce a 21 month minimum prison sentence and the penalties can include:
- $10,000 in Fines
- 15 years of probation
- 15 years in prison
- Registration as a Sexual Offender
Traveling to Meet a Minor Defense Strategies
In Florida alone, there are three task forces charged with conducting sting operations. These operations typically involve undercover police officers misrepresenting themselves as underage boys and girls. Whether you are traveling to Orange County from Marion County or Hillsborough County, you want a local defense attorney who can defend your legal rights.
Our attorneys will fully investigate your case and use every defense possible in your situation. Before determining which defense is best in your specific situation, our firm can discuss with you any and all of the following:
- Entrapment defense: The police were acting as a minor in order to convince the defendant to commit the crime, therefore entrapping the defendant when he or she ordinarily would not have agreed to commit the crime.
- Lack of intent to commit the crime: Showing that there was no intent on the defendant's part to actual go through with what he or she may have been saying.
- Mental state: The existence of psychological conditions that impact a defendant's ability to understand his or her actions.
- No psychological predisposition: Use of expert testing to demonstrate that a defendant does not demonstrate sexual attraction to minors.
- Forensic computer evidence: Using our experts to show that someone else may have been accessing the defendant's technology and arranging the situation in which the crime could be committed.
- Did not know minor's age: Though difficult to pursue, we can sometimes use a defensive strategy that shows how the defendant did not know the person on the other end was a minor.
- Free speech violation: The defendant was speaking his or her mind freely, without intent, and that speech is protected. In some cases, we can argue this position, though is often problematic.
How to Handle Your Charges
Being charged with a sex crime in Florida can be an extremely embarrassing and humiliating experience, especially if you are found. People who are convicted of sex crimes are branded for life. If convicted you could face very long prison sentences and a lifetime registration as a sex offender.
Confronted with the possibility of prison and a lifetime of monitoring, you cannot afford to plead guilty to a sex crime charge. Rather, you need an experienced sex crime defense attorney who is willing to fight for you. As an accomplished criminal defense firm in Orlando, we have handled many sex crime cases. Our attorneys have won trials, had sex crime charges dismissed prior to trial and sometimes plead clients to reduced charges which do not carry a jail sentence.
If you have been criminally charged for traveling to meet a minor in Central Florida, you are in for a fight. At our firm, each of our attorneys has more than 10 years of criminal law experience, we have worked as former prosecutors, and know how to prepare and craft a case for a jury. Put our experience to work for you.
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